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Installation instructions for qmail UNIX
I have posted instructions on how to install qmail for OS X.

Not for the faint of heart. You should have a good reason for needing qmail before proceeding. Also, because I'm unsure whether it is safe to have the qmail queue installed under HFS+, you might not wish to proceed unless you have a UFS filesystem on your machine.

That being said, the instructions should work. At least, they did for me with the minimal testing I did. As usual, your milage may very.
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Installation instructions for qmail | 11 comments | Create New Account
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Other DJB tools
Authored by: melo on Jul 09, '02 12:38:06PM

I also installed qmail on my Ti 800... Works great, it's on HFS+. But I only use it to send mail out. No incoming.

I also use daemontools 0.76, qmail uses it to start. Works great also.

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Not for the faint of heart
Authored by: bluehz on Jul 09, '02 11:45:48PM

I have been wrestling with a new install of Qmail for over a week now on a Linux box I use as a front end to my internal OS X LAN and I can tell you - it is defintely not for the fain of heart. The installation is fairly straightforward assuming you follow printed instuctions. Thats not the problem as much as the configuration is. There are numerous config files, etc scattered throughout and they all have to be modified per installation. On top of that there are VOLUMES of information on the subject - so much so that its impossible to take it all in and get a good grasp on the subject. I finally got my install working using virtual domains - which is actually what I wanted anyway since I am using a dyndns address on a static cable modem acct. That part works great - but I stil haven't managed to get it to simply deliver mail to the local users (e.g. root, etc.). If you wish to continue after heeding the warnings of "complex install ahead" - there are two great resources of info (albeit voluminous):

Life With Qmail


Linux and OS X are VERY similar so the install should be similar too. I personally used the Qmail-Toaster method to install - copy and paste the code.

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Not for the faint of heart
Authored by: bluehz on Jul 10, '02 01:27:50AM

I actually managed to get my local users working now - using the WebMin interface. I much prefer the hardcore terminal editing - but I must have been missing something - as tinkering with it in Webmin fixed it up. I am not sure I actually have it working properly as I have it delivering to a virtual domain setup for the machine (dyndns address)via aliases for teh local users, eg root. It works though.

Couple of things I might recommend for administration:

includes Qmail module, extra module availble in Modules section on site

Simple web page interface for adding users, adding mailing list, etc. Come sin quite handy.

Ezmlm < site goes down freq
Qmail compatible mailing list manager

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QMail very stable!
Authored by: heavyboots on Jul 10, '02 02:57:56AM

Actually, I did this on my G4/533 box in January using a patch someone else created for OS X. Since I don't know the contents of the patch, I can't say it's exactly the same install as this but FWIW I'm using qmail to send a monthly newsletter to about 230,000 users on a really annoyingly huge mailing list (the bittersweet fruit of requiring people to register before they can use our free educational materials). Qmail is great for this! I work off the G4 all week long while it sends email in the background and I've really never noticed any load difference while it's sending, although the DNS not found message from lookupd pops up pretty frequently.

I'm curious to see if I can apply the patch instructions to ezmlm. Last time I tried to install that, I got it up and running but whenever you added/deleted someone to a mailing list they were always added or deleted *twice*. As I was basically a unix newb about 12 months ago, I gave up pretty fast on trying to figure out why that would be. Unfortunately, qmail will only send to a list of about 3000 people at a shot so I have to split the mailing list into 3k chunks and then run a little shell script to send the newsletter to each chunk. It would be great if I could actually get ezmlm running.

And yes, this is a real live unsubscribable newsletter, not a spam. :-)

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One more qmail update
Authored by: heavyboots on Jul 10, '02 08:57:45PM

Okay, the tutorial and patch I used were from:

I still have the same problem with ezmlm--it isn't double-subscribing, it is *double-sending*. So each subscriber gets two copies of any message I send out still... oh well. If anyone knows a way around this, I'd be happy to hear it!


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One more qmail update
Authored by: pfig on Dec 27, '02 11:17:14PM


thanks for your instructions and files, the perl program to create the users and groups is a real time-saver!

on top of your instructions, i would add:
'change INSTALL to INSTALL.txt in hier.c and install-big.c'

sorry, it's late, not in the mood for a diff :)



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Authored by: sharrissf on Oct 02, '03 07:07:00PM

One strangeness I noticed is that I can't find qmailctl anywhere despite it being referenced heavily in the qmail book? Anyone else have this issue?

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Authored by: bluehz on Oct 03, '03 08:32:48AM
Here is the qmailctl file I use on my Linux qmail install. It is actually for RedHat, and I think I modified it slightly for my Slackware Linux install. This is also setup to use daemontools (hence the svc, svstat, etc)


# For Red Hat chkconfig
# chkconfig: - 30 80
# description: the qmail MTA

export PATH

QMAILDUID=`id -u qmaild`
NOFILESGID=`id -g qmaild`

case "$1" in
    echo "Starting qmail"
    if svok /service/qmail-send ; then
      svc -u /service/qmail-send
      echo qmail-send service not running
    if svok /service/qmail-smtpd ; then
      svc -u /service/qmail-smtpd
      echo qmail-smtpd service not running
    if [ -d /var/lock/subsys ]; then
      touch /var/lock/subsys/qmail
    echo "Stopping qmail..."
    echo "  qmail-smtpd"
    svc -d /service/qmail-smtpd
    echo "  qmail-send"
    svc -d /service/qmail-send
    if [ -f /var/lock/subsys/qmail ]; then
      rm /var/lock/subsys/qmail
    svstat /service/qmail-send
    svstat /service/qmail-send/log
    svstat /service/qmail-smtpd
    svstat /service/qmail-smtpd/log
    echo "Sending ALRM signal to qmail-send."
    svc -a /service/qmail-send
    echo "Sending HUP signal to qmail-send."
    svc -h /service/qmail-send
    echo "Pausing qmail-send"
    svc -p /service/qmail-send
    echo "Pausing qmail-smtpd"
    svc -p /service/qmail-smtpd
    echo "Continuing qmail-send"
    svc -c /service/qmail-send
    echo "Continuing qmail-smtpd"
    svc -c /service/qmail-smtpd
    echo "Restarting qmail:"
    echo "* Stopping qmail-smtpd."
    svc -d /service/qmail-smtpd
    echo "* Sending qmail-send SIGTERM and restarting."
    svc -t /service/qmail-send
    echo "* Restarting qmail-smtpd."
    svc -u /service/qmail-smtpd
    echo "Ran /home/vpopmail/bin/clearopensmtp."

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Installation instructions for qmail
Authored by: nissaba on Mar 04, '03 08:55:02AM

I tryed the double clikable installer that was on apple os x download page.

It make full of errors:

Creating /var/qmail directory:

Creating QMAIL users and groups:
MANPATH: Undefined variable.
groupadd: unable to find/use niutil
MANPATH: Undefined variable.
groupadd: unable to find/use niutil
useradd: ERROR Group 'nofiles' does not exist
useradd: ERROR Group 'nofiles' does not exist
useradd: ERROR Group 'nofiles' does not exist
useradd: ERROR Group 'nofiles' does not exist
useradd: ERROR Group 'qmail' does not exist
useradd: ERROR Group 'qmail' does not exist
useradd: ERROR Group 'qmail' does not exist

Copying QMAIL StartupItem Script...

Copying QMAIL Xinetd SMTP Receive Script....

Initalizing QMAIL make Install...
install: fatal: unable to read SENDMAIL: file does not exist

Setting default Alias mailboxes...

Setting QMail to Auto-start as your Default MTA...
Moving SendMail out of the way...
Linking QMail to SendMail files...
ln: /private/var/qmail/rc: File exists

updating /etc/hostconfig...
31 lines read from /etc/hostconfig
Done updating /etc/hostconfig...

Your QMAIL server is installed and will start at reboot...
To add users or Configure QMail please use the tool Webmin get it at:

Would you like me to Reboot your system for you NOW? (y or n)

I don't know why it not even capable of changing the MANPATH, My os 10.2 says the MANPATH does not exist?? whats up wit x.2???

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Installation instructions for qmail
Authored by: voldenuit on Oct 03, '03 03:57:20PM

oreillynet just started a series of articles on just that; qmail with lots of features on OS X:

It is really a pity that the extremely talented djb also has, well, an attitude. People sueing the US of A on crypto-issues ( ) can't be entirely bad. However, probably to keep his brilliant code clean from the patching hands of the unwashed masses, he invented his own "nearly" Free Software license.

If qmail and friends lived with a real Free Software license, there might be a little bit less magic in the code, but you would not be stuck with a release several years old and a wild collection of incompatible patches...

From a "religious" point of view, there are striking similarities in the worlds Apple and djb live in:

- both have arguably better technical solutions that have a hard time to win out in the market for home-made reasons
- they tend to favor the "invented here" over slightly less brilliant solutions from elsewhere

However, while Apple is all about user interface tolerating a little bug here and there (10.2.8), djb is all about securely running code and the extremely terse information it comes with is probably one of the most genuine examples of unix geek-for-geeks documentation, fail to understand a sentence and be lost.

That said, it still is an extremely beautiful, bulletproof piece of software that has already done things for me other MTAs simply can't...

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Installation instructions for qmail
Authored by: elench on Oct 11, '03 08:19:08PM

[Managbey:~/qmail-1.03] csh% sudo make setup check
./install: line 1: syntax error near unexpected token `(a'
./install: line 1: `SAVE COPIES OF YOUR OUTGOING MAIL! Like any other piece of software (and'
make: *** [setup] Error 2
[Managbey:~/qmail-1.03] csh%

any ideas its not in Makefile or install.c

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