Installing Cyrus

This guide assumes you have already compiled Cyrus.

Install Cyrus

The --prefix option given to configure (during compilation) sets where Cyrus is installed to.

If unspecified, it will go to whatever destination is your system default (often /usr/local). To check: the final output of the configure step will display where a make install will install to.

make install  # optional if you're just developing on this machine

make install-binsymlinks    # Only needed if you're testing older Cyrus versions

Setting up syslog

A lot of Cyrus's debugging information gets logged with syslog, so you'll want to be able to capture it and find it later (especially when debugging cassandane tests)

  1. Find the correct place to edit syslog config for your system (for me, I needed to create /etc/rsyslog.d/cyrus.conf)

  2. Add lines like

    local6.*        /var/log/imapd.log

    auth.debug      /var/log/auth.log

  3. Restart the rsyslog service

    sudo /etc/init.d/rsyslog restart

  4. Arrange to rotate /var/log/imapd.log so it doesn't get stupendously large. Create /etc/logrotate.d/cyrus.conf with content like:

    /var/log/imapd.log
    {
        rotate 4
        weekly
        missingok
        notifempty
        compress
        delaycompress
        sharedscripts
        postrotate
        invoke-rc.d rsyslog rotate > /dev/null
        endscript
    }
    

Create Cyrus environment

Set up the cyrus:mail user and group

Now let's create a special user account just for the Cyrus server to sandbox Cyrus: called cyrus. We'll also create a mail group as well. This allows Cyrus to give other programs some permissions if they are run under the mail group, again, without causing a Cyrus bug to delete all of your cat pictures. Disaster!

If you have installed from packages, your package vendor may have already done this for you. To check, use these commands:

$ getent group mail
mail:x:8:
$ getent passwd cyrus
cyrus:x:999:8:Cyrus IMAP Server:/var/lib/imap:/bin/bash

Example group and user creation commands for GNU/Linux:

groupadd -fr mail
useradd -c "Cyrus IMAP Server" -d /var/lib/imap -g mail -s /bin/bash -r cyrus

The var/lib/imap directory above is an example. Use the same directory specified in the configdirectory option in imapd.conf(5).

If your installation uses system locations for things like SSL certificates (i.e. /etc/ssl/certs /etc/ssl/private), then you should also add the cyrus user to the appropriate group to gain access to the PKI files. On Debian/Ubuntu systems, for example, this group is ssl-cert:

usermod -aG ssl-cert cyrus

Authentication with SASL

Now, let's set up SASL. This will allow you to connect to your local IMAP server and login, just like any IMAP user would before checking for new emails.

Create a saslauth group and add the cyrus user to the group, so Cyrus can access SASL. (on Debian, this group is called 'sasl': adjust the following commands to suit.)

groupadd -fr saslauth
usermod -aG saslauth cyrus
Change the default SASL configuration in /etc/default/saslauthd.
  1. Make sure that the START option is set to yes (START=yes) and
  2. Set the``MECHANISMS`` option to sasldb (MECHANISMS="sasldb").

Start the SASL auth daemon:

/etc/init.d/saslauthd start

Now, we'll create the IMAP user inside SASL. This is the user you'll use to login to the IMAP server later on.

echo 'secret' | saslpasswd2 -p -c imapuser

You can replace secret with a more suitable password you want and imapuser with the username you want. Once this is done, check that the user exists and is set up correctly:

testsaslauthd -u imapuser -p secret -f /var/run/saslauthd/mux

You should get an 0: OK "Success." message.

Mail delivery from your MTA

Your Cyrus IMAP server will want to receive the emails accepted by your SMTP server (ie Sendmail, Postfix, Exim). In Cyrus, this happens via a protocol called LMTP, which is usually supported by your SMTP server.

Integration with Sendmail

Objectives

This manual describes how to integrate Sendmail with Cyrus IMAP. Open Sendmail presents alternative approaches, but these do not integrate well with email addresses from virtual domains, which are hosted by Cyrus IMAP, but are not in the virtuser table.

Cyrus IMAP can manage many domains. It has a default domain, and other, virtual domains.

Sendmail can also manage many domains. Its primary domains are stored in the w class and are read from /etc/mail/local-host-names. The rewritings for these domains are modified using the aliases database. Sendmail handles unqualified email addresses and addresses from the domains in the w class the same. Sendmail in addition can manage further, virtual domains by defining the VirtHost class. The redirections for the virtual domains are controlled by virtusertable.

This guide explains how to configure sendmail, so that it handles unqualified email addresses in the same way, as if they were in the default Cyrus IMAP domain. It assumes, that the default Cyrus domain is in the w class. At the end it will be possible to have destination addresses with domains in the w or VirtHost classes and these addresses will be delivered to Cyrus IMAP after aliases and virtusertable rewritings, if and only if Cyrus IMAP hosts them.

Sendmail will be configured to verify using smmapd if Cyrus does have a mailbox, and reject the email during the SMTP dialog otherwise. This avoids sending bounces. Bounces reduce the IP reputation of a mail server. If a local for the server user does not have a Cyrus IMAP account, this user will not get its emails in a folder on the server. If smmapd does not respond, sendmail will accept emails for any address.

If a virtual mailbox exists in Cyrus IMAP and virtusertable redirects the emails for that mailbox somewhere, the virtusertable takes precedence, like the aliases database has precedence in such cases.

The user database is not considered in this guide.

Plus addressing works, when the destination folder does exist and is lowercased: If user1 has folders abc and mNp, emails for user1+abc and user1+aBc will be accepted, emails for user1+mNp and user1+mnp will be rejected. The lowercase limitation comes from smmapd. Emails for user1+def will be rejected, if user1 has no mailbox def, even if a Sieve script would place such mails in existing folders.

Plus addressing does not survive aliases rewriting. If the aliases table contains user2: user1, emails for user2+abc will be rejected, while emails for user2 or user1+abc will be accepted. After inserting user2+abc: user1+abc in the aliases table, emails for user2+abc will be accepted.

Install Sendmail

We'll set up LMTP with the Sendmail SMTP server.

sudo apt-get install -y sendmail
Add cf/feature/anfi_vcyrus.m4

Create the file cf/feature/anfi_vcyrus.m4:

divert(-1)
dnl
dnl By using this file, you agree to the terms and conditions set
dnl forth in the LICENSE file which can be found at the top level of
dnl the sendmail distribution (sendmail-8.12).
dnl
dnl     Contributed by Andrzej Filip and Dilyan Palauzov
LOCAL_CONFIG
# cyrus - map for checking cyrus mailbox presence
Kcyrus socket -T<TMPF> -a<OK> local:/var/imap/socket/smmapd

LOCAL_RULESETS
SLocal_localaddr
R$+     $: $1 $| $(cyrus $1 $: $)
R$+ $|                $#error $@ 5.1.1 $: "550 User unknown."
R$+ $| $*<TMPF>       $#error $@ 4.3.0 $: "451 Temporary system failure. Please try again later."
R$+ $| $*<OK>         $#cyrusv2 $@ $: $1
R$+ $| $*             $: $1

Many spaces in a row stand for the tabulator character.

Despite the naming confusion, Cyrus 3 works with the cyrusv2 mailer.

This file creates a map called cyrus, which connects to the Cyrus` smmapd service.

The file extends the localaddr=5 and Local_localaddr rulesets to verify whether an address is known to Cyrus IMAP. The rulesets are called from the local mailer, as the local mailer has the 5 mailer flag set. The ruleset changes the mailer to cyrusv2 and the email is accepted if and only if the address is known to Cyrus IMAP.

The temporary rejections do not work in practice. If smmapd is down, the email is queued instead of being rejected. The 451 line above is there to encourage discussion.

Patching m4/proto.m4
diff --git a/cf/m4/proto.m4 b/cf/m4/proto.m4
--- a/cf/m4/proto.m4
+++ b/cf/m4/proto.m4
@@ -1147,6 +1147,10 @@ dnl if no match, change marker to prevent a second @domain lookup
 R<@> $+ + $* < @ $+ . >      $: < $(virtuser @ $3 $@ $1 $@ $2 $@ +$2 $: ! $) > $1 + $2 < @ $3 . >
 dnl without +detail
 R<@> $+ < @ $+ . >           $: < $(virtuser @ $2 $@ $1 $: @ $) > $1 < @ $2 . >
+dnl If a virtual address is not in the virtusertable, but cyrus knows about the address, deliver it.
+R< error : $-.$-.$- : $+ > $+ < @ $={VirtHost} . >           $: < error : $1.$2.$3 : $4 > $5 < $6 . > $| $(cyrus  $5@$6 $: $)
+R< error : $-.$-.$- : $+ > $* < $* . > $| $*<OK>             $#cyrusv2 $@ $: $5@$6
+R< error : $-.$-.$- : $+ > $* $| $*<TMPFS>           $#error $@ 4.3.0 $: "451 Temporary system failure. Please try again later."
 dnl no match
 R<@> $+                              $: $1
 dnl remove mark

Where many spaces in a row stand for the tabulator key.

If an address from a virtual domain is not found in the virtusertable, ask smmapd if the address is known to Cyrus IMAP. If it is known, deliver it to Cyrus IMAP.

Patching mailer/cyrusv2.m4
diff --git a/cf/mailer/cyrusv2.m4 b/cf/mailer/cyrusv2.m4
--- a/cf/mailer/cyrusv2.m4
+++ b/cf/mailer/cyrusv2.m4
@@ -11,7 +11,7 @@ PUSHDIVERT(-1)
 #

 _DEFIFNOT(`_DEF_CYRUSV2_MAILER_FLAGS', `lsDFMnqXz')
-_DEFIFNOT(`CYRUSV2_MAILER_FLAGS', `A@/:|m')
+_DEFIFNOT(`CYRUSV2_MAILER_FLAGS', `8m')
 ifdef(`CYRUSV2_MAILER_ARGS',, `define(`CYRUSV2_MAILER_ARGS', `FILE /var/imap/socket/lmtp')')
 define(`_CYRUSV2_QGRP', `ifelse(defn(`CYRUSV2_MAILER_QGRP'),`',`', ` Q=CYRUSV2_MAILER_QGRP,')')dnl

The 8 flag means, that Cyrus LMTPd can accept 8bit data and sendmail will not convert 8bit data to 7bit before passing it to Cyrus IMAP. The A@/:| functionality will be performed by the local mailer, before the cyrusv2 mailer is called. The cyrus2v mailer is used only to pass data to Cyrus IMAP, after it is verified, that Cyrus IMAP hosts a particular mailbox. Thus the cyrus2v mailer does not call the localaddr=5 rule set in order to avoid loops. (If the cyrusv2 mailer calls the localaddr=5 ruleset and the localaddr=5 ruleset calls the cyrusv2 mailer, there is an endless loop).

The patch to m4/proto.m4 also requires a mailer, which does not call the localaddr=5 ruleset. Because of this, substituting the local mailer by define(`confLOCAL_MAILER', `cyrusv2')dnl will not work. The proposed setup needs one mailer calling the localaddr=5 ruleset (here the local mailer) and one mailer not calling the localaddr=5 ruleset (the cyrusv2 mailer).

Sendmail communication

For LMTP and SMMAP to work with Sendmail, it is necessary to create a folder that will contain the UNIX socket used by Sendmail and Cyrus to deliver/receive emails:

sudo mkdir -p /var/run/cyrus/socket
sudo chown cyrus:mail /var/run/cyrus/socket
sudo chmod 750 /var/run/cyrus/socket

Do the same for the smmapd socket.

Adjustments for the .mc files

In your .mc files add:

FEATURE(`anfi_vcyrus')dnl
MAILER(`cyrusv2')dnl

and recompile them, e.g. by calling make file.cf to convert file.mc to file.cf. Test with:

# ggg is unqualified address, which exists both in Cyrus’ default domain and in sendmails’ w class
$ sendmail -C file.cf -bv ggg
ggg... deliverable: mailer cyrusv2, user ggg

# verify that ggg and ggg@your-primary-domain resolve in the same way, your-primary-domain is the default Cyrus IMAP domain
$ sendmail -C file.cf -bv ggg@your-primary-domain
ggg... deliverable: mailer cyrusv2, user ggg

# as above, but here another-domain belongs to class `w` and it is not the default domain for Cyrus IMAP
$ sendmail -C file.cf -bv ggg@another-domain
ggg... deliverable: mailer cyrusv2, user ggg

# for an address, which exists in Cyrus IMAP, and is not overwritten in virtusertable.
# domain1.org belongs to class VirtHost and does not belong to class w.
$ sendmail -C sendmail-mail.cf -bv zzz@domain1.org
zzz@domain1.org... deliverable: mailer cyrusv2, user zzz@domain1.org

Postfix

Install Postfix

We'll set up LMTP with the Postfix SMTP server (consider which other Postfix related packages you may also desire):

sudo apt-get install -y postfix postfix-doc postfix-pcre postfix-ldap ...

We need to make Postfix aware of the fact we are using the Cyrus IMAP server and engineer delivery via LMTP. The following examples show the postconf commands to run to add the necessary configuration to /etc/postfix/main.cf, these are not complete configurations.

Note

Postfix supports a great many configurations for mail delivery transport, so these settings will depend on whether you're planning to use the local, virtual or lmtp destination definitions. For our examples we'll be using virtual. Adjust as needed for your purposes, and please consult the Postfix documentation at http://www.postfix.org/postconf.5.html

  1. Setup your recipient maps, thus defining for which recipients the virtual destination will be used:

    postconf -e "virtual_mailbox_domains=hash:/etc/postfix/virtual_recipient_domains"
    postconf -e "virtual_mailbox_maps=hash:/etc/postfix/virtual_recipients"
    

    or, if you have enabled smmapd you can automatically track mailboxes with:

    postconf -e "virtual_mailbox_domains=hash:/etc/postfix/virtual_recipient_domains"
    postconf -e "virtual_mailbox_maps=socketmap:unix:/run/cyrus/socket/smmap"
    
  2. Optional: Set the concurrency and recipient limits for LMTP delivery to the virtual destination:

    postconf -e "virtual_destination_concurrency_limit=300"
    postconf -e "virtual_destination_recipient_limit=300"
    

    The purpose of those two settings is to allow for a large number of simultaneous delivery threads between the MTA (Postfix) and the MDA (Cyrus), and to allow for a large number of recipients to be listed for any given message, thus avoiding splitting up delivery of messages with lots of recipients into many separate deliveries.

  3. Send mail for those recipients to Cyrus via LMTP. This first example is for delivery via TCP to a different host:

    postconf -e "virtual_transport=lmtp:inet:lmtp.example.org:2003"
    

    If your Postfix and Cyrus are on the same host, then use some version of this, where the socket patch matches what's set in the lmtpsocket option in imapd.conf(5):

    postconf -e "virtual_transport=lmtp:unix:/run/cyrus/socket/lmtp"
    

Protocol ports

The Cyrus IMAP server provides service interfaces via either TCP/IP ports or Unix domain sockets. For the former, Cyrus requires that there are proper entries in the host's /etc/services file. The following are required for any host using the listed services:

pop3      110/tcp  # Post Office Protocol v3
nntp      119/tcp  # Network News Transport Protocol
imap      143/tcp  # Internet Mail Access Protocol rev4
nntps     563/tcp  # NNTP over TLS
imaps     993/tcp  # IMAP over TLS
pop3s     995/tcp  # POP3 over TLS
kpop      1109/tcp # Kerberized Post Office Protocol
lmtp      2003/tcp # Lightweight Mail Transport Protocol service
smmap     2004/tcp # Cyrus smmapd (quota check) service
csync     2005/tcp # Cyrus replication service
mupdate   3905/tcp # Cyrus mupdate service
sieve     4190/tcp # timsieved Sieve Mail Filtering Language service

Make sure that these lines are present or add them if they are missing.

Cyrus config files

Set up a simple directory structure for Cyrus to store emails, owned by the cyrus user and group mail:

sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/cyrus /var/spool/cyrus
sudo chown -R cyrus:mail /var/lib/cyrus /var/spool/cyrus
sudo chmod 750 /var/lib/cyrus /var/spool/cyrus

The /var/spool/cyrus directory is the partition where Cyrus will store mail and must be allocated sufficient storage. The exact location can be configured in imapd.conf(5) in the partitions options.

Let's add some basic configuration for the Cyrus IMAP server. Two files have to be added: /etc/imapd.conf and /etc/cyrus.conf. There are several examples included with the software, in doc/examples/. Pick one each from the imapd_conf and cyrus_conf directories, or create your own.

For imapd.conf(5), let's start with the normal.conf example:

# Suggested minimal imapd.conf
# See imapd.conf(5) for more information and more options

# Space-separated users who have admin rights for all services.
# NB: THIS MUST BE CONFIGURED
admins: cyrus

###################################################################
## File, socket and DB location settings.
###################################################################

# Configuration directory
configdirectory: /var/lib/cyrus

# Directories for proc and lock files
proc_path: /run/cyrus/proc
mboxname_lockpath: /run/cyrus/lock

# Locations for DB files
# The following DB are recreated upon initialization, so should live in
# ephemeral storage for best performance.
duplicate_db_path: /run/cyrus/deliver.db
ptscache_db_path:  /run/cyrus/ptscache.db
statuscache_db_path: /run/cyrus/statuscache.db
tls_sessions_db_path: /run/cyrus/tls_sessions.db

# Which partition to use for default mailboxes
defaultpartition: default
partition-default: /var/spool/cyrus/mail

# If sieveusehomedir is false (the default), this directory is searched
# for Sieve scripts.
sievedir: /var/spool/sieve

###################################################################
## Important: KEEP THESE IN SYNC WITH cyrus.conf
###################################################################

lmtpsocket: /run/cyrus/socket/lmtp
idlesocket: /run/cyrus/socket/idle
notifysocket: /run/cyrus/socket/notify

# Syslog prefix. Defaults to cyrus (so logging is done as cyrus/imap
# etc.)
syslog_prefix: cyrus

###################################################################
## Server behaviour settings
###################################################################

# Space-separated list of HTTP modules that will be enabled in
# httpd(8).  This option has no effect on modules that are disabled at
# compile time due to missing dependencies (e.g. libical).
#
# Allowed values: caldav, carddav, domainkey, ischedule, rss
httpmodules: caldav carddav

# If enabled, the partitions will also be hashed, in addition to the
# hashing done on configuration directories. This is recommended if one
# partition has a very bushy mailbox tree.
hashimapspool: true

# Enable virtual domains
# and set default domain to localhost
virtdomains: yes
defaultdomain: localhost

###################################################################
## User experience settings
###################################################################

# Minimum time between POP mail fetches in minutes
popminpoll: 1

###################################################################
## User Authentication settings
###################################################################

# Allow plaintext logins by default (SASL PLAIN)
allowplaintext: yes

###################################################################
## SASL library options (these are handled directly by the SASL
## libraries, refer to SASL documentation for an up-to-date list of
## these)
###################################################################

# The mechanism(s) used by the server to verify plaintext passwords.
# Possible values are "saslauthd", "auxprop", "pwcheck" and
# "alwaystrue".  They are tried in order, you can specify more than one,
# separated by spaces.
sasl_pwcheck_method: saslauthd

# If enabled, the SASL library will automatically create authentication
# secrets when given a plaintext password. Refer to SASL documentation
sasl_auto_transition: no

###################################################################
## SSL/TLS Options
###################################################################

# File containing the global certificate used for ALL services (imap,
# pop3, lmtp, sieve)
#tls_server_cert: /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem

# File containing the private key belonging to the global server
# certificate.
#tls_server_key: /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key


# File containing one or more Certificate Authority (CA) certificates.
#tls_client_ca_file: /etc/ssl/certs/cyrus-imapd-ca.pem

# Path to directory with certificates of CAs.
tls_client_ca_dir: /etc/ssl/certs

# The length of time (in minutes) that a TLS session will be cached for
# later reuse.  The maximum value is 1440 (24 hours), the default.  A
# value of 0 will disable session caching.
tls_session_timeout: 1440

Note that configdirectory and partition-default are set to the folders we just created.

Note

The admin user is the imapuser created earlier for authentication against sasl. Change this value if you named your user something different.

For cyrus.conf(5), again we'll start with the normal.conf example:

# standard standalone server implementation

START {
  # do not delete this entry!
  recover       cmd="ctl_cyrusdb -r"
}

# UNIX sockets start with a slash and are put into /run/cyrus/socket
SERVICES {
  # add or remove based on preferences
  imap          cmd="imapd" listen="imap" prefork=0
  imaps         cmd="imapd -s" listen="imaps" prefork=0
  pop3          cmd="pop3d" listen="pop3" prefork=0
  pop3s         cmd="pop3d -s" listen="pop3s" prefork=0
  sieve         cmd="timsieved" listen="sieve" prefork=0

  # these are only necessary if receiving/exporting usenet via NNTP
#  nntp          cmd="nntpd" listen="nntp" prefork=0
#  nntps         cmd="nntpd -s" listen="nntps" prefork=0

  # these are only necessary if using HTTP for CalDAV, CardDAV, or RSS
  http          cmd="httpd" listen="http" prefork=0
  https         cmd="httpd -s" listen="https" prefork=0

  # at least one LMTP is required for delivery
#  lmtp          cmd="lmtpd" listen="lmtp" prefork=0
  lmtpunix      cmd="lmtpd" listen="/run/cyrus/socket/lmtp" prefork=0

  # this is requied if using socketmap
#  smmap         cmd="smmapd" listen="/run/cyrus/socket/smmap" prefork=0

  # this is required if using notifications
#  notify        cmd="notifyd" listen="/run/cyrus/socket/notify" proto="udp" prefork=1
}

EVENTS {
  # this is required
  checkpoint    cmd="ctl_cyrusdb -c" period=30

  # this is only necessary if using duplicate delivery suppression,
  # Sieve or NNTP
  delprune      cmd="cyr_expire -E 3" at=0400

  # Expire data older than 28 days.
  deleteprune   cmd="cyr_expire -E 4 -D 28" at=0430
  expungeprune  cmd="cyr_expire -E 4 -X 28" at=0445

  # this is only necessary if caching TLS sessions
  tlsprune      cmd="tls_prune" at=0400
}

DAEMON {
  # this is only necessary if using idled for IMAP IDLE
#  idled         cmd="idled"
}

Before you launch Cyrus for the first time, create the Cyrus directory structure: use mkimap(8).

sudo -u cyrus ./tools/mkimap

Optional: Setting up TLS certificates

Obtain a certificate, e.g. from Let’s Encrypt. You need a file with the full chain and a private key in X.509 format. Adjust the file owner on these files with sudo chown cyrus:mail. Set the options tls_server_cert and tls_server_key in imapd.conf(5) to point to these files.

Open /etc/cyrus.conf and in the SERVICES section, add (or uncomment) this line:

imaps        cmd="imapd" listen="imaps" prefork=0

Notice the s at the end of imaps. This says we are using TLS. Similar such lines may be used for pop3s, lmtps and other protocols. See Protocol Ports, above, for more information on these.

If you now restart (or start) your Cyrus server, you should have Cyrus listening on port 993 (the IMAPS port) with the STARTTLS IMAP extension enabled. You can check that TLS works as expected with the following command:

imtest -t "" -u imapuser -a imapuser -w secret localhost

Make sure to replace imapuser with whatever user you set up with saslpasswd2 before, and to replace secret with the actual password you set for that user.

Prepare ephemeral (run-time) storage directories

If you will be using ephemeral (run-time) storage locations on an OS or distro on which the directory skeleton does not persist over reboots, you will need to use your distro's standard method to ensure that any such directories your installation depends upon exist prior to launching the daemon.

Here's how to do so for Debian/Ubuntu. Use the provided statoverride facility to manage the ownership and permissions of these directories:

sudo dpkg-statoverride cyrus mail 755 /run/cyrus
sudo dpkg-statoverride cyrus mail 750 /run/cyrus/socket

Then you can use something like this in your init script (like those packaged by Debian team):

dir=$(dpkg-statoverride --list /var/run/cyrus)
[ -z "$dir" ] || createdir $dir

where the createdir() shell function looks like this:

createdir() {
# $1 = user
# $2 = group
# $3 = permissions (octal)
# $4 = path to directory
    [ "$VERBOSE" = "yes" ] && OPT="-c"
    [ -d "$4" ] || mkdir -p "$4"
    chown $OPT -h "$1:$2" "$4"
    chmod $OPT "$3" "$4"
}

Putting it all together, this blob from the stock Debian packaging would go between pre-flight checks (checking for config sanity, file locations, etc.) and initialization:

createdir() {
# $1 = user
# $2 = group
# $3 = permissions (octal)
# $4 = path to directory
    [ "$VERBOSE" = "yes" ] && OPT="-c"
    [ -d "$4" ] || mkdir -p "$4"
    chown $OPT -h "$1:$2" "$4"
    chmod $OPT "$3" "$4"
}

missingstatoverride () {
    echo "$0: You are missing a dpkg-statoverride on $1.  Add it." >&2
    exit 1
}

fixdirs () {
    dir=$(dpkg-statoverride --list /run/cyrus) \
        || missingstatoverride /run/cyrus
    [ -z "$dir" ] \
        || createdir $dir
    dir=$(dpkg-statoverride --list /run/cyrus/socket) \
        || missingstatoverride /run/cyrus/socket
    [ -z "$dir" ] \
        || createdir $dir
}

Launch Cyrus

sudo ./master/master -d

Check /var/log/syslog for errors so you can quickly understand any problems.

When you're ready, you can create init scripts to start and stop your daemons. This https://www.linux.com/learn/managing-linux-daemons-init-scripts is old, but has a good explanation of the concepts required.

Send a test email

We will send a test email to our local development environment to check if:

  • The SMTP server* accepts the incoming email,
  • LMTP transmits the email to Cyrus IMAP,
  • You can see the email stored on your filesystem.

Note

*SMTP servers are also often called an "MTA," for Mail Transport Agent

But first, create a mailbox to send the test email to. We'll call this test mailbox example@localhost.

echo 'createmailbox user/example@localhost' | cyradm -u imapuser -w secret localhost

We seem to be creating a mailbox named user/example@localhost. In fact, Cyrus understands this to be a user called example@localhost. As usual, adjust the password via the -w option to the password you set above.

If you have explicitly disabled unixhierarchysep in /etc/imapd.conf (it is enabled by default in 3.0+), you should replace user/example@localhost with user.example@localhost. You can read more about unixhierarchysep in imapd.conf(5).

The command will produce the following output:

localhost> localhost>

This happens because cyradm is normally used interactively, with a prompt. We aren't using a prompt, so this output is expected.

Now that the mailbox exists, we can send an email using telnet with raw SMTP commands.

First, connect to the MTA:

telnet localhost smtp

You should see a prompt appear:

Trying ::1...
Trying 127.0.0.1...
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 ... ESMTP Sendmail ...

Now, we'll send the SMTP commands to the server. These are responsible for ordering the MTA to store an email:

EHLO localhost
MAIL FROM:<hello@localhost>
RCPT TO:<example@localhost>
DATA
Hello world!
.
QUIT

If you are using Sendmail as your SMTP server, you should be able to safely copy and paste this bit into the terminal before hitting your ENTER key. If not, you may want to paste these commands one by one (or make sure you enable PIPELINING in the SMTP config).

If you see a message like 250 2.0.0 ... Message accepted for delivery, you did it! You should now have a file called 1. in the /var/spool/cyrus/user/example directory, with the content of the email you sent just before.

If not, you may want to check syslog to see if any error messages show up and go through the previous steps again.

To let the example user log in via IMAP on a normal mail client, you need to add them to SASL (as before):

echo 'mypassword' | saslpasswd2 -p -c example

Check your two users are there:

sasldblistusers2

You can now configure a mail client to access your new mailserver and connect to the mailbox for example@localhost via IMAP and see the message.

Checking CardDAV and CalDAV

Modify /etc/cyrus.conf and add (or uncomment) this line in the SERVICES section:

http        cmd="httpd" listen="http" prefork=0

Modify /etc/imapd.conf and add (or uncomment) this line:

httpmodules: caldav carddav

Running the following commands should return you sample entry addressbook and calendar entry for the sample example user:

curl -u example@[hostname]:mypassword -i -X PROPFIND -H 'Depth: 1' http://localhost:8080/dav/addressbooks/user/example@[hostname]/Default

curl -u example@[hostname]:mypassword -i -X PROPFIND -H 'Depth: 1' http://localhost:8080/dav/principals/user/example@[hostname]/

Troubleshooting

Some common issues are explained below.

I have all kinds of weird Perl errors when running cyradm

The solution is to set the Perl library path right. To be honest, I was too lazy to figure out exactly which path was right, so I added this snippet to my ~/.bashrc file:

export PERL5LIB="$PERL5LIB:$(find path/to/cyrus/perl -type d | tr "\\n" ":")"

Just make sure to change path/to/cyrus to the actual path to the Cyrus source code directory. This should be something like /home/jack/cyrus-src/perl.

I can't connect to the IMAP server

Make sure that the SASL auth daemon is running. You can start it with this command:

/etc/init.d/saslauthd start

You can safely run this command even if you don’t know whether the SASL auth daemon is already running or not.

Emails are not being delivered to Cyrus

Make sure that you have started Sendmail, which you can do like this:

/etc/init.d/sendmail start

My IMAP server (master) can't authenticate users to SASL

Check that the groups setting on your cyrus user is correct.

Ubuntu uses saslauth group, Debian uses sasl group.

Check the output of groups cyrus to see what groups it currently belongs to.

Incorrect groups settings results in saslauthd reporting permission failures:

SASL cannot connect to saslauthd server: Permission denied
SASL unable to open Berkeley db /etc/sasldb2: Permission denied

Master will need to be restarted if you needed to change the groups.

Something is not working but I can't figure out why

More information is almost always logged to syslog. Make sure you start syslog with this command before starting the Cyrus server:

/etc/init.d/rsyslog start

My question isn't answered here

Join us on the mailing lists if you need help or just want to chat about Cyrus, IMAP, etc.