Online parameters

Modoboa provides online panels to modify internal parameters. There are two available levels:

  • Application level: global parameters, define how the application behaves. Available at Modoboa > Parameters
  • User level: per user customization. Available at User > Settings > Preferences

Regardless level, parameters are displayed using tabs, each tab corresponding to one application.

General parameters

The admin application exposes several parameters, they are presented below:

Name Description Default value
Authentication type The backend used for authentication Local
Default password scheme Scheme used to crypt mailbox passwords crypt
Secret key A key used to encrypt users’ password in sessions random value
Handle mailboxes on filesystem Rename or remove mailboxes on the filesystem when they get renamed or removed within Modoboa no
Mailboxes owner The UNIX account who owns mailboxes on the filesystem vmail
Automatic account removal When a mailbox is removed, also remove the associated account no
Maximum log record age The maximum age in days of a log record 365
Items per page Number of displayed items per page 30
Default top redirection The default redirection used when no application is specified userprefs


A random secret key will be generated each time the Parameters page is refreshed and until you save parameters at least once.


Specific LDAP parameters are also available, see LDAP authentication.


Host configuration


This section is only relevant when Modoboa handles mailboxes renaming and removal from the filesystem.

To manipulate mailboxes on the filesystem, you must allow the user who runs Modoboa to execute commands as the user who owns mailboxes.

To do so, edit the /etc/sudoers file and add the following inside:

<user_that_runs_modoboa> ALL=(<mailboxes owner>) NOPASSWD: ALL

Replace values between <> by the ones you use.

Time zone and language

Modoboa is available in many languages.

To specify the default language to use, edit the file and modify the LANGUAGE_CODE variable:

LANGUAGE_CODE = 'fr' # or 'en' for english, etc.


Each user has the possibility to define the language he prefers.

In the same configuration file, specify the timezone to use by modifying the TIME_ZONE variable. For example:

TIME_ZONE = 'Europe/Paris'

Sessions management

Modoboa uses Django’s session framework to store per-user information.

Few parameters need to be set in the configuration file to make Modoboa behave as expected:


This parameter is optional but you must ensure it is set to False (the default value).

The default configuration file provided by the command is properly configured.



Modoboa supports external LDAP authentication using the following extra components:

If you want to use this feature, you must first install those components:

$ pip install python-ldap django-auth-ldap

Then, all you have to do is to modify the file. Add a new authentication backend to the AUTHENTICATION_BACKENDS variable, like this:


Finally, go to Modoboa > Parameters > General and set Authentication type to LDAP.

From there, new parameters will appear to let you configure the way Modoboa should connect to your LDAP server. They are described just below:

Name Description Default value
Server address The IP address of the DNS name of the LDAP server localhost
Server port The TCP port number used by the LDAP server 389
Use a secure connection Use an SSL/TLS connection to access the LDAP server no
Authentication method Choose the authentication method to use Direct bind
User DN template (direct bind mode) The template used to construct a user’s DN. It should contain one placeholder (ie. %(user)s)  
Bind BN The distinguished name to use when binding to the LDAP server. Leave empty for an anonymous bind  
Bind password The password to use when binding to the LDAP server (with ‘Bind DN’)  
Search base The distinguished name of the search base  
Search filter An optional filter string (e.g. ‘(objectClass=person)’). In order to be valid, it must be enclosed in parentheses. (mail=%(user)s)
Password attribute The attribute used to store user passwords userPassword
Active Directory Tell if the LDAP server is an Active Directory one no
Administrator groups Members of those LDAP Posix groups will be created ad domain administrators. Use ‘;’ characters to separate groups.  
Groups search base The distinguished name of the search base used to find groups  

If you need additional parameters, you will find a detailled documentation here.

Once the authentication is properly configured, the users defined in your LDAP directory will be able to connect to Modoboa, the associated domain and mailboxes will be automatically created if needed.

The first time a user connects to Modoboa, a local account is created if the LDAP username is a valid email address. By default, this account belongs to the SimpleUsers group and it has a mailbox.

To automatically create domain administrators, you can use the Administrator groups setting. If a LDAP user belongs to one the listed groups, its local account will belong to the DomainAdmins group. In this case, the username is not necessarily an email address.

Users will also be able to update their LDAP password directly from Modoboa.


Modoboa doesn’t provide any synchronization mechanism once a user is registered into the database. Any modification done from the directory to a user account will not be reported to Modoboa (an email address change for example). Currently, the only solution is to manually delete the Modoboa record, it will be recreated on the next user login.

Database maintenance

Cleaning the logs table

Modoboa logs administrator specific actions into the database. A clean-up script is provided to automatically remove oldest records. The maximum log record age can be configured through the online panel.

To use it, you can setup a cron job to run every night:

0 0 * * * <modoboa_site>/ cleanlogs

Cleaning the session table

Django does not provide automatic purging. Therefore, it’s your job to purge expired sessions on a regular basis.

Django provides a sample clean-up script: cleanup. That script deletes any session in the session table whose expire_date is in the past.

For example, you could setup a cron job to run this script every night:

0 0 * * * <modoboa_site>/ cleanup