How to Install Postal Mail Server on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install and setup Postal Mail Server on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04.

For those who don’t know, Postal Mail Server is a complete and full-featured mail server for websites and servers that provides similar services like Sendgrid, Mailgun and Postmark, that you can run on your own server in your own environment.

Postal provides an HTTP API which allows you to integrate it with your services and send email from your sites and web apps, with strong spam and virus checking.

For more about Postal Mail Server, please check its homepage.

To get started with installing and configuring Postal Mail Server, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install MariaDB Database Server

Postal Mail Server needs a database server to store its content. To get a true open source database server, go and install MariaDB server.

To do that, run the commands below…

sudo apt update
sudo apt install mariadb-server libmysqlclient-dev

After installing MariaDB, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable MariaDB service to always start up when the server boots..

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

When you’re done, run the commands below to secure MariaDB server by creating a root password and disallowing remote root access.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Restart MariaDB server

To test if MariaDB is installed, run the commands below:

sudo systemctl status mariadb

That should display MariaDB service status.

● mariadb.service - MariaDB 10.1.44 database server
Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mariadb.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
Active: active (running) since Wed 2020-04-08 17:08:17 CDT; 1min 54s ago
Docs: man:mysqld(8)
Main PID: 22363 (mysqld)
Status: "Taking your SQL requests now…"
Tasks: 27 (limit: 4666)
CGroup: /system.slice/mariadb.service
└─22363 /usr/sbin/mysqld
Apr 08 17:08:17 ubuntu1804 /etc/mysql/debian-start[22396]: mysql

Step 2: Create Postal Mail Server Database

Now that you’ve installed MariaDB server, run the commands below create a blank database for Postal Mail Server.

To do that, run the commands below to logon to MariaDB. When prompted for a password, type the root password you created above.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called postal

CREATE DATABASE postal CHARSET utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_ci;

Next, create a database user called postaluser with new password

CREATE USER 'postaluser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

After that, grant the user full access to the postaluser database.

GRANT ALL ON postal.* TO 'postaluser'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 3: Install Ruby and RabbitMQ

After the above, go and install Ruby, Erlang and RabbitMQ packages on Ubuntu. These are required packages and are not available via Ubuntu default repositories.

To install the latest version of Ruby, you might need to do it from a third-party PPA. Below is how to add the PPA and install Ruby.

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:brightbox/ruby-ng

After that, run the commands below to update Ubuntu packages and install Ruby version 2.3.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ruby2.3 ruby2.3-dev build-essential

Now that you have install Ruby, continue below to get RabbitMQ installed. A requirement to run RabbitMQ is to have Erlang.

First, install Erlang. You can do that by adding its repository key to Ubuntu.

wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Then run the commands below to add the repository

echo "deb bionic contrib" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/erlang.list

After that, run the commands below to install Erlang.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install erlang

When you’re done installing Erlang, continue below to install RabbitMQ.

To install RabbitMQ, first add its repository to Ubuntu. You can do that by running the commands below.

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb $(lsb_release -sc) main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/rabbitmq.list'

Next, run the commands below to add repository’s key for the list above.

wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -
wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -

After adding RabbitMQ repository and key, run the commands below to install RabbitMQ package

sudo apt update
sudo apt install rabbitmq-server

After installing, the commands below can used to stop, start and enable RabbitMQ to always start up when the server boots.

sudo systemctl enable rabbitmq-server
sudo systemctl start rabbitmq-server
sudo systemctl stop rabbitmq-server

RabbitMQ also provides and web management console for easy management… To enable it, run the commands below

sudo rabbitmq-plugins enable rabbitmq_management

After that, open your browser and browse to the server name or IP address followed by port # 15672


You should see RabbitMQ web management console to logon… the default username and password is guest.

Username & Password: guest

Logon and begin configuring your server

Next, create Postal Mail Server RabbitMQ VirtualBox, user and password. To do that, run the commands below.

sudo rabbitmqctl add_vhost /postal
sudo rabbitmqctl add_user postal type_password_here
sudo rabbitmqctl set_permissions -p /postal postal ".*" ".*" ".*"

Step 4: Install Nodejs

To properly run Postal Mail Server, you’ll want to install Nodejs. That can easily be installed using the commands below:

sudo apt install curl
curl -sL | sudo bash
sudo apt-get install nodejs

Step 5: Install Postal Mail Server

Now that your server has everything needed to run Postal Mail Server, continue below to get it installed and configured.

First, create a service account for Postal Mail Server

sudo useradd -r -m -d /opt/postal -s /bin/bash postal

Next, allow Ruby to listen to web calls by running the commands below:

sudo setcap 'cap_net_bind_service=+ep' /usr/bin/ruby2.3

Next, installed required packages.

sudo gem install bundler
sudo gem install procodile
sudo gem install nokogiri -v '1.7.2'

Next, create Postal Mail Server directory, download the latest version and extract it into the directory, then give Postal user access.

sudo mkdir -p /opt/postal/app
sudo wget
sudo tar xvf latest.tgz -C /opt/postal/app
sudo chown -R postal:postal /opt/postal
sudo ln -s /opt/postal/app/bin/postal /usr/bin/postal

Next, install dependencies and initialize Postal configurations.

sudo postal bundle /opt/postal/vendor/bundle
sudo postal initialize-config

After that, open Postal default configurations file

sudo nano /opt/postal/config/postal.yml

Then make the highlighted changes and save.

# The host that the management interface will be available on
# The protocol that requests to the management interface should happen on
protocol: https
# This can be enabled to enable click & open tracking on emails. It is disabled by
# default as it requires a separate static IP address on your server.
enabled: false
# This can be changed to allow messages to be sent from multiple IP addresses
use_ip_pools: false
# Specify the connection details for your MySQL database
username: postaluser
password: portal_database_password
database: postal
# Specify the connection details for your MySQL server that will be house the
# message databases for mail servers.
username: postaluser
password: postal_database_password
prefix: postal
# Specify the connection details for your RabbitMQ server.
username: postal
password: postal_rabbitmq_password
vhost: /postal

After making the changes above, save the file.. then run the commands below to to initialize Postal services and create an account for its web portal.

sudo postal initialize
sudo postal make-user

You will be given an account detail similar to the one below:

Postal User Creator
Enter the information required to create a new Postal user.
This tool is usually only used to create your initial admin user.
E-Mail Address :
First Name : super
Last Name : Admin
Initial Password: :
User has been created with e-mail address

Finally, stop, start and check Postal service status.

sudo -u postal postal start
sudo -u postal postal status
Procodile Version 1.0.26
Application Root /opt/postal/app
Supervisor PID 26738
Started 2020-04-08 17:48:24 -0500
|| web
|| Quantity 1
|| Command bundle exec puma -C config/puma.rb
|| Respawning 5 every 3600 seconds
|| Restart mode usr1
|| Log path none specified
|| Address/Port none
|| => web.1 Running 17:48 pid:26744 respawns:0 port:- tag:-

Postal is installed and ready.. However, to browse via its portal you will need a web server. For this tutorial, we’re going to install Nginx.

Step 6: Install Nginx

To manage Postal Mail Server via its web portal, you must install a web server. Run the commands below to install Nginx.

sudo apt install nginx

Then copy Postal Nginx config to use as its VirtualHost.

sudo cp /opt/postal/app/resource/nginx.cfg /etc/nginx/sites-available/default

Then create a self-signed SSL certificate to use with the portal.

sudo mkdir /etc/nginx/ssl/
sudo openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout /etc/nginx/ssl/postal.key -out /etc/nginx/ssl/postal.cert -days 365 -nodes

Answer the prompts as shown below:

Generating a RSA private key
writing new private key to '/etc/nginx/ssl/postal.key'
You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:US
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:MN
Locality Name (eg, city) []:Brooklyn
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:
Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name) []
Email Address []:

Next, open Nginx configuration file and edit the server name to be

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/default

Edit the server name and save:

server {
listen [::]:80;
return 301 https://$host$request_uri;

Restart Nginx

sudo systemctl reload nginx

After that, browse to the server name and login.

Postal Mail Server Ubuntu Install

Login and being setting up your environment.

Postal Mail Server

That should do it!


This post showed you how to install Postal Mail Server on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04. If you find any error above, please use the form below to report it.

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One thought on “How to Install Postal Mail Server on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04

  1. How unistall postal?
    I try with sudo apt-get autoremove –purge postal
    but say “the package is not installed” but when run htop y see all postal services in memory.

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