Open WebMail Logo


Open WebMail is a webmail system based on the Neomail version 1.14 from Ernie Miller. Open WebMail is designed to manage very large mail folder files in a memory efficient way. It also provides a range of features to help users migrate smoothly from Microsoft Outlook to Open WebMail.


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Please use mirror sites near you to avoid overload on official sites!
Sites URL Location Maintainer
Official US Thomas Chung US
Develop Taiwan openwebmail
1 HongKong Wicka
2 Portuguese Edison Figueira
Bratislava, Slovakia lubos klokner
4 Malaysia Ramli Mohd
5 Luxembourg LuxAdmin
6 US Thomas Knox
7 Brno, Czech Republic, Europe Pavel Schauer
8 Oradea, Romania Bogdan Parcalab
9 Beijing, China Zhiyao Li
10 London, UK LuxmiNET
11 SELANGOR, Malaysia Ahmad Faisal
12 Los Angeles, USA Taz Meister
13 Amsterdam, Netherlands Roel van der Made
14 Toronto, Canada Pawel Zawisza
Amsterdam, Netherlands GNU Mirrors
16 Tarnow, Poland Tomasz Pajor
17 Hamburg, Germany Torsten Brumm
18 Vienna, Austria Typoheads.Com
19 Florida, USA Elonex at Kirkwor.Com


Multiple Languages/Multiple Charsets

Open WebMail is currently available for more than 30 languages, and it is quite easy to add new language to Open WebMail if yours is still not supported. For languages with more than one charsets, Open WebMail will choose one as the default charset for the language. If a message is written with charset other than the default, it will be converted to the default charset automatically.

Fast Folder Access

Folder access performance is greatly improved through the use of dbm (a simple database provided by perl). When a mail folder is selected in the folder view, Open WebMail will parse the mail folder file and cache the parsed result to a dbm. This dbm is reused whenever the user wants to access the folder. The dbm cache eliminates the scan of an entire folder for every access, a significant benefit when dealing with a large folders. The dbm is automatically synchronized with any changes to the folder itself; the dbm update is incremental if the folder modification is done by the Open WebMail application itself. The dbm will however be recreated when a folder is found to have been changed by an external program.

Efficient Message Movement

The size of a message will be slightly increased after it is read at the first time because of status change. A large movement of messages may be introduced due to the size change. Also, the user may want to move a group of messages between two folders. The routines for message update and movement have been totally rewritten so that minimal movement occurs, with correspondingly minimal memory utilization.

Smaller Memory Footprint

Much effort has been put into optimizing Open WebMail's memory utilization. The memory footprint of Open WebMail is much smaller than its predecessors when dealing with messages with large attachments (e.g. a 20MB document), as a result of which the application now runs smoothly on a medium sized machine, (e.g. a Celeron 300 with 128MB RAM).

Convenient Folder/Message Operation

Open WebMail supports 'create', 'rename', 'delete', and 'download' operations on folders, and 'move', 'copy', 'delete' and 'download' operations on messages.

Graceful File Lock

Since a mail folder may be used by multiple programs simultaneously, it is necessary to lock the file before accessing the folder. Open WebMail uses a blocking lock with a timeout limit of 60 seconds. It gives the lock a better chance of success than a nonblocking lock, which returns an error if the lock can not be acquired immediately. Open WebMail also supports locking by dotlock file to ensure that the file locking operates correctly on platforms operating with an incomplete implementation of NFS lockd.

Remote SMTP Relaying

With the help of Net::SMTP module, openwebmail can talk SMTP to SMTP daemons on either localhost or remote machine. This gives openwebmail the better compatibility with various SMTP daemons. The system administrator also has more flexibility when designing the mail service system.

Virtual Hosting

You can have as many virtual domains as you want on same server with only one copy of openwebmail installed. Open Webmail supports per domain config file. Each domain can have its own set of configuration options, including domainname, authentication module, quota limit, mailspooldir ...

You can even setup mail accounts for users without creating real unix accounts for them. Please refer to Kevin Ellis's web page: "How to setup virtual users on Open WebMail using Postfix & vm-pop3d"

User Alias

Open Webmail can use the sendmail virtusertable for user alias mapping. The loginname typed by user may be pure name or name@somedomain. And this loginname can be mapped to another pure name or name@otherdomain in the virtusertable. This gives you the great flexibility in account management. For example, you may have john for different domains by actually mapping them to different real user ids.	john1	john2	john3

Pure Virtual User Support

Pure virtual user means a mail user who can use pop3 or openwebmail to access his mails on the mail server but actually has no unix account on the server. Openwebmail pure virtual user support is currently available for system running vm-pop3d + PostFix. The authentication module is designed for this purpose. Openwebmail also provides the web interface which can be used to manage(add/delete/edit) these virtual users under various virtual domains. Kevin L. Ellis has written a tutorial for openwebmail + vm-pop3d + postfix for this.

Per User Capability Configuration

While options in system config file(openwebmail.conf) are applied to all users, you may find it useful to set the options on per user basis sometimes. For example, you may want to limit the client ip access for some users or limit the domain which the user can sent to. This could be easily done with the per user config file support in Open Webmail.

Various Authentication Modules

Various authentication modules are directly available for openwebmail, including,,, and, With these modules, openwebmail can be integrated with other systems easily.

PAM support

Openwebmail can also use other sources for authentication through the PAM (pluggable authentication module). Ex: NIS+, NIS, LDAP, Radius.... Solaris 2.6, Linux and FreeBSD 3.1 are known to support PAM. For more information about PAM, please see

Full Content Search

Full content search with regular expression support is provided. When a user enters a keyword in the search box, the scope of the mail folder is limited to the keyword related messages. This means the user can use the sort or static functions on the search result. The scope limit is released when the user selects another folder or refreshes the current folder.

Strong MIME Message Capability

Open WebMail has very well support for MIME messages. While most webmail packages present MIME messages poorly compared to traditional POP clients, Open Webmail presents MIME messages in an attractive format comparable to that presented by Microsoft Outlook. Either inline or uuencoded attachments are supported.

In addition to the presention, Open WebMail also allow user to compose complex HTML messages with inline attachments or external attachments. A friendly WYSIWYG editor HTMLArea 3.0 has been built into Open WebMail, the user can write HTML messages conformtably and easily without any knowledge of HTML tags. This HTML editor can be used on IE5.5+ for Windows or Mozilla1.3+ for all platforms :)

Draft Folder Support

This feature enables the user to write a message in a number of stages, even over several days. The user can save an unfinished message into the draft folder and continue editing at any time.

Reply with Stationery

Several stationeries could be defined. It enables the user to quickly reply mail with the same answer.

Spelling Check Support

The spelling check in Open WebMail is very user-friendly and powerful: It makes suggestions for mis-spelled words, and the user can correct the errors very easily by selecting one of the suggestions from a drop-down menu.

Calendar with Reminder/Notification Support

The user can keep track of their appointments, meetings, birthdays, whatever, with the build-in calendar in Open WebMail. This calendar provides several views, including year view, month view, week view and day view, so the user can browse their scheduled events very easily. There is also reminder support for scheduled events, user can specify the days that the reminder should look ahead and the first 5 upcoming events will be displayed in the top of mail folder view. If the user want the event reminder to be available outside the webmail system, he can also specify a notification email address, eg: the one used by mobile phone, for each scheduled event, so he can get notification of these events on his mobile phone.

Webdisk Support

The webdisk module provides a web interface for user to use his home directory as a virtual disk on the web. It is also designed as a storage of the mail attachments, the user can freely copy attachments between mail messages and the webdisk.

The / of the virtual disk is mapped to the user's home directory, any item displayed in the virtual disk is actually located under the user home directory.

Webdisk supports basic file operations, eg: mkdir, rmdir, copy, move, rm, file upload and download. Download of multiple files or directories is supported, webdisk compresses the files into a zip stream on the fly in the transmission. It also handle many types of archives, including zip, arj, rar, tar.gz,, tar.bz2, tgz, tbz, gz, z.... The user can compress, decompress or list the contents of archives without copying them into his computer.

POP3 Support

Multiple POP3 accounts can be defined, allowing a single user to fetch mails from a number of mail servers. All messages fetched will be stored in the INBOX folder. Should the fetch operation exceed 10 seconds (due to a slow link or large message for example), the operation will be put into background to avoid an http timeout.

Mail Filter Support

Multiple filter rules can be set to move or copy incoming mails to different folders automatically or even delete them directly. The user can categorize mails from a specific person or spammer, and identify mails containing viruses very easily by defining rules of sender, receiver, SMTP relay, subject, body or filename of attachments.

In addition to the static filter rules, openwebmail has build-in five smart filters: repeatness filter, bad format from filter, faked smtp filter, faked from filter and faked exe contenttype filter. Repeatness filter, bad format from filter and faked SMTP filter are useful in filtering messages from spammer, faked from filter and faked exe contenttype filter are useful in filtering messages generated from virus.

Since mail filtering is activated only in Open WebMail, messages will stay in the INBOX until the user reads their mail with Open WebMail. 'finger' or other mail status check utilities may report new mail incorrectly, since they are not aware of filters: A command tool '' is provided for use as finger replacement, which performs mail filtering before reporting mail status.

Message Count Preview

When the user pulls down the folderlist menu to select a folder, the counts of new messages and total messages of each mail folder are displayed after the folder name to assist the user in finding unread messages.

Confirm Reading Support

The user can request a 'confirm-reading receipt' for each message sent. When the message is read by the recipient, a receipt will be sent back to this user.

Persistent Running through SpeedyCGI

SpeedyCGI is a way to run perl scripts persistently, which can make openwebmail run much more quickly. It uses machnism similar to mod_perl or FastCGI. Open WebMail has been modified to work with SpeedyCGI. All you have to do is to install the SpeedyCGI package and change the interpreter for openwebmail scripts. Kevin L. Ellis has written a tutorial and benchmark for Open WebMail + SpeedyCGI.

HTTP Compression

Open WebMail supports compression of HTML content over HTTP. With compression turned on, the average page size has been reduced for over 80%. This feature effectively reduces the use of nework bandwidth between the client computer and the webmail server and is very useful for users with slow connection to the webmail server, eg: dialup users, PDA users.

There are too many other small enhancements to mention. You may choose to find them by yourself...


Open Webmail has the following modules to support different types of authentication:

Name Description Maintainer authenticate user with LDAP Ivan Cerrato
Kelson Vibber authenticate user with MySQL (through DBD::MySQL interface) Alan Sung authenticate user with MySQL under vmail (through DBD::MySQL interface) Zoltan Kovacs authenticate user with yppoppassd on NIS/YP server Vladimir M Costa authenticate user with PAM openwebmail authenticate user with PAM on cobalt server Taco Scargo authenticate user with PostgreSQL (through DBD::Pg interface)) Oliver Smith authenticate user with PostgreSQL (through native interface) Veselin Slavov authenticate user through pop3 server openwebmail authenticate user with unix passwd openwebmail authenticate user with unix passwd on cobalt server Trevor Paquett authenticate user of virtual domain on system running vm-pop3d & postfix openwebmail


Open Webmail is available for the following languages:

Language Abbreviation Lang/Templates Translation Help Translation Default/Cool3D Iconset
Arabic - Windows ar.CP1256 03/02/2003 Isam Ishaq    
Arabic - ISO 8859-6 ar.ISO8859-6 03/02/2003 Isam Ishaq    
Bulgarian bg 09/18/2003 Veselin Slavov   Veselin Slavov
Catalan ca 05/21/2002 Jordi Vidal   Jordi Vidal
Czech cs 02/25/2003 Pavel Schauer,
01/06/2003 Jan Bilik,
11/15/2001 Michal Drapak
  Jan Bilik
Chinese - Simplified zh_CN.GB2312 03/02/2003 Wang Jun from zh_TW.Big5 Compass Studio WebMail System
Chinese - Traditional zh_TW.Big5 up to date openwebmail Alex Huang HoYuan
Danish da 03/05/2003 Frank   Kenneth Nielsen
Deutsch de 09/13/2003 Markus Zander,
02/08/2003 Christian Schoepplein,
06/14/2001 Andreas Roedl
  Ralf Becker
Dutch nl 09/18/2003 Jeroen Visser
and Robert den Ouden
10/12/2001 Christian Boer,
06/28/2001 Michiel van Slobbe
Jeroen Visser and Robert den Ouden Jan Houtsma
English en up to date openwebmail William Brillinger,
Brent Epp
Emir Litric
Finnish fi 11/20/2002 Kari Paivarinta,
02/19/2002 Jouni Kivilahti,
02/19/2002 Helja Laitinen
  Kari Paivarinta,
Ville Alatalo
French fr 02/12/2003 Nabil SEFRIOUI,
01/22/2003 Cyril Sabatier
Frederic GLISE  
Hellenic/Greek el 10/04/2002 Dimitris sehh
  Dimitris sehh Michelinakis
Hebrew - Windows he.CP1255 09/27/2003 Yehuda Drori, Shay Sevet   Yehuda Drori
Hebrew - ISO 8859-8 he.ISO8859-8 03/26/2003 Yehuda Drori   Yehuda Drori
Hungarian hu 06/20/2003 Posz Marton,
02/21/2003 Peter Gervai,
01/29/2003 Nagy Endre,
Indonesian id 04/02/2002 Hu-Wei Liang    
Italian it 09/17/2003 Benedet Marvi   Andrea Partinico
Japanese - ShiftJIS ja_JP.Shift_JIS 04/25/2003 Captain James
and Interactive Artists, LLC
Japanese - eucJP ja_JP.eucJP 04/25/2003 from ja_JP.Shift_JIS    
Korean kr 06/24/2003 Thomas Chung,
12/31/2001 Moonsang Kwon
  Youngho Kang
Lithuanian lt 01/16/2003 Alvydas Sinkunas    
Norwegian no 04/25/2003 Are Tysland   Are Tysland
Polish pl 09/15/2003 Pawel Foremski,
03/13/2003 Pawel Jablonski,
01/09/2003 Mikolaj Menke,
06/03/2002 Grzegorz Nosek,
04/26/2002 Michal Talecki
  Grzegorz Nosek
Portuguese pt 06/18/2003 Jose Ferradeira    
Portuguese Brazil pt_BR 09/29/2003 Julio Cesar Cunha,
02/25/2003 Vladimir M Costa,
08/28/2002 Rui - iG,
09/20/2001 Edison Figueira Junior
Edison Figueira Junior Julio Cesar Cunha,
Jordi S. Bunster
Romanian ro 07/04/2003 Zeno Popovici,
06/03/2002 Vladimir Hrusca
  Vladimir Hrusca
Russian ru 03/07/2002 Denis Mysenko    
Serbian sr 09/13/2003 Aleksandar Pejic    
Slovak sk 09/13/2003 Lubos Klokner,
01/16/2003 Peter Sedivy
  Lubos Klokner
Spanish es 09/14/2003 Javier Smaldone Javier Smaldone Javier Smaldone
Swedish sv 07/22/2001 Goran Jartin    
Thai th 05/26/2003 Atsawin
Turkish tr 01/29/2003 Erdinc Guler   Erdinc Guler
Ukrainian uk 05/25/2003 Volodymyr M. Lisivka    
Urdu ur 03/29/2003 Muhammad Umair Abbasi   Muhammad Umair Abbasi

Some Language Charset Resources are available at

IANA: Official Names for Character Sets
W3C: Charsets supported by some popular HTML applications
W3C: Languages, countries and the charsets typically used
Mirosoft: Character Set Recognition
Mirosoft: Valid Locale Identifiers




  • Thanks to Thomas Chung, who donated the domain to the Open Webmail project, setup site and maintained the RPM package for Open Webmail on RedHat/Linux platform. He also helped other users to solve problems on installing Open Webmail. Thank you, Thomas!
  • Thanks to Norvasen for hardware, DNS and bandwidth for
    Thanks to Pentecost Inc. for their consulting expertise and operational support.
  • Thanks to Emir Litric for his great works of art. He made all the great 3D icons and the many fancy styles in Open WebMail, and maintained the doc/RedHat-README.txt. He is now one of the authors of Open Webmail.
  • Thanks to Dattola Filippo, who wrote the advanced search module and stationery module in the openwebmail. He also wrote the patch to support mark read operation on whole folder, save message to draft if sendmail error and fixed the bug that the ' and \ chars in filterrule will be eat by javascript
  • Thanks to Bernd Bass, who wrote the vdomain module which can be used to manage the vm-pop3d/postfix virtual domain users.
  • Thanks to Scott Mazur who has written the to add the forward, autoreply and vdomain_mailbox_command support for vdomain users. He also made a lot changes to the core system for better performance.
  • Thanks to Brent Epp and William Brillinger of Precision Design Co., Altona, Manitoba, Canada., who wrote the great help tutorial for openwebmail.
  • Thanks to Russ Reese, the login alias/mapping is based on his patch code and idea.
  • Thanks to Dugal James P., who submitted the patches for PAM support, automated DST adjustment, internal msg detection on Solaris dtmail, disallowed_pop3servers option, fix for passwdfile in NIS+, fix for user homedir in sun automounter and fix to the content-type header error in attachment downloading.
  • Thanks to Raul Monferrer, who submitted the patch for multiple dictionaries support in spellcheck.
  • Thanks to James Dean Palmer, who contributed the support for new mail headers: In-Reply-To, References and X-Status. He also wrote a new sort method "by thread" for folderview, added the 'A' flag display of answered messages and made the from column more concise by cutting it off at .AT. symbol if it is a pure address.
  • Thanks to Nimal Ratnayake, who submitted the patch for .forward editing.
  • Thanks to Chen-hsiu Huang, who fixed the templates to solve the display problem on Mozilla/Netscape browser and added support for 'markasread'.
  • Thanks to, who contributed the patch of search support in addressbook.
  • Thanks to Carl Olsen, who contributed the code of using Net::SMTP module. This allows openwebmail to use other host as SMTP relay for mail sending.
  • Thanks to Brian Suttonb, who contributed the Hotmail style definition file.
  • Thanks to Ivan Cerrato, who contributed the LDAP authentication module( and script to add an user account on a LDAP server
  • Thanks to Volodymyr M. Lisivka, who patched the to check vocabularies composed by characters other than English letters.
  • Thanks to, who has fixed a lot of bugs in so it can work correctly with server of pure virtual user configuration. He also provided the idea and code for disable_embedded_CGI option and suggested the use of $ENV{SCRIPT_FILENAME} so *.pl can find required modules automatically
  • Thanks to Chris Heegard, who provided the information of how to use openwebmail on Mac OS X and suggested the use of to generate C wrappers for suid scripts.
  • Thanks to A.Johnson Jeba Asir, who fixed the hang problem in attachment uploading caused by a bug in encode_base64() in
  • Thanks to Koppi, who fixed the bug related to the variable localization behavior in 'foreach' statement.
  • Thanks to Oliver Schindler, who helped to debug the insecure dependence error due to tainted variables
  • Thanks to Veselin Slavov, who contributed the PostgreSQL authentication module (, pgsql interface) and submitted the patch to add selection menu of logindomain at login
  • Thanks to Kelson Vibber, who fixed a serious bug in, a bug in smiley code in readmessage and added %1 variable support to virtusertable
  • Thanks to Trevor Paquette, who made fix for option domainname_override and folderusage_threshold and the auth_module for Cobalt server.
  • Thanks to Andrea Partinico, who made the and under uty/, which can be used to generate the Cool3D iconsets for different languages. The Cool3D.Large.English and Cool3D.Italian is made with these scripts.
  • Thanks to Neil Inns, who donated the openwebmail.con domainname to this project.
  • Thanks to Ralf Becker, who submitted the patch that added preliminary subdir support to mailfolder.
  • Thanks to James Briggs, who provided the great help in testing and debugging the charset conversion for Japanese language.
  • Thanks to Isam Ishaq, who provided suggestions and helped openwebmail to support languages in RTL(right-to-left) mode, eg: Arabic, Hebrew.
  • Thanks to Javier Smaldone who provided the enhance code to addressbook popup window. The user can set default filter for listed entries, and the checked entries will be remembered even after filter statement is changed.
  • Thanks to Alex Teslik who greatly improved the web calendar by writing new dayview code and the item update routines.
  • Thanks to Scott E. Campbell who added the personal dictionary support to spellcheck
  • Thanks to Alexander Mutsaers who designed the XP serious (red/green/blue/purple) iconsets for openwebmail.


If you encountered any problem with Open Webmail, please check changes.txt to see if the problem is fixed in the latest current version. If not, try the readme.txt and faq.txt.
If you want to seek help, please post your problem in the openwebmail-users discussion forum.
If you want to submit patch or bug-report, please email to
If you want to mirror this site, please use this script.

Please DO NOT email questions/problems to or the authors directly, they will be just simplely ignored. We would prefer to do the discussion on the forum thus the information could be shared by others.


The Open WebMail is brought to you by

Chung-Kie Tung 董仲愷
Nai-Jung Kuo 郭乃榮
Chao-Chiu Wang 王詔丘
Emir Litric  
Thomas Chung  
Filippo Dattola  
Bernd Bass  
Scott Mazur  

Distributed System Laboratory
Department of Electrical Engineering
National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, R.O.C.


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