Webmailer

SquirrelMail
IlohaMail
RoundCube
BlueMamba

Lately I decided to leave my current mailclient Clawsmail and switch to a web-based solution. A requirement was to be able to intall it on a hosted webspace (Hosteurope in my case). Furthermore it should provide threaded views and filters to handle mailinglists. A quick search brought me the following candidates which I will discuss in detail below. All these webmailers are written in PHP and licensed under the GPL.

SquirrelMail

This is the veteran among the tested webmailers. SquirrelMail started in 1999 and looks a little antiquated compared to all the shiny Web2.0-Services today. It understands IMAP, but no POP3. Some of its advantages are that it doesn't necessarily need Javascript and works without a database.
Because it has little requirements installation should be easy. In fact there is a Perl configuration script which can't be run on most shared webspace, but I guess configuration can be done manually too. I haven't tried though, since Hosteurope already provides a SquirrelMail frontend to their customers.
Basic filtering is provided by SquirrelMail by coloring matching messages accordingly in different colors. However I prefer to have my filtered mails moved to proper folders. Possibly you could use a plugin to achieve this, but recently SquirrelMails webserver got compromised and they hold on access to the plugins for security reasons.

IlohaMail

Not as popular as SquirrelMail, but rock solid and base of several other webmailers. In contrast to SquirrelMail it also supports POP3 in case you need it. While it nicely installs on a hosted webspace (MySQL is needed) it does not have any filtering capabilities which is a showstopper for me. Anyway I wanted to mention it here, because the following last two webmailers are based on IlohaMail.
It can display Images and HTML inline if you want. Searching messages is implemented (requires IMAP) and multiple identities are supported. Personally I really like the way the contacts list is arranged and find it very easy to create new contacts from received mails. The builtin calendar and bookmark manager are very basic.

RoundCube

Pretty webmailer based on IlohaMail and effectively has the same features but with much more eyecandy. It makes use of the latest web technology like XHTML, CSS2, AJAX and allows composing of messages with Richtext/HTML. Wether this is good or not, is up to you. Hosteurope now offers RoundCube as an alternative to SquirrelMail to their customers.

BlueMamba

The last webmailer I tried (also based on IlohaMail) finally gave me what I was looking for. Well, I have to say almost. BlueMamba shows messages in a threaded view and allows for basic filtering, that is great. It isn't quite easy to install though. After some tinkering I finally had it working.
BlueMamba has a nice and clean user interface. Basic filtering is supported, enough to sort out incoming mailinglists. It features the nice contacts list from IlohaMail and has a improved calendar and bookmark manager.

As you may expect, BlueMamba has become my favourite webmailer. I think it has potential and at least is sufficient for my needs. I think I will write down how to install BlueMamba on a hosted webspace on post on this blog later.

BlueMamba

So you got Bluemamby working?
Please tell us how!
I think I am not an IT beginner, but getting bluemamba to work without the program being supported by the author(Drunk in any way and without the program being introduced by any installation procedure was too hard for me.
So now I'm looking for people on the web who managed to install it correctly. You are one of those. Please explain!

Re: BlueMamba

Well, I've stopped using BlueMamba and actually won't recommend it, since the author obviously isn't supporting it anymore.
However I'll later post here how I got it working.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <object><h4>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Textual smileys will be replaced with graphical ones.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.