Open WebMail Frequently Asked Questions

19. HOW CAN I...


We highly recommend using SpeedyCGI with Open WebMail.
Open WebMail gets almost 5x to 10x speedup when running with SpeedyCGI.

Please refer to section "PERSISTENT RUNNING through SpeedyCGI" in
readme.txt for how to install SpeedyCGI on your system.

If you are using SpeedyCGI with Open WebMail
and you have modified any file other than etc/openwebmail.conf...

Don't forget to do 'touch openwebmail*.pl'
so SpeedyCGI knows to reload the scripts to see your modification.


Q: I got "SCRIPT_DIR not set in /etc/openwebmail_path.conf !" error?
A: On systems not passing perl script name as $0, openwebmail relies
   on /etc/openwebmail_path.conf to know the directory it locates.

   Please put 'the path of your openwebmail cgi directory' in the first
   line of file /etc/openwebmail_path.conf.

   For example, if the script is located at


   then the content of /etc/openwebmail_path.conf should be:


Q: I got the script content instead of the openwebmail login screen?
   I got "You don't have permission to access on this
   server" error?
A: Your apache is not properly configured to execute CGI program.
   Please edit the httpd.conf for your apache and modify it as follow:

   <Directory /var/www/cgi-bin>
      AllowOverride All
      Options ExecCGI
      Order allow,deny
      Allow from all

   You will notice "Order allow,deny" and "Allow from all" lines are
   missing in default.

   Then reload httpd.

   (thanks to Thomas Chung,

ps: If you are using Mandrake:
    httpd config file is located at /etc/httpd/conf/commonhttpd.conf
    httpd reload command is "service httpd reload"

    If you are using FreeBSD:
    httpd config file is located at /usr/local/etc/apache/httpd.conf
    httpd reload command is "/usr/local/sbin/apachectl restart"

Q: I got "Internal server error" when running Open WebMail?
   I got "can not do setuid" error?
   I got "Software error: Can't locate etc/openwebmail.conf in @INC" error?
A: There are many possible answers...

   1. Please check if you have installed a complete set of perl 5.005 or above.
      and You have uncompressed the openwebmail-1.xx.tar.gz with proper parameter.
      It should be "tar -zxvBpf openwebmail-1.xx.tar.gz"

   2. Your openwebmail scripts may have wrong owner or mode.
      The permission of all openwebmail*.pl should be


   3. The suid support of your perl may be not correctly enabled.

      a. su to a regular user, then run form command line.
      b. if it shows 'Can't do setuid', su to root,
         have suidperl owner=root, node=4555, then try step a again
      c. if it shows the following WARNING, su to root,
         have suidperl owner=root, mode=555, then try step a again


      d. if it shows a long html text content, which means the suid
         support of your suidperl is enabled.
      e. if step b or c doesn't help, please goto step 4

   ps: If you are using Suse Linux 9.0 Professional, please note that the
       permissions of suidperl is changed at each time SuSEconfig is run.
       To avoid having to change these permissions manually each time,
       please modify /etc/permissions.easy (or what permissions file used ever)
       to set the proper permissions.
       (thanks to, Schaefer, Dirk Alexander)

   4. if executing with regular user always complains
      then your perl executable was compiled without SUID support

      Here are the steps to recompile your perl with suid enabled:

      a. grab the perl source tar ball
      b. sh Configure -de (de means default perl config)
      c. edit and set this :

      ps: If you run './Configure' to configure the perl interactively,
          then don't forget to answer 'yes' for question
          "Do you want to do setuid/setgid emulation? "
          Or you won't be able to execute openwebmail

      d. then make, make install (make suidperl if needed)
      e. if you have compiled suidperl, then chmod 4555 suidperl
         if you don't have suidperl, change #!/usr/bin/suidperl to
         the path of your perl
         (thanks to Nemo Kaiser,

      ps: If you are using FreeBSD and your perl is compiled from port,
          then please note that the SUID support is disabled by default
          since the port for perl 5.8.1

          You need to do 'make -DENABLE_SUIDPERL' in making port

      ps: If you don't want to recompile perl, you choose to may use
          misc/tools/ to generate C wrappers for all suid scripts.

          However, this is not recommended at all, as you will not be able
          to use SpeedyCGI with the openwebmail system.

          Here are the steps:
          1. cd cgi-bin/openwebmail
          2. perl misc/tool/wrapsuid/ /fullpath/cgi-bin/openwebmail
          3. change #!/usr/bin/suidperl to the path of your perl

          All suid scripts will be renamed to and
          the C wrapper will be generated and named as
          (thanks to Chris Heegard,

          The spellcheck may not work on Solaris when using C wrappers.
          (thanks to Isam Ishaq,

   5. If you are using SpeedyCGI, and openwebmail always shows Internal error,
      then your SpeedyCGI may be compiled without SUID support.
      a. please be sure the speedycgi executable is owned by root with
         permission 4555
      b. please be sure you are using SpeedyCGI 2.22 or above
      c. please be sure your perl is compiled with SUID support enabled
         before compiling SpeedyCGI
      d. please refer to section "PERSISTENT RUNNING through SpeedyCGI"
         in readme.txt for how to compile SpeedyCGI.

   6. If you are using SpeedyCGI, openwebmail seems be okay at the beginning,
      but it shows "Internal Server Error" sometimes ...

      Please check the apache log to see if there is error messages like

      "unable to open tmp file ..."

      If yes, you system may not have the savedsuid support,
      please set have_savedsuid_support to 'no' in etc/suid.conf

   7. Some perl modules may be too old or not exist on your system
      a. install MIME-Base64-3.01.tar.gz or above
      b. install or above
      c. install the libnet-1.19.tar.gz or above

ps: In most cases, you can run the './' in text terminal
    to get more information about the error.

Q: I got "Can't check filesystem of script ./ for nosuid"?
A: Your openwebmail may be installed on a filesystem mounted nosuid.
   Please remove the nosuid parameter from /etc/fstab or install openwebmail
   to other filesystem.

ps: 'man mount' for more information about nosuid

Q: I got "Please execute  '.../cgi-bin/ --init' on
   server first!"?
A: This is to init the mapping tables used by openwebmail, you need to

   telnet to your server
   su root
   cd the_cgi_bin_dir_for_openwebmail
   ./ --init

Q: I got "Please execute script with full path!"
   in executing ' --init' with full path?
A: This may happens on platforms that run suid scripts through /dev/fd/.
   Please run the script from where it is located.

   cd the_dir_of_your_openwebmail_cgi
   ./ --init

Q: I got "Please change /openwebmail_scripts_dir/etc/dbm.conf from xxx to yyy"
   in executing ' --init' ?
A: You may has wrong settings in your etc/dbm.conf.
   Please modify the etc/dbm.conf as openwebmail suggested
   and don't forget to redo ' --init' again.

Q: --init complains the dbm options after I upgrade OS?
   --init complains the dbm options after I upgrade perl?
   --init complains the dbm options when I copy openwebmail.conf to another
A: The perl system may use different dbm format depending on what packages
   have been installed in your server. These dbm format may be not compatible.
   To know what dbm packages are used by your perl, please execute:

   perl misc/test/

   And you will see output like below:

   You perl uses the following packages for dbm::          /usr/libdata/perl/5.00503/            /usr/libdata/perl/5.00503/mach/

   The dbm options in dbm.conf should be set as follows:

   dbm_ext                 .db
   dbmopen_ext             none
   dbmopen_haslock         no
   ---------------------------------------------------------------------- is a "pure virtual base class", it has nothing of its own.
   It's just there to inherit from one of the various DBM packages in the
   following order: NDBM_File, DB_File, GDBM_File, SDBM_File, ODBM_File
   (you may type 'perldoc AnyDBM_File' to see comparison of these packages)

   In the above example, the system uses NBDM package for dbm.
   when you upgrade OS, perl or migrate openwebmail to other machine,
   you should run on both system to ensure that they use same
   underlying dbm package.

Q: ok, my two machines use different DBM systems, what can I do next?
A: you can enforce the new one to use the same dbm package as the old one by
   putting the 'use' after the 'use strict;' in all openwebmail*pl.
   then try to run ' --test' to see if the is
   really used.

   where is the value you get by running on old machine.

Q: When I installed Open WebMail on Fedora 3, --init generated no output?
A: Please turn the selinux feature off by
   setting "SELINUX=disabled" in /etc/selinux/config,
   then try to execute --init again.


Q: The login menu showed okay, but I always got login failure?
A: Check auth_module option in openwebmail.conf:

   If it is '',
   check if passwdfile_encrypted and passwdmkdb in auth_unix.conf are correct

   If it is '',
   make sure you have followed the instructions of 'PAM SUPPORT' in readme.txt.

   If you still got login failure, you can debug the pam module by:
   1. modify
      uncomment all the lines of main::log_time(...)
   2. login to openwebmail
   3. check the /tmp/openwebmail.debug for more information.

ps: If you are running openwebmail under SpeedyCGI, don't forget to do a
    'touch openwebmail*pl' after you complete the modification to
    auth module or auth conf file.

Q: It took a long time in the first login?
A: Openwebmail has to initialize some mapping tables for future use,
   it creates these tables in the first successful login, this guarantees
   that openwebmail creates files only if it is correctly installed.

ps: This automatic table initialization has been removed since openwebmail-1.80.
    The sysadm have to initialize the db by himself explicitly with the command

    './ --init'

Q: It took a long time in every login?
Q: Openwebmail hangs at every login after I saved the preference in the first
A: You probably have wrong settings in the dbm.conf,
   please execute 'perl misc/test/' to find correct settings.

Q: Some of my users login okay, but others don't, why?
A: It is possible that you are upgrading from version prior to 1.41
   to the newer version. The virtual user support is totally reimplemented.
   It uses virtusertable instead of genericstable for user mapping now.
   Please refer to to know how to translate
   entries in genericstable to virtusertable.

Q: Some of my user with invalid shell couldn't login since upgrade to 1.80?
A: A new variable check_shell option has been added to the auth_unix.conf
   If it is set to yes, which means only users with valid shell can login.
   If it is set to no, then openwebmail won't do valid shell checking.

Q: A string 'Sessions : 5, 10, 20' appeared at the bottom of the copyright
   page after successful login, what does this string mean?
A: It means the number of users that were active in the last 1, 5 and 15
   minutes, which gives a rough estimation of the webmail usage state.

Q: How does autologin work? Will my password be stored somewhere?
A: Whenever you have successfully logined openwebmail,
   openwebmail will store your loginanme/logindomain as cookies in your browser.
   If you didn't logout the session, then openwebmail will bring you into
   main screen at your next login if the session is still not timeouted.

   Openwebmail does this by checking if you have a valid session file on server,
   so your password is not required or stored in either server or client side.

Q: Is it safe to use autologin feature?
A: It depends. You can enable it on your private computer if the computer is secure.
   And if you are using a public computer, please don't enable autologin,
   or be sure to do a logout before leaving that public computer.

Q: I have enabled autologin on some public computer and forget to logout,
   what can I do to prevent others to autologin my account?
A: 1. go to that computer and do logout explicitly :)
   2. If 1 is not possible, then you may login openwebmail, switch to webdisk,
      turn on the checkbox of ShowHidden at the up-right corner,
      then chdir to subdir .openwebmail, and remove the autologin.check.db
   ps: this will remove all old remembered autologin sessions.
   3. If you don't do anything, the old session will be finally timeouted anyway.

Q: Can I limit the use of autologin feature?
A: Yes, option allowed_autologinip can be used to control which subnets are
   allowed to use the autologin, or even disable it at all.
   Please refer to for more detail.


Q: I got "Couldn't open XXX-session-0.370606494136155!" error after login?
A: You openwebmail-1.xx.tar.gz was uncompressed with improper parameter.
   It should be "tar -zxvBpf openwebmail-1.xx.tar.gz"
   Or you can refer to the file permission list in the end of readme.txt
ps: you may check the permission cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc/sessions first,
    it should be owner=root, group=mail, mode=771

Q: I got "Software error: Can't locate MIME/ in @INC"?
A: Please install the MIME-Base64-3.01.tar.gz.

Q: I got "Too many arguments for MIME::QuotedPrint::encode_qp"?
A: Your MIME module is too old, please install the MIME-Base64-3.01.tar.gz.

Q: I got "Software error: Can't locate Text/ in @INC"?
A: Please install the Text-Iconv-1.2.tar.gz, this is required since

Q: First login was okay and openwebmail told me to setup preference,
   then I got "Internal Server Error" ?
A: You may forget to install Text-Iconv-1.2.tar.gz,
   or you may compile Text-Iconv with wrong parameter in Makefile.PL.
   Please check readme.txt with keyword Text-Iconv to see
   if any special modification is required for your platform

Q: First login was okay and I can setup preference without problem,
   then I got "Couldn't get write lock on INBOX!" immediately ?
A: You may have wrong setting for option mailspooldir in openwebmail.conf

Q: I got "Use of uninitialized value in subroutine entry at /xxx/
   line yyy" error ?
A: The line you got error should be inside the sub routine tie_hash_or_array.
   Please find the following comment line in

   # make recno in Berkeley DB version 2 work like recno in version 1

   And add the following line just before the above line:

   $arg[3] = 0666 unless defined $arg[3] ;

   (thanks to Paul Marquess,

Q: I got "can't open /var/log/openwebmail.log" error?
A: Please check the openwebmail.log permission, it should be
   owner=root, group=mail, mode=660

ps: If you get this error periodicly and your are using Mandrake Linux,
    You may have to move the logfile somewhere else.
    The Mandrake's (8.2 and 9.0) security system periodically scans the
    /var/log directory and changes ownerships/permissions.
    (thanks to Karl Schricker,

Q: I got "Software error: ndbm store returned -1, errno XX, ..."?
A: The meaning of errno XX could be found in errno.h

   If your OS is FreeBSD, please check /usr/include/sys/errno.h
   If your OS is Linux,   please check /usr/include/asm/errno.h
   If your OS is Solaris, please check /usr/include/sys/errno.h

   Most of the time, the error is due to exceeded user quota.
   Please remove unwanted files or increase the quota for user.

ps: Since openwebmail 20031128, you may set the option
    use_syshomedir_for_dotdir to no to have openwebmail put index db
    in ow_usersdir instead of user homedir, thus creating db won't be
    limited by user quota.

Q: My SENT folder shows -1 or other negative message size rather then
   regular message size?
A: This problem occurs if you installed Open WebMail on the same partition
   where quota is enabled. Open WebMail uses temp files in
   cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc/sessions folders.
   Solution is to move sessions folder to another partition with no Quota.

   Please read RedHat-README.txt for detailed explanation on setting up
   this, since this problem mostly occurs on RedHat Linux 6.2 and bellow.
   (thanks to Emir Litric,

Q: I got "db warning - msg xxx index missing in INBOX" in log?
   What does this mean?
A: It may have two possible meanings.

   1. Your message is moved to other folder by the openwebmail filter module

      While openwebmail always maintains the index consistent with the folder
      content, openwebmail only calls the mailfilter in the following two
      a. before browsing the message list of a folder
      b. before reading a message of the INBOX

      If a message(aaa) matching the filter rule comes to INBOX folder, this
      message will become the neighbor of one of the existing messages(bbb)
      in the index db. If the user is reading message bbb, then aaa will
      become the target linked by the right or left arrows in the bottom of
      the readmessage webpage. Now if user clicks the arrow for next page,
      you will get the db index missing error since the message(aaa) is
      moved to other folder by the filter before being accessed..

   2. Your message is removed by other pop3/imap client.
      Do you use outlook and openwebmail at the same time?

Q: I got "db warning - msg yyy index inconsistence in INBOX" in the log?
   Does it mean my message were lost?
A: No, you message were not lost, it just means the index db was not
   reflecting the newest state of your mail folder, openwebmail did the
   reindex automatically after logging this message.

Q: I got "Your request didn't contain the proper session ID cookie --
   access denied!" error?
A: Please enable the cookie function of your browser.
   Or you can set the option session_checkcookie to 'no' to disable
   the check of cookie in openwebmail, but this may put the user
   session in danger that it could be hijacked by others.

Q: I got "Your request didn't come from the same ip of this session --
   access denied!" error?
A: The client may access the webmail server through a gateway which may
   dynamicly change it IP address, please set the option
   session_checksameip to 'no' to disable the IP check.

Q: My openwebmail was okay, but I got "Your request didn't contain the
   proper session ID cookie -- access denied!" in these days?
A: Openwebmail puts user uploaded attachments in
   cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc/sessions/ temporarily.
   User will get error if there is no space left on the partition where
   cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc/sessions/ lives or user has exceeded his disk quota.

   Please move cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc/sessions to a larger partition with
   diskquota disabled, then create a symbolic link to that new directory

   cd /new_place

   mkdir sessions
   chmod 771 sessions
   chown 0 sessions
   chgrp mail sessions

   cd yourweb_cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc/
   rm -Rf sessions
   ln -s /new_place/sessions .

Q: I got 'Couldn't get read lock on ....' error?
         'Couldn't get write lock on ....' error?
A: If the error message appears immediately after you submit the CGI request,
   then it may be due to the user doesn't has enough privilege to lock the
   file or the directory for the file even doesn't exist.

   If the error message appears after the cgi request submission for more
   than 30 seconds, then the folder openwebmail want to access may be locked
   by other process.

   Most of the time, it is due to the concurrent accesses to the folder by
   other mail client through the pop3/imap daemons.
   This is okay, just back to previous page and try again later.

   To know where the error happened exactly, you may try to set option
   error_with_debuginfo to yes in openwebmail.conf. This would give you
   more detailed information in case openwebmailerror() happens.

   If you are running openwebmail in persistent mode,
   there could be openwebmail processes locking the folder file for indexing.
   To release the lock, you may kill the openwebmail speedy_backend process.

   Since openwebmail 20041129, you may use ' -u username'
   to find the processes holding the filelocks, and kill the processes after
   If the locks couldn't be released after killing the related processes,
   you may solve the problem in a quick and dirty way...

   rename the file, copy it to original name, then remove the renamed one.
   This would have the file a new inode and thus release all old locks.

ps: The ' -u requires the lsof package.
    it is available at

ps: Killing the openwebmail process may leave an incomplete index db
    on disk. It is okay, the folder index db will be fixed or rebuild
    in the next access.


Q: The 'From' field of my message contained only 'username@'?
A: You may has wrong setting for option domainnames in openwebmail.conf
   please list all domainnames separated with comma, or
   use auto for this setting, openwebmail will use the hostname in the url
   or call '/bin/hostname' to get the FQDN (fully qualified domain name)
   of your host.

Q: The domainname detected by openwebmail is not what I want,
   how can I specified the outgoing mail domain for all my users?
A: Please set the domainnames option in openwebmail.conf from 'auto' to
   the domainname you want. Multiple domainnames can be specified only
   if separated by comma

Q: How can I use LDAP to authenticate user in openwebmail?
A: You have 2 ways to do this:
   1. use the written by Ivan Cerrato,
   2. use auth_pam module and let pam to talk with ldap server.

   Below is an article posted at sourceforge by

   ---------------- begin ----------------
   I hope this is useful to someone:

   I was able to get openwebmail to authenticate using ldap/pam on a system
   with Redhat 7.1, pam_ldap135, and OpenLDAP 2.0.18.

   In openwebmail.conf ~


   In auth_pam.conf ~

   servicename			openwebmail
   passwdfile_plaintext		/etc/passwd

   vi /etc/pam.d/openwebmail:

   auth       required     /lib/security/
   auth       sufficient   /lib/security/
   account    required     /lib/security/
   account    sufficient   /lib/security/

   That's it.  LDAP users will authenticate with the pam_ldap module and
   system users with pam_unix.
   ---------------- end ----------------

Q: How can I use multiple virtual domains with openwebmail?
A: First, you have to decide whether to use real virtual hosting or
   just user alias.

   1. The User Alias

   User alias is much simpler, your system is actually a one domain machine.
   You only have to define the user alias in virtusertable.

   For example, you have 1    real domain and
                         2 virtual domain,
   for your server.

   You already have tom and john on this server.
   And now you want 2 more tom and john for each virtual domain.

   Define the following entries in your virtusertable will make it.	tom1	tom2	john1	john2

   And how these users are used?

   If the user logins as tom and the webmail url is
   then alias will be matched, real user tom1 will be used.
   If the user logins as tom and the webmail url is
   then alias will be matched, real user tom2 will be used.

   If the user logins as tom and the webmail url is
   then real user tom will be authenticated.

   If the user logins as, then no matter what the url is,
   the alias will be matched, user tom1 will be used.

   In the user alias mapping, users of different virtualdomains are actually
   mapped to the real domain and then passed to same authentication module.

   2. Real Virtual Hosting

   The real virtual hosting means your system is configured to a multiple
   domain machine in either smtpd, pop3d, webmail and authentication module.

   You will need to use the per domain config file in openwebmail for each
   of your virtual domain. These config files will be loaded based on

   1. the domainname part in loginname, or
   2. the hostname in the url of the webmail

   ps: You may need to use the domainname_equiv option to ensure no matter
       which domainname is used by user or in URL, they will be mapped to
       a consistent one.

   For example:

   If the user login as tom and the webmail url is,
   config file for will be loaded
   If the user login as tom and the webmail url is,
   config file for will be loaded
   If the user logins as, then no matter what the url is,
   config file for will be loaded

   Each domain can have its own set of options in its config file,
   including domainname, authentication module, quota limit, mailspooldir ...

   A more detailed example is described in the Kevin Ellis's webpage:
   "How to setup virtual users on Open WebMail using Postfix & vm-pop3d"

Q: Could I have configuration file on per user basis?
A: Yes, let us use as example.

   If option auth_withdomain is set to yes,
   the user conf is cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc/users.conf/

   If option auth_withdomain is set to no,
   the user conf is cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc/users.conf/tom

Q: The default mail domain for my user is always wrong, how can I set it?
A: To have openwebmail find the correct mail domain for the user,
   you'd give it some hint.

   For example, if the webmail url is,

   and you want the email for tom to be

   You can achieve this in either the following 2 ways:

   1. create per user config file etc/users.conf/tom
      and set option domainnames to
   2. create per domain config file etc/sites.cof/
      and set option domainnames to

   While 1 is only for the user tom, the method 2 has effect for all users
   who logins with the url

Q: I want to change not only the domainname part but also the username part
   of the default email address?
A: You can use the virtusertable or the per user config file

   1. virtusertable:
      One or more email address can be defined in virtusertable for same user,
      all those email addresses will be used as the default email address for
      that user
   2. per user config file:
      You can set the default_fromemails option in the per user config file.
      Multiple default email addresses can be specified only if you separate
      them with comma.

   ps: While virtusertable is convenient in setting default email addresses
       for many users, per user config file let sysadm control many properties
       for a specific user.

Q: How can I disallow the user to set their from email address or realname?
A: set option enable_loadfrombook to 'no'
   in either openwebmail.conf or per user config.

Q: How can I allow user to change their realname
   but disallow the user to set their from email address?
A: set option enable_loadfrombook to 'yes' and
   set option frombook_for_realname_only to 'yes'
   in either openwebmail.conf or per user config.

Q: Can I install openwebmail without iconv() support?
A: Yes, you may copy the misc/patches/ over the shares/,
   which doesn't use iconv() at all but still support charset conversion for
   Chinese and Japanese.

Q: Can I setup mail account for user without creating the unix account?
A: Yes, you need postfix + vm-pop3d + openwebmail.
   Kevin Ellis( has made a webpage for this,
   it is available at

Q: I have set openwebmail for virtual user with vm-pop3d, but I got
   "Sorry, root login is disabled for security's sake" at login?
A: Please check the descriptions in and
   find which case you are using. If you are using case b, don't forget
   to set the $local_uid to the uid used by your vm-pop3d for all virtual
ps: We suggest you use the for system running vm-pop3d+postfix
    Please refer to descriptions in for more detail.


Q: The login is okay, but I can't change by my password with openwebmail?
A: There are 2 possible answers for this:

   1. Your passwdfile is not local accessible.

      If you use for authentication
      and your passwdfile_encrypted file is not a local accessible
      (ex: examples in that are terminated with |),
      the changepassword feature won't be available.

      If your system uses NIS, then you may try instead,
      or you have to use to get the changepassword to work.

   2. Your system doesn't support saved set-user-ID, so openwebmail won't get
      enough privilege to change the passwd file.
      Try to set option has_savedsuid_support to 'no' in etc/suid.conf
      to solve this problem.

   3. The authentication module which you used doesn't support password
      changing, ex:

Q: I use openwebmail with NIS/YP system, the user can login but can not
   change their password?
A: The NIS/YP password can not be changed with,
   you need to use the or as the authentication module.


Q: Everything seems be fine at the beginning, but if I tried to open a
   message after a period of time, the content of other message was showed
   instead of the one I clicked?
A: This is due to a bug of tell() in perl 5.8. And RedHat 8.0 bundles Perl
   5.8 by default. Please upgrade your openwebmail to 1.81 or higher.
   And you should try to find a bug fix for your perl since other applications
   written by perl may operate improperly due to this bug

Q: Some mails were not displayed right....
A: please check
   to see if any update fixes your problem and download the

Q: I got some messages that have attachment with filename "Unknown.tnef"
   and contenttype "application/ms-tnef",
   how can I extract files from this attachment?
A: Solution 1:

   You need to install tnef viewer in the user computer,
   the viewer is available at

   Solution 2:

   You have to install the tnef extractor on the openwebmail server,
   it is available at

   To extract the files inside a tnef attachment, the user can save the
   attachment into openwebmail webdisk, than extract files through webdisk

ps: Open WebMail has supported tnef extraction since 2.32 20040719,
    you may see the files encapsulated in tnef attachment directly
    without extract them in webdisk by yourself


Q: I could not add attachments?
   Open WebMail was hanged when I pressed the 'add' button to add attachments?
A: 1. Your CGI or MIME-Base64 module may be too old,
      Please download and MIME-Base64-3.01.tar.gz in
      and install them to your system.
   2. Your proxy may limit the size of a POST request.
      Try to add attachments with no proxy setting in your browser.
      If you are the administrator of the squid proxy server,
      please set the request_body_max_size option to a larger value.

Q: Attachments disappeared when I forwarded a message?
A: Check permission of the following directories
   cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc          - owner=root, group=mail, mode=755
   cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc/sessions - owner=root, group=mail, mode=771
   cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc/users    - owner=root, group=mail, mode=771

Q: The permission of cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc is correct but attachments
   still disappeared in message forwarding?
A: Hmmm, please upgrade to the latest version.
   Some very old version(1.03,1.04) has little problem in attachment handling.

Q: I can not choose to compose HTML messages?
A: The HTML editor requires
   1. IE5.5+ on windows platform, or
   2. Mozilla 1.3b+ on all platforms

Q: Is it possible to use openwebmail with browser other than IE5.5+
   and Mozilla 1.3b+, e.g.: Opera or old Netscape?
A: If you are using windows platform, then you may install neadroid
   Neptune plug-in, which will add support for IE DHTML to your browser.
   The URL is

   Some discussion of this plug-in is available at;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed

Q: The InserImage, InsertTable popup window don't show with correct charset?
A: This mostly happens with apache web server 2.0 or later.
   Please edit your Apache Configuration file, replace

   AddDefaultCharset ISO-8859-1


   AddDefaultCharset off

Q: The InserImage, InsertTable popup window still show with correct charset
   after I set AddDefaultCharset to off?
A: This is due to the web page cache of your browser.
   Please clean the cache of your browser and try again.


Q: Some of my messages were moved to trash/virus/spam folder automatically?
A: Your messages were either filtered by 'global filter',
   'per user filter' or 'smart filters'.

   Global filter are rules defined in the file global_filterbook
   (global_filterbook is defined as %ow_etcdir%/global_filterbook in
    openwebmail.conf). By default, we will put rules that filters
   know spammer or virus attachments in the global filter file.

   Per user filter are filter rules defined by users themselves.

   Smart filters includes repeatness filter, bad format from filter,
   faked smtp filter, faked from filter and faked exe contenttype filter.

   The 'repeatness filter' will filter messages with same from and subject for
   more than certain times, those messages are often from spammers or virus.

   The 'bad format from filter' will filter messages that have bad-format from
   email address. A from email address is in bad format if
   1. it is started with digits
   2. it contains both digits and dot
   3. it contains characters other than alphabets, digits, dot, dash,

   The 'faked smtp filter' will filter messages that have a faked smtp
   source, those messages are often from spammers.

   The 'faked from filter' will filter messages whose From: field is different
   than the email address in the SMTP envelope address, those messages are
   often generated from virus.

   The 'faked exe contenttype filter' will filter messages that have
   executable attachment with faked contenttype, eg: audio, midi...
   These messages are often generated by viruses, the browser will download
   the attachment because its contenttype is audio and then execute the
   downloaded file because it file extension is exe/com/bat/scr/pif/lnk.

   The three faked xxx filters are default disabled and the default can be
   changed in openwebmail.conf. The user can also enable/disable it in
   the user preference.

Q: What are "messages with faked smtp"?
A: In short, they are messages coming from mail servers that fake their
   name from other machines.

   Where is a message coming from?

   A message sent from machine A to machine B may have 2 cases:
   a. A ---> M1 ---> M2 ---> B (M1, M2 are mail servers)
      In this case, openwebmail use M1 as the from server.
      Since most of the time, A is windows machine using outlook.
   b  A -------------------> B
      In this case, openwebmail use A as the from server.

   How do we know if a from server fakes his name?

   Each host may have 3 names in the mail header:
   $byas - name used by this server when saying hello to incoming connection
   $relay - name used by this server when relaying mail through other host
   $connectfrom - ip and name detected by other hosts resolved from DNS system
                  when receiving connection from this server

   A from host is faking his name if
   a. $byas doesn't equal to $relay, and
   b. $connectfrom doesn't equal to $relay, and
   c. $connectfrom has different domain than the destitution server B, and
   d. $connectfrom is not private IP

Q: I still want the filtered messages, how can I disable faked smtp filter
   and faked exe contenttype filter completely?
A: 1. Set default_filter_fakedsmtp and default_filter_fakedexecontenttype
      to 'no' in openwebmail.conf. This will turn off the two filter for
      all newly created user
   2. Uncheck the faked smtp filter and faked exe contenttype filter option
      in user preference. This will disable the two filters for a specific
   3. you may set 'enable_smartfilter' to 'no' in openwebmail.conf

Q: How can I disable the global filters?
   How can I disable the per user filters?
   How can I disable the smart filters?
A: You may set options like enable_globalfilter, enable_userfilter,
   enable_smartfilter to 'no' in

Q: How can I know which filter rule move my messages?
   How to debug the mailfilter message movement?
A: An option debug_mailfilter is available since openwebmail20050201,
   please set it to yes in openwebmail.conf, and you will see message
   movement detail in logfile

Q: Some of my messages disappeared?
A: Your messages may be removed by the delmail_ifquota feature.

Q: How does the delmail_ifquotahit option work?
   Which message will be removed first?
A: It will clean trash and draft first,
   then remove oldest messages in other folders.
   The removal will stop if the quota size is download to the 90% of user
   quota limit.
ps: The messages in INBOX and user defined folders will be removed only if
    these folders occupy the majority of the mailfolder space.

   Please refer to routine cutfolders in for detail

Q: There were strange characters in the mail filter menu and those rules
   could not be deleted?
A: This is due to the dbmopen() of your perl didn't add the ".db" extension
   automatically, so the ~/ and its index were written to the same
   file. This problem can be fixed by properly setting dbm options.

   perl cgi-bin/openwebmail/misc/test/ [enter]

   and you will get output like this:

   dbm_ext              .db
   dbmopen_ext          none
   dbmopen_haslock      no

   Then put the three lines into your etc/dbm.conf.


Q: Why do I need spamcheck/viruscheck in openwebmail?
   Isn't it better to do these checks in MTA or mail deliver?
A: You may need spamcheck/viruscheck in openwebmail for two reasons:
   1. filter mechanism in MTA or mail deliver won't check messages that
      are fetched from remote pop3 servers
   2. Spam filters in MTA won't do personalized filtering.

ps: While Spam filters in local deliver can do personalized filtering,
    it won't check outgoing messages.
    So we suggest install the Spam and Virus filter in MTA level,
    (so both incoming and outgoing will be checked for spam and virus)
    then enable the spamcheck for all messages in openwebmail
    (so user can train the spam filter according to his own preference)
    and enable viruscheck for pop3 messages in openwebmail
    (so user won't get infected messages from remote pop3 servers)

Q: What is the difference between pop3 and all when setting option
   viruscheck_source and spamcheck_source?
A: If check source is set to pop3, pop3 messages are checked after fetching
   and the result is append as X-OWM-... in message header.

   If check source is set to all, pop3 messages are checked after fetching,
   and the result is append as X-OWM-... in message header.

   For messages without the X-OWM-... headers, which means they are not
   fetched from pop3 servers, and they will be checked when user want
   to browse the message list of the INBOX folder.

Q: What is the order of the processing of viruscheck, spamcheck, global filter,
   perl user filter and smart filter?
A: viruscheck -> filter rules (including global and user filter rules) -> spamcheck -> smart filters

Q: The spamcheck is very slow, even there are only few messages in INBOX?
A: Please be sure you have start the spamd with --local option

Q: The spamcheck is still slow even with --local option?
A: Your server may be not fast enough to do the viruschecking or spamchecking
   for all messages, please change the viruscheck_source_allowed and
   spamcheck_source_allowed to pop3, and try to add viruscheck/spamcheck
   to your mail system in MTA level or mail deliver.

Q: My spamcheck/viruscheck/learnspam doesn't work?
   I see spamcheck/viruscheck/learnspam error in openwebmail.log?
A: Please be sure your system has installed the spamassassin and clamav,
   then test spamc, sa-lean, clamdscan with the argument defined in pipecmd
   in openwebmail.conf.
ps:You should do the test in both root and non-root account.

Q: I have disabled spamcheck/viruscheck feature,
   but the Virus and Spam folder exist in my folder list?
A: you have to set option has_virusfolder_by_default and
   has_spamfolder_by_default to 'no'

Q: I have set option has_virusfolder_by_default and has_spamfolder_by_default
   to 'no', the Virus and Spam folders still exist.
A: When the two options are set to 'no', it only means openwebmail doesn't
   treat them as default folders. (In other words, openwebmail won't creat
   them automatically if they doesn't exist)
   However, openwebmail will still list them if they already exist in
   ~user/mail/ after you change the options to 'no', so you may have to remove
   the ~user/mail/spam-mail and ~user/mail/virus-mail manually.


Q: Most functions work fine, but I could not send message.
   I got "Can't locate Net/ in @INC ..." error?
   I got "Internal server error"?
A: Please install the libnet-1.19.tar.gz, this is required since
   openwebmail 1.60.

Q: I am sure the sendmail was running up on my mail server, but I got
   "Couldn't open SMTP server" error when sending messages?
A: Your sendmail may be configured to listen on the server_ip:25 only,
   it didn't listen on
   You can either

   a. override the option smtpserver in openwebmail.conf and
      set it to your server_ip

   b. modify the and find the following line

   O DaemonPortOptions=Port=smtp,Addr=x.x.x.x, Name=MTA
   (where x.x.x.x is the server_ip)

   Please change the x.x.x.x to to make sendmail
   listen on all IPs binding on the server network interfaces.

Q: I still got the "Couldn't open SMTP server" error?
A: Please check the permission of your /etc/protocols and /etc/services,
   it should be 0644. (-rw-r--r--)

Q: I got 'Sorry, there was a problem sending your message' error?
A: a. Please check if smtpserver option in openwebmail.conf points to valid
      SMTP server, its default is ''. If you set it to name of some
      other SMTP server, please be sure the SMTP server allows mails relayed
      from your host.
   b. When SMTP server is set to, please be sure the hosts.allow
      has the following entry

      sendmail : localhost : allow

Q: Does openwebmail support SASL authentication on SMTP?
A: Yes, but only the PLAIN type authentication is supported.
   The username/password will be encoded with base64, so it is not very secure.
   To enable the SASL authentication:
   1. set option smtpauth to yes in openwebmail.conf
   2. set the smtpauth_username, smtpauth_password in smtpauth.conf


Q: The autoreply function doesn't work?
A: An incoming message won't be replied by if
   1. the destinated username has entries defined in /etc/alias which causes
      the mail routed to another account without calling
   2. the destinated username doesn't not appear as an recipient in To: or Cc:
   3. this message is sent by the destinated username himself

   If your message is not in the above 3 cases, please be sure that
   vacationinit and vacationpipe in openwebmail.conf have pointed to the
   path where the vacation program is.

   If the path is correct, you can do debug with the -d option

   1. add the '-d' parameter to the vacationpipe in openwebmail.conf
      like below

      vacationpipe  /usr/local/www/cgi-bin/openwebmail/ -d -t60s

   2. choose a user, enable his autoreply in openwebmail user preference
   3. check the ~user/.forward file, the '-d' option should appear after
   4. send a message to this user to test the autoreply
   5. check the /tmp/vacation.debug for possible error information

Q: When I enable autoreply feature, others get "Returned mail: see
   transcript for details" instead of my autoreply message?
A: Your sendmail may be configured with Sendmail Restricted SHell or smrsh. file needs to be added to smrsh.

   If you are using RedHat 7.1, you may link to /etc/smrsh/

   cd /etc/smrsh
   ln -s /var/www/cgi-bin/openwebmail/ /etc/smrsh/
   (thanks to Emir Litric,


Q: When I clicked 'spell check' button, I got "Internal Server error" in new
A: 1. Please upgrade your openwebmail to 2003/11/16 or later.
   2. If you are using C wrappers for suid scripts on Solaris,
      please recompile you perl with suid enabled instead of using
      the C wrappers.
      (thanks to Isam Ishaq,
   3. Please check the apache error log for more information

Q: I can use aspell for spelling check, but personal dictionary doesn't work?
A: 1. Please upgrade your openwebmail to 2003/11/16 or later.
   2. If you are using aspell, please be sure your homedir is group readable.
      Yes, this is strange, but it seems aspell need this.
      (thanks Scott A. Mazur,
   3. If you don't want to change the directory permission.
      Please set option has_savedsuid_support to 'no' in etc/suid.conf
   4. If you don't want to set option either, you may try to use ispell
      instead of aspell

Q: Why is a suid root program?
A: Because it needs to read the preference file, ~/.openwebmai/openwebmailrc
   of different users to get their language and dictionary setting.

Q: I got "Too many arguments for MIME::QuotedPrint::encode_qp"?
A: Your MIME module is too old, please install the MIME-Base64-3.01.tar.gz.

Q: The content of my global addressbook is gone after I upgrade my openwebmail?
A: No, it is still there.

   The filename, location and format of openwebmail addressbook has been changes
   since 2.41-20041030. While user personal addressbooks will be converted
   automatically at user login, the global addressbook will be converted only if
   it is specified by sysadm explicitly.

   To convert the global addressbook:

   cd your_cgi-bin/openwebmail -c

Q: Can I have multiple personal addressbooks?
A: Yes, each user can create as many addressbooks as he want through the
   addressbooks web management menu

Q: Can I have multiple global addressbooks?
A: Yes, but this could not be done in web interface,
   you have to goto directory specified by option ow_addressbooksdir
   (eg: cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc/addressbooks)
   then use 'touch new_addressbooks_filename' to create empty global addressbook.
   Be sure the permission is right so other users can read it.

Q: Can I edit the global addressbooks?
   Which user can edit global addressbooks?
A: Yes, if the option abook_globaleditable is set to yes
   and the user has enough privilege to write the global addressbook file,
   then he can add, delete or modify the contacts within that gobal addressbook.


Q: Everything works fine, but I got timeout when clicking the calendar button?
A: Please check your apache error log if it has lines like below:

   [...] Use of uninitialized value in subroutine entry
   at /usr/lib/perl5/5.8.0/i386-linux-thread-multi/ line xxx.

   If yes, please search the RUNTIME ERROR section with keyword

Q: The email notification for calendar event doesn't work?
A: You need to use in crontab to check the calendar
   events for sending the notification emails. For example:

   0 */2 * * * /usr/local/www/cgi-bin/openwebmail/ -a -n -q

   The above line will use to check the calendar
   events for all users every two hours. Please note we use this
   frequency because the default value of option calendar_email_notifyinterval
   is 120 (minute). You have to set the crontab according to your


Q: Can I use openwebmail with SSL?
A: yes. just https:// instead of http:// for the URL of webmail

Q: I got "site not found" or "could not connect to the server" error?
A: Yes, openwebmail can work with SSL.
   The error is due to IE doesn't do keepalives correctly when using SSL.

   Please add the following line to your Apache configuration for SSL
   (or VirtualHost container)

   SetEnvIf User-Agent ".*MSIE.*" nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown
   (thanks to Happy Camper,

Q: Can I use openwebmail with SSL on multiple virtual domains on one server?
A: Since apache only allow SSL for one virtual domain, you can have only one
   https url. To use virtual domain other than the one specified in https,
   you have to specify the virtual domain in URL when link to login webpage
   (thanks to for his code)


Q: The help tutorial doesn't show with correct charset?
A: This mostly happens with apache web server 2.0 or later.
   Please edit your Apache Configuration file, replace

   AddDefaultCharset ISO-8859-1


   AddDefaultCharset off

Q: The DayLight Saving option in user preference doesn't work,
   messages in folders still have wrong date in folderlist view?
A: This is due to those messages were parsed at the time that DST option
   was set to wrong value, the problem could be solved by

   1. set DST to auto
   2. goto folder management
   3. choose 'recreate index' for your folders.

ps: This could be quite time-consuming if you have large folder,
    you may do it with in background.

Q: Is the 'filename search' in webdisk case sensitive or case insensitive?
A: If the 'find' command in your unix supports -iname, the search will be
   case insensitive. Or it will be case sensitive.

Q: Why the 'content search' in webdisk searches files in current directory
A: The file content search is done with the unix command 'grep'.
   If the 'grep' in your unix supports -r, the search will search current
   directory and all its sub directories recursively. Or it will search files
   in current directory only.

Q: The ssh terminal in openwebmail supports SSH1 only?
A: Yes. The ssh terminal support in openwebmail is actually done with the
   MindTerm package from The bundled MindTerm is 1.21,
   which is the latest GPLed release but quite old.

   You may install MindTerm version 2.3.1 from, which
   supports both SSH1 and SSH2. Please refer to
   data/openwebmail/applet/mindterm2/INSTALL.MINDTERM2 for more detail.


Q: Will it speedup the login if the GNU copyright page is removed?
A: The GNU copyright page should be displayed for less than 1 second.
   if you see it for a very long time after you login, then openwebmail
   is busy in processing your INBOX folder (eg: mail indexing, filtering,
   trash cleaning..)

Q: My openwebmail is slow, how can I make it faster?
A: You may try to use Open WebMail with the SpeedyCGI package, you will
   get about 5x-10x speedup. Please refer to the readme.txt with keyword
   SpeedyCGI for more detail.

Q: How SpeedyCGI speeds up Open WebMail?
A: SpeedyCGI makes Open WebMail resident in memory at the first request,
   then the following requests will be served immediately without the
   overhead of starting perl CGI.

   This resident copy will terminate if it is idle for a certain time,
   the default is 3600 seconds (1 hour)
   You can set this with -t option in the Open WebMail scripts.

   eg: #!/usr/bin/speedy -T -- -t7200

Q: Will the resident Open Webmail become larger and larger and finally
   a memory hog?
A: No. We have tried our best to remove any memory leak from Open WebMail.
   And a resident CGI will be restarted after it has served certain
   number of requests. The default maxrun number is 500.
   You can set this with -r option in the Open WebMail scripts.

   eg: #!/usr/bin/speedy -T -- -t7200 -r250

Q: Some files of name like 'speedy.10.0.50.S' appear in my system /tmp?
A: They are the temporary files used by speedy and its backend program.
   Please don't remove them. If you hope to put them in other location,
   You can set the prefix of temporary files with -T option

   eg: #!/usr/bin/speedy -T -- -t7200 -r250 -T/var/tmp/.speedy

Q: Open WebMail is fast when it is resident in memory, but the firsttime
   startup delay is still long, is it possible to hide that delay from user?
A: You can use the script to preload openwebmail scripts,
   so the webmail user won't see the startup delay.

1. through web interface
   Please refer to for default password and how to change it.

2. through command line or you can put the following line in crontab
   to preload the most frequently used scripts into memory

   0 * * * *	/usr/local/www/cgi-bin/openwebmail/ -q

   If your machine has a lot of memory, you may choose to preload all
   openwebmail scripts

   0 * * * *	/usr/local/www/cgi-bin/openwebmail/ -q --all

Q: I got "connect error" when using
A: The tries to connect the webmail server on localhost.
   Please check if your webserver is binding on localhost or
   change the variable $httphost in

Q: How do I know if my Open WebMail is running under SpeedyCGI?
A: 1. Goto the user preference and click the 'about' button,
      if you see word 'Persistence' appear in the line of webmail,
      then your openwebmail is running under SpeedyCGI
   2. Check the top of webmail page window border,
      if you see a '+' appear after  the 'Open WebMail' string,
      then the page is generated under SpeedyCGI.

Q: I saw a HTTP compression checkbox in login screen, what is it used for?
A: When it is checked, web pages generated by Open WebMail will be
   transmitted in gzip compressed format, this greatly reduces the time
   required for page download.

   This is very useful for users with slow connection. An rough experiment
   showed that the compressed format is about only 10% in size compared with
   the original web page.

Q: I could not check the HTTP compression checkbox, it is always disabled?
A: The HTTP compression feature won't be available if any one of the three
   components (web server, web proxy, web browser) doesn't support HTTP

   To enable the HTTP compression support:

   1. Please install the Compress-Zlib-1.33.tar.gz on openwebmail server
   2. Please enable "HTTP 1.1 support for direct connection" in your browser
   3. If your connect to openwebmail server through proxy server,
      please enable "HTTP 1.1 support over proxy" in your browser.
   4. If the proxy server doesn't support HTTP 1.1,
      please list your openwebmail server in exclusion table of proxy setting
      in your browser.

Q: How do I know if my Open WebMail is running with HTTP compression enabled?
A: 1. Goto the user preference and click the 'about' button,
      if you see word 'HTTP Compression' appear in the line of webmail,
      then your openwebmail is running with HTTP compression enabled
   2. Check the top of webmail page window border,
      if you see a 'z' appear after  the 'Open WebMail' string,
      then the page is generated with HTTP compression enabled.

Q: Openwebmail uses lot of static images.
   How can I avoid them being loaded frequently?
   How can I extend the cache expire time for the static images?
A: Most web servers will set expire time in http header for static objects
   based on their file date and the time the files are accessed.

   If you would like to set the expire time explicitly:

   Please add the following line to the end of your Apache configuration

   <Directory "/usr/local/www/data/openwebmail">
      ExpiresActive On
      ExpiresByType image/gif A86400
      ExpiresByType image/png A86400
      ExpiresByType image/jpg A86400
      ExpiresByType application/x-javascript A86400

   The above lines set an expire time to one day for jpg, gif, png and
   javascript files under openwebmail from the time they are accessed.

   ps: Don't forget to change the above /usr/local/www/data/openwebmail
       to where your openwebmail data locates.

Q: Any other way to get more speedup?
A: You may try the thttpd at,
   here are some words from their web site :)

   "thttpd is a simple, small, portable, fast, and secure HTTP server"

   "It also has a very small run-time size, since it does not fork and
    is very careful about memory allocation. "

   "In typical use it's about as fast as the best full-featured servers
    (Apache, NCSA, Netscape). Under extreme load it's much faster."

   Please refer to doc/thttpd.txt for some installation tips.


Q: What will happen at webmail server if I click the stop key in browser?
A: When the stop key is pressed, the browser will close its connection to
   the httpd on webmail server. While httpd detects this immediately,
   what will httpd do to the CGI process is implementation dependent.
   Basically, httpd will close the pipes to CGI process and terminate the
   CGI process.

   Below is our observation on apache 1.3.26 on FreeBSD.

   The apache httpd won't terminate nor close the connection to the CGI
   process until the CGI process sends output to its stdout. This gives
   the chance to CGI process to finish its job in a more graceful way.

   When httpd receives some data from CGI process stdout (which actually
   pipes to stdin of httpd), the httpd will send a 'TERM' signal to CGI
   process, close the pipes to CGI process, then kill the CGI process.

   The situation is a little bit different if the CGI program is running
   with SpeedyCGI. From the point of view of httpd, the speedycgi frontend
   is the CGI process, so the frontend will be terminated as the above
   when it tries to pass the data coming from the speedy_backend to httpd.
   The data is result generated by real CGI process forked by speedy_backend.

   When the speedy_backend detects the termination of the speedy frontend,
   it will close the pipes to the real CGI process, but won't send TERM
   signal to it nor kill it.

   In both case (without or with speedycgi), the CGI process will get a
   signal PIPE if it tries to output data to stdout after the related
   pipe has been closed.

   Now, what openwebmail do with this?
   Since version 2.00, all stdout output code has been move to the end of the
   request processing in openwebmail, this ensures the data being processed
   will be always in a complete state and not terminated because of PIPE error.

Q: How is the domain of a login user determined?
A: It is determined in the following order
   (the earlier one has higher precedence)
   1. from the login name
      eg: the user logined with username@virtualdomain
   2. from the parameter 'logindomain' specified in login page url
      eg: the login page was linked with
   3. from the servername specified in the login page url
      eg: the login page was linked with

Q: How does the delfile_ifquotahit option work?
   Which file will be removed first?
A: It will remove the oldest files or directories under the webdiskrootdir
   (webdiskrootdir is default to / of user homedir, but you can change it).
   The removal will stop if the quota size is download to the 90% of user
   quota limit.

Q: What is the difference between 'Forward', 'ForwardAsAtt', 'ForwardAsOrig'
A: If A send msg1 to B,
   and B forward this msg as msg2 to B

   the subject of msg2 will be the subject of msg1 with a prefix "Fw:".
   msg2 will have all attachments and content of msg1,
   and headers of msg1 will be put into the body msg2 as content

   the subject of msg2 will be the subject of msg1 with a prefix "Fw:".
   msg2 body will be empty
   and the raw format of msg1 will be become an attachment of msg2.

   the subject, body and attachments of msg2 will exactly the same as msg1.
   the replyto header of msg2 will be set to A.
   So in case C replies the msg2, the reply will go back to A

Q: When I checked 'edit folder menu', I found some folders were empty but
   took disk space?
A: The disk space occupied by a folder shown in 'edit folder menu' includes
   the size of a folder and its index. Though folder is empty, the folder
   index still has some data structure to maintain.


Q: How can I move old messages in my mail client into openwebmail folders?
A: a. If your mail client program supports IMAP and your mail server has
      imapd installed, you may move old messages in the mail client to
      remote folders on mail server through the IMAP protocol.
      Be sure to put the folders under ~/mail so openwebmail can find them
   b. Some mail client stores or can export messages into unix mbox format
      folder file.(eg: Eudora) You can just upload the mbox file to the
      ~/mail/ and openwebmail will find them automatically.

   ps: If your folder file is in dos text format, you may need use the
       following command to stripe out the \r at each end of line.

       perl -pi -e "s/\r\n/\n/" folderfile

Q: How can I upgrade from old version of Open Webmail?
A: Each version of openwebmail is made to be backward compatible with
   old ones, no user setting or mail message will be lost after upgrade.
   The upgrade steps:
   1. make a copy of your old openwebmail.conf
   2. install new openwebmail in the same location as old version
   3. update the new openwebmail.conf with the setting in old one.

Q: How can I report problem?
A: If your Open WebMail doesn't work, please post your problem on
   openwebmail forum
   with the following information

   Perl Version
   your openwebmail.conf
   the ls -l of the perl executable used in your
   the ls -l of your cgi-bin/openwebmail and cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc
   the ls -la of the ~user/mail/
   the error message in your browser
   the error message in your http server error log
   the error message in openwebmail.log
   you browser name & version
   do you enable speedycgi?
   do you set any proxy server in browser?

   If your Open WebMail works but it shows strange output for some messages,
   please forward the message as an attachment to us
   ps: clicking the 'forward as attachment' icon in message reading menu

Q: How can I debug the Open WebMail by myself?
A: First, you can try to set option error_with_debuginfo to yes in
   openwebmail.conf. This would give you more detailed information in case
   openwebmailerror() happens.

   Second, if you want to have a stack trace of how openwebmail is running,
   you may use the misc/test/ to add debugging code to openwebmail

   1. cd cgi-bin/openwebmail/
   2. perl misc/test/ *pl

   Then use openwebmail as normal, all sub routine calls will be logged into
   /tmp/openwebmail.debug with timestamp. It should be helpful in debugging.

   While you finish the debugging, you have to use misc/test/ to
   remove debugging code from those scripts
   1. cd cgi-vin/openwebmail/
   2. perl misc/test/ *pl

   Third, you may try to add lines like below to openwebmail scripts to log
   some runtime information to /tmp/openwebmail.debug

   ow::tool::log_time(ow::tool::stacktrace("$variablename and some other string"));

Q: Can I specify the composemessage menu as the openwebmail default?
A: You can call the openwebmail with url

Q: Can I specify the calendar month view as the openwebmail default?
A: You can call the openwebmail with url

Q: Can I specify the calendar day view as the openwebmail default?
A: You can call the openwebmail with url

Q: Can I specify the webdisk as the openwebmail default?
A: You can call the openwebmail with url

Q: Can I call openwebmail from my programs with username/password specified?
A: this is a little dangerous since the loginname and password will
   be displayed on the URL line of the user's browser.

   You can call the openwebmail with url
   or even with action specified

ps: Openwebmail supports autologin since 2004/06/01, users doesn't have to
    input username/password at login if he didn't logout his previous session
    and that previous session is not timeouted.

Q: Can I get the mail/event status of a user before he logins openwebmail?
   How can I get the username before user really types it?
A: If a user has ever successfully logined into openwebmail, the loginname
   will be stored to cookie "ow-loginname" at the browser side.
   The following CGI script demonstrates how to use this information.
use CGI qw(-private_tempfiles :standard);
print "Content-type: text/html\n\n";
my $info;
my $loginname = cookie("ow-loginname");
$loginname=~s/[^\w\d\.\-\%\@]//g;	# remove dangerous char
if ($loginname ne "") {
   $info=`/usr/local/www/cgi-bin/openwebmail/ -m -e $loginname`;
print $info;

Q: I already have a web application XYZ which would do authentication on user,
   how can I integrate openwebmail with it so the user of XYZ doesn't need to
   login again when click the openwebmail link?
A: All you have to do is writing an for openwebmail.

   The should check if the user USERNAME has already logined into
   application XYZ by verifying related session file or cookies.
   If yes, routine check_userpassword() in should return 1;
   if not, the routine should return 0

   Then you specify auth_XYZ,pl as authentication module in openwebmail.conf
   And the link to call the should be

ps: you may modify the check_userpassword() in auth module that you already
    use in openwebmail as a start.

Q: How can I setup IE to trigger Open WebMail compose window when I click
   a "mailto:someone@somehost" link?
   How can I set Open Webmail as the default mail client?
A: In Windows Explorer, if you go to Tools -> Folder Options, click on the
   File Types tab. In the window that appears, scroll down the list to the
   entry for  "URL:MailTo Protocol".  Highlight URL:MailTo and click edit.

   Choose to edit the action for open.  By default it probably has a
   command to open Outlook Express (or your default email client).
   Change the Application to read:
   "C:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe" http://your_server/cgi-bin/openwebmail/

   This will make Windows open Internet Explorer and go directly to the .pl
   page and login with the specified user and pass.

   (Thanks to Mike Andrews,

   If you hope to goto the compose window directly
   with the email address put in the To field,
   please use the following open string instead

   "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" http://your_server/cgi-bin/openwebmail/

   (Thanks to Sergiy Zubatiy,

Q: How can I set an alias/redirection/link to the openwebmail script so users
   can use openwebmail with a shorter url?
A: Please create a file, index.html, like below. Either a or b is okay.
   Then put this index.html to the location mapped by the url you want.
   <meta http-equiv="Refresh"
   <body onload=

   ps: An example redirect html is available at the

Q: Can I install openwebmail without root privilege?
A: Yes, try the Some information is available in it.

Q: Can Open WebMail be used with mod_perl?
A: No, the most reason is mod_perl can't be used for setuid program.
   But Open Webmail works great in persistent mode with SpeedyCGI.
   It is very fast too.

Q: Does Open WebMail support maildir and vpop3mail user by Qmail?
A: The official release does still not support maildir, however,
   Laurent Frigault, has made patched
   Open WebMail 2.01 to support maildir. It is available at

Q: Will maildir be merged to official release of Open WebMail?
A: Yes, but we need to reorganization the code of openwebmail first
   so the maildir patch could be merged into smoothly.
   This would take some time...

Q: Can Openwebmail do xxx function or have yyy control option?
A: The best way to know all features of openwebmail is to check the
   cgi-bin/openwebmail/etc/ Please check it.

Q: Can I use Open WebMail in a commercial web site?
A: Yes. Portions of Open WebMail are GPLed software (please see copyright.txt for
   detail of GPL). You can distribute/use/modify/sell it freely ONLY IF

   a. The GPL Copyright page must be kept untouched.
   b. Any improvement of Open WebMail or any product based on Open WebMail
      must be released to the public for free in source form if it is not for
      internal use.
   c. Products based on Open Webmail must be also distributed under GPL.

   New code added after 20080227 is a complete re-write of the OpenWebMail system
   and is licensed under the BSD License (please see LICENSE.txt for details of
   the BSD License). You can do almost anything you like with the BSD licensed code,
   provided you properly credit the project.