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:




Default value

Authentication type


The backend used for authentication


Default password scheme


Scheme used to crypt mailbox passwords




Number of rounds (only used by sha256crypt and sha512crypt). Must be between 1000 and 999999999, inclusive.


Secret key


A key used to encrypt users’ password in sessions

random value

Sender address


Email address used to send notifications.

Enable communication


Enable communication with Modoboa public API


Check new versions


Automatically checks if a newer version is available


Send statistics


Send statistics to Modoboa public API (counters and used extensions)


Top notifications check interval


Interval between two top notification checks (in seconds)


Maximum log record age


The maximum age in days of a log record


Items per page


Number of displayed items per page


Default top redirection


The default redirection used when no application is specified


Enable MX checks


Check that every domain has a valid MX record


Valid MXs


A list of IP or network address every MX should match. A warning will be sent if a record does not respect this it.

Enable DNSBL checks


Check every domain against major DNSBL providers


DKIM keys storage directory


Path to a directory where DKIM

generated keys will be stored

Default DKIM key length


The default size (in bits) for new keys


Handle mailboxes on filesystem


Rename or remove mailboxes on the filesystem when they get renamed or removed within Modoboa


Mailboxes owner


The UNIX account who owns mailboxes on the filesystem


Default domain quota


Default quota (in MB) applied to freshly created domains with no value specified. A value of 0 means no quota.


Automatic account removal


When a mailbox is removed, also remove the associated account


Automatic domain/mailbox creation


Create a domain and a mailbox when an account is automatically created



If Dovecot is not running on the same host than Modoboa, you will have to define which password schemes are supported. To do so, open the file and add a DOVECOT_SUPPORTED_SCHEMES variable with the output of the command: doveadm pw -l.


If you are not familiar with virtual domain hosting, you should take a look at postfix’s documentation. This How to also contains useful information.


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.

Media files

Modoboa uses a specific directory to upload files (ie. when the webmail is in use) or to create ones (ex: graphical statistics). This directory is named media and is located inside modoboa’s installation directory (called modoboa_site in this documentation).

To work properly, the system user which runs modoboa (www-data, apache, whatever) must have write access to this directory.


Custom new admin sub-url

You can edit the new admin sub-url (by default it is /new-admin).

To do so, open the file and add (or uncomment) NEW_ADMIN_URL variable. This variable must contain a relative url without initial and last ‘/’. For example:

NEW_ADMIN_URL = 'test_admin'

You will need to change you web server accordingly and rebuild the frontend.

Host configuration


This section is only relevant when Modoboa handles mailboxes renaming and removal from the filesystem, which requires that Dovecot is installed and running on this host. If it is installed at a non-standard directory, paths to its binaries can be set in the file with the DOVECOT_LOOKUP_PATH and DOVEADM_LOOKUP_PATH variables.

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.

Logging authentication

To trace login attempts to the web interface, Modoboa uses python SysLogHandler so you can see them in your syslog authentication log file (/var/log/auth.log in most cases).

Depending on your configuration, you may have to edit the file and add ‘address’: ‘/dev/log’ to the logging section:

'syslog-auth': {
    'class': 'logging.handlers.SysLogHandler',
    'facility': SysLogHandler.LOG_AUTH,
    'address': '/dev/log',
    'formatter': 'syslog'

External authentication


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:

  # 'modoboa.lib.authbackends.LDAPSecondaryBackend',  # Useful for a fallback mechanism

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:



Default value

Server address

The IP address of the DNS name of the LDAP server


Server port

The TCP port number used by the LDAP server


Use a secure connection

Use an SSL/TLS connection to access the LDAP server


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.


Password attribute

The attribute used to store user passwords


Active Directory

Tell if the LDAP server is an Active Directory one


Administrator groups

Members of those LDAP Posix groups will be created ad domain administrators. Use ‘;’ characters to separate groups.

Group type

The type of group used by your LDAP directory.


Groups search base

The distinguished name of the search base used to find groups

Domain/mailbox creation

Automatically create a domain and a mailbox when a new user is created just after the first successful authentication. You will generally want to disable this feature when the relay domains extension is in use


If you need additional parameters, you will find a detailed 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.


It is possible to use an existing SMTP server as an authentication source. To enable this feature, edit the file and change the following setting:


SMTP server location can be customized using the following settings:

AUTH_SMTP_SECURED_MODE = None  # 'ssl' or 'starttls' are accepted

LDAP synchronization

Modoboa can synchronize accounts with an LDAP directory (tested with OpenLDAP) but this feature is not enabled by default. To activate it, add modoboa.ldapsync to MODOBOA_APPS in the file:


and enable it from the admin panel.


Make sure to install additional requirements otherwise it won’t work.

The following parameters are available and must be filled:



Default value

Enable LDAP synchronization

Control LDAP synchronization state


Bind DN

The DN of a user with write permission to create/update accounts

Bind password

The associated password

Account DN template

The template used to build account DNs (must contain a %(user)s placeholder

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
# Or like this if you use a virtual environment:
# 0 0 * * * <virtualenv path/bin/python> <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: clearsessions. 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>/ clearsessions
# Or like this if you use a virtual environment:
# 0 0 * * * <virtualenv path/bin/python> <modoboa_site>/ clearsessions

Cleaning inactive accounts

Thanks to Last-login tracking, it is now possible to monitor inactive accounts. An account is considered inactive if no login has been recorded for the last 30 days (this value can be changed through the admin panel).

A management command is available to disable or delete inactive accounts. For example, you could setup a cron job to run it every night:

0 0 * * * <modoboa_site>/ clean_inactive_accounts
# Or like this if you use a virtual environment:
# 0 0 * * * <virtualenv path/bin/python> <modoboa_site>/ clean_inactive_accounts

The default behaviour is to disable accounts. You can delete them using the --delete option.

DMARC reports

A set of tools to use DMARC through Modoboa.

This feature is still in BETA stage, for now it only parses XML aggregated reports and generate visual reports on a per-domain basis.



modoboa-installer can automatically set it up for you.

Make sure to install the following additional system package according to your distribution:

Debian / Ubuntu




Integration with Postfix

A management command is provided to automatically parse DMARC aggregated reports (rua) and feed the database. The execution of this command can be automated with the definition of a postfix service and a custom transport table.

First, declare a new service in /etc/postfix/

dmarc-rua-parser unix  -       n       n       -       -       pipe
  flags= user=vmail:vmail argv=<path to python> <path to modoboa instance>/ import_aggregated_report --pipe

Define a new transport table inside /etc/postfix/

transport_maps =
    # other transport maps...

Create a file called /etc/postfix/dmarc_transport with the following content:

<email address your declared in your DNS record>  dmarc-rua-parser:


You must not declare this email address as an identity (user account or alias), else DMARC reports will be directed to your mailbox and won’t be parsed.

Hash the file using the following command:

$ postmap /etc/postfix/dmarc_transport

Finally, reload postfix:

$ service postfix reload