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Install Mailcow on Debian 7

Last Updated: Sat, Apr 30, 2016
Debian Linux Guides System Admin
Archived content

This article is outdated and may not work correctly for current operating systems or software.


Mailcow is a lightweight mailserver suite based on multiple packages, like DoveCot, Postfix and many other open-source packages. Mailcow also provides a modern flat UI for administration and works with web servers that support PHP5.


  • Mailcow works on some Debian derivatives like Ubuntu, though the Mailcow team recommends using a fresh installation of Debian 8.

  • Verify the server's outbound port status.


In this guide, we'll be installing the version 0.13.1 of Mailcow on our server.

cd ; wget -O - | tar xfz -

cd mailcow*

After downloading the necessary files, we can edit the config file to fit our needs. We open the file mailcow.config in which most of our config parameters are stored. We have to edit two of these parameters to get our setup working:



Whereas we should replace the parameter sys_hostname with the hostname we want to use for our mail server. Please note that we don't have to write the domain into this parameter. The parameter sys_domain should be replaced with our domain we want to use for our first mailbox.

After we have customized everything to our needs, we have to ensure that no application is using the ports which are needed for Mailcow to run the IMAP / SMTP daemons.

Afterwards, we can run the installer by typing in:


It will ask us a few questions and asks at each step to continue. We'll provide our details and press Enter if it asks us to continue.


It will automatically configure all services which are needed to power Mailcow. We have to setup our own domain and mailboxes though.

We can visit the admin web interface by typing https://server_hostname/ into the browser. It will automatically display us a welcome page. If we want to login as admin, we have to click the dropdown called "Control Panel" - and press the button called "Login" there.

If you forgot your credentials which you've entered before, you can get them by typing the following command into the console:

cat ~/mailcow-0.13.1/installer.log


You now have a working Mailcow installation. It is a useful mail server bundle that is published as open source on Github and licensed under the GNU license.

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