Upgrading an existing installation

This section contains all the upgrade procedures required to use newest versions of Modoboa.


Before running a migration, we recommend that you make a copy of your existing database.

Latest version

Fetch the latest version (see Get Modoboa) and install it. pip users, just run the following command:

$ pip install modoboa==<VERSION>

Replace <VERSION> by the appropriate value.

As for a fresh installation, modoboa-admin.py can be used to upgrade your local configuration. To do so, remove the directory where your instance was first deployed:

$ rm -rf <modoboa_instance_dir>


If you customized your configuration file (settings.py) with non-standard settings, you’ll have to re-apply them.

Then, run modoboa-admin.py deploy:

$ modoboa-admin.py deploy <modoboa_instance_dir> --dbaction upgrade --collectstatic [--with-amavis] [--dburl database-url] [--amavis_dburl database-url] [--domain hostname] [--lang lang] [--timezone timezone]

If you prefer the manual way, check if Specific upgrade instructions are required according to the version you’re installing.

To finish, restart the web server process according to the environment you did choose. See Web servers for more details.

Specific upgrade instructions


A new notification service let administrators know about new Modoboa versions. To activate it, you need to update the TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS variable like this:

from django.conf import global_settings


and to define the new MODOBOA_API_URL variable:

MODOBOA_API_URL = 'http://api.modoboa.org/1/'

The location of external static files has changed. To use them, add a new path to the STATICFILES_DIRS:

# Additional locations of static files
  # Put strings here, like "/home/html/static" or "C:/www/django/static".
  # Always use forward slashes, even on Windows.
  # Don't forget to use absolute paths, not relative paths.

Run the following commands to define the hostname of your instance:

$ cd <modoboa_instance_dir>
$ python manage.py set_default_site <hostname>

If you plan to use the Radicale extension:

  1. Add 'modoboa.extensions.radicale' to the MODOBOA_APPS variable

  2. Run the following commands:

    $ cd <modoboa_instance_dir>
    $ python manage.py syncdb

1.1.7: manual learning for SpamAssassin

A new feature allows administrators and users to manually train SpamAssassin in order to customize its behaviour.

Check Manual SpamAssassin learning to know more about this feature.

1.1.6: Few bugfixes

Catchall aliases were not really functional until this version as they were eating all domain traffic.

To fix them, a postfix map file (sql-mailboxes-self-aliases.cf) has been re-introduced and must be listed into the virtual_alias_maps setting. See Configuration for the order.

1.1.2: Audit trail issues

Update the settings.py file as follows:

  1. Remove the 'reversion.middleware.RevisionMiddleware' middleware from the MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES variable
  2. Add the new 'modoboa.lib.middleware.RequestCatcherMiddleware' middleware at the end of the MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES variable

1.1.1: Few bugfixes

For those who installed Dovecot in a non-standard location, it is now possible to tell Modoboa where to find it. Just define a variable named DOVECOT_LOOKUP_PATH in the settings.py file and include the appropriate lookup path inside:

DOVECOT_LOOKUP_PATH = ("/usr/sbin/dovecot", "/usr/local/sbin/dovecot")

1.1.0: relay domains and better passwords encryption

Due to code refactoring, some modifications need to be done into settings.py:

  1. MODOBOA_APPS must contain the following applications:

  2. Add 'modoboa.extensions.postfix_relay_domains' to MODOBOA_APPS, just before 'modoboa.extensions.limits'

  3. AUTH_USER_MODEL must be set to core.User

  4. Into LOGGING, replace modoboa.lib.logutils.SQLHandler by modoboa.core.loggers.SQLHandler

Then, run the following commands to migrate your installation:

$ python manage.py syncdb
$ python manage.py migrate core 0001 --fake
$ python manage.py migrate
$ python manage.py collectstatic

Finally, update both Dovecot and Postfix queries.

1.0.1: operations on mailboxes

The way Modoboa handles rename and delete operations on mailboxes has been improved. Make sure to consult Operations on the file system and Postfix configuration. Look at the smtpd_recipient_restrictions setting.

Run modoboa-admin.py postfix_maps --dbtype <mysql|postgres|sqlite> <tempdir> and compare the files with those that postfix currently use. Make necessary updates in light of the differences

1.0.0: production ready, at last

Configuration file update

Several modifications need to be done into settings.py.

  1. Add the following import statement:

    from logging.handlers import SysLogHandler
  2. Set the ALLOWER_HOSTS variable:

        '<your server fqdn>',
  3. Activate the django.middleware.csrf.CsrfViewMiddleware middleware and add the reversion.middleware.RevisionMiddleware middleware to MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES like this:

        # Uncomment the next line for simple clickjacking protection:
        # 'django.middleware.clickjacking.XFrameOptionsMiddleware',
  4. Add the reversion application to INSTALLED_APPS

  5. Remove all modoboa’s application from INSTALLED_APPS and put them into the new MODOBOA_APPS variable like this:

    # A dedicated place to register Modoboa applications
    # Do not delete it.
    # Do not change the order.
  6. Set the AUTH_USER_MODEL variable like this:

    AUTH_USER_MODEL = 'admin.User'
  7. Modify the logging configuration as follows:

    LOGGING = {
        'version': 1,
        'disable_existing_loggers': False,
        'filters': {
            'require_debug_false': {
                '()': 'django.utils.log.RequireDebugFalse'
        'formatters': {
            'syslog': {
                'format': '%(name)s: %(levelname)s %(message)s'
        'handlers': {
            'mail_admins': {
                'level': 'ERROR',
                'filters': ['require_debug_false'],
                'class': 'django.utils.log.AdminEmailHandler'
            'console': {
                # logging handler that outputs log messages to terminal
                'class': 'logging.StreamHandler',
                #'level': 'DEBUG', # message level to be written to console
            'syslog-auth': {
                'class': 'logging.handlers.SysLogHandler',
                'facility': SysLogHandler.LOG_AUTH,
                'formatter': 'syslog'
            'modoboa': {
                'class': 'modoboa.lib.logutils.SQLHandler',
        'loggers': {
            'django.request': {
                'handlers': ['mail_admins'],
                'level': 'ERROR',
                'propagate': True,
            'modoboa.auth': {
                'handlers': ['syslog-auth', 'modoboa'],
                'level': 'INFO',
                'propagate': False
            'modoboa.admin': {
                'handlers': ['modoboa'],
                'level': 'INFO',
                'propagate': False

Postfix and Dovecot configuration update

It is necessary to update the queries used to retrieve users and mailboxes:

  1. Run modoboa-admin.py postfix_maps --dbtype <mysql|postgres> <tempdir> and compare the files with those that postfix currently use. Make necessary updates in light of the differences
  2. Into dovecot-sql.conf, update the user_query query, refer to MySQL users or PostgreSQL users
  3. Update dovecot’s configuration to activate the new quota related features

Migration issues

When running the python manage.py syncdb --migrate command, you may encounter the following issues:

  1. Remove useless content types

    If the script asks you this question, just reply no.

  2. South fails to migrate reversion

    Due to the admin user model change, the script 0001_initial.py may fail. Just deactivate reversion from INSTALLED_APPS and run the command again. Once done, reactivate reversion and run the command one last time.