Projects / DBMAIL


The DBMAIL package replaces the normal UNIX mailing system. All email and user data is stored in a database. You can create an unlimited number of email accounts, which can be checked using the POP3 or IMAP protocol. Users can maintain their own set of email addresses. It is more scalable, more secure, and faster than traditional mail systems. DBMAIL has storage drivers for PostgreSQL and MySQL, and it has authentication drivers for PostgreSQL, MySQL, and LDAP.

Operating Systems

Recent releases

  •  06 Sep 2010 12:37

    Release Notes: Using bind=* will crash on accept. Slow IMAP results and high CPU usage when message_idnr is very big were fixed. The IMAP daemon no longer uses 100% CPU if a file is attached to mail a message. The IMAP daemon now sends ')\r\n' after a message. IMAP-ID capability was added to the IMAP daemon.

    •  02 Nov 2007 22:57

      Release Notes: Text with unknown encoding is better converted to UTF-8, and character sets are correctly handled for IMAP SEARCH. The IMAP IDLE command is now allowed at any time, improving Outlook compatibility. A BSD build error was corrected.

      •  03 Jun 2007 11:12

        Release Notes: This release features greatly improved handling of UTF8 email, has many fixes for IMAP protocol errors, and resolves a number of serious memory leaks. A new feature was added to dbmail-export to allow fine-grained message selection and post-export deletion.

        •  12 Mar 2007 20:56

          Release Notes: This release resolves several regressions and long-standing but subtle IMAP compliance issues, and introduces ~ expansion for SQLite database paths, suddenly allowing great horizontal scalability (at the expense of any #Users and #Public namespaces). dbmail-export sometimes produced upside-down messages (body first, then headers), the Recent flag was not cleared correctly, IMAP SEARCH LARGER and SEARCH SMALLER did not work, proper handling and logging of a full /tmp filesystem, and higher level logging of messages returned due to quota limits have all been fixed.

          •  28 Feb 2007 20:04

            Release Notes: The major bugfixes in this release relate to PostgreSQL query errors in certain database encodings, causing some messages to remain in the MTA queue until they are returned to sender. All DBMail/PostgreSQL users should upgrade. Two user-facing changes are that dbmail-users now has a -n switch for dry-run mode, and dbmail.conf now has two new entries: encoding and default_msg_encoding. Empty convenience libraries are no longer installed for unbuilt modules. A wider tolerance is allowed for some unusual email addresses. Several small protocol glitches in IMAP and POP3 daemons are fixed.

            Recent comments

            24 Nov 2009 13:05 scoop


            if you have any interest in taking over maintenance of this freshmeat record, feel free to click the "Request ownership" link in the box in the right column. It'd be a pleasure to assign ownership directly to you.


            24 Nov 2009 12:46 pjstevns

            For those of you seeing this page and start wondering...

            DBMail is very much alive and doing well, thank you. The person who created the freshmeat entry is *not* the author. Any posts about 'author not answering' are bollocks, since I (being the main author for quite some time already) do very much answer all queries about DBMail.

            Please go to for more information.


            20 Mar 2007 02:52 lelik76

            Still a beta, this is not a stable product
            Please keep in mind this program is very unstable and code quality is very low. It is impossible to install (a debian package) or run it. For example, debian installer fails to create user/group, and then choown fails during install. Log directories are created with invalid permissions. Once I rebuilt the package and installed it, it kept crashing (seg fault). If you look in a source, they have following fragment at start of each daemon:

            serverConfig_t config;

            int result;


            openlog(PNAME, LOG_PID, LOG_MAIL);

            result = serverparent_getopt(&config, "IMAP", argc, argv);

            the serverparent_getopt calls a function ClearConfig(config) , with following body:

            void ClearConfig(serverConfig_t * config)




            memset(config, 0, sizeof(serverConfig_t));


            well, as you may see "serverConfig_t config" variable is an uninitialized stack variable, no wonder this thing crashes.

            I stopped looking after that. The product is too immature for any use, despite "production/stable" claim. Avoid any serious use for now.

            28 Apr 2004 12:56 cumshot

            Re: Need your help!!
            Agreed... join the damn mailing list (or even google for discussions). It is alive and well, Sieve support is being integrated, Aaron has written an LMTP daemon for lightning fast transfers, Exchange compatibility is slowly being added...

            Basically, if you're not an experienced mail administrator, DBmail + Postfix may not be what you want. It is for large sites with many virtual users (I have a few hundred, with many aliases and a mail-to-forums gateway along with various automated hooks and Amavisd/Mailguard/Spsmassassin dual-MTA setup) and many domains, who are comfortable with keeping their database tuned and backed up, and want a central point of administration for email.

            And for that purpose, it beats the piss out of all competitors by a country mile. If you're looking for something like 'Exchange without the bugs' or 'a database storage backend for Postfix/Cyrus/Qmail' then DBmail is what you want. 4 release candidates for 2.0 in 1 month, and you think it's a dead project? Sitss with half a terabyte of mail figuring out how to mirror their backend, and you think there are more stable, featureful competitors?

            I beg to differ with that assessment. DBmail is worth the trouble of a Google search and reading the docs, thanks much. It is alive and well.

            21 Feb 2004 08:23 SodaBrew

            Re: Need your help!!

            > Its sad, but I think this projet is dead.
            > No more answers from the author.

            Alive and well and you're welcome to join the mailing list. As with most "the author doesn't respond, it must be dead" posts, the author is too busy working on the project to respond to "are you dead yet?" emails that just waste his time.


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