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Old 01-25-2007, 07:40 AM   #1
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Question Needing to setup SquirrelMail on Dell PowerEdge 2800 and need some advise

Hello everyone,

Of course I'm very green to Linux and have been asked by my superiors to look into the possibilities of SquirrelMail.

We're about to loose our Internet provider (which gives us access to their SquirrelMail server) and I'm looking into different solutions for email.

I've worked with Exchange, Server 2000/2003 for several years but the cost is a little out of our reach.

I'm wanting to install a flavor of Linux on a Dell PowerEdge 2800 and then setup SquirrelMail for a school system. I've installed Debian 3.1 on the Dell and have been able to get X server running but have had a hard time trying to get the NIC recognized.

My question is... What would be best flavor to use? Mandrakelinux, SUSE, Fedora Project, Red Hat, Knoppix, Ubuntu Linux, Slackware, MEPIS, Gentoo, Debian, Linspire, Xandros, CentOS or Mandriva.

I'm not looking for the easiest and I'm not scared to get my hands dirty. I'm just looking for what's the best solution in the long run.

Thanks for the help
Old 01-25-2007, 11:08 AM   #2
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Miami, Florida, USA
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This is the most asked question in LQ; which distro is the best and so. Everytime I read that I think of "Which is the best cereal corn flake box: Captain Crunch, Rice Krispies or Kellogg's. When you're really hungry past midnight and there's nothing but milk and a box of whatever cereal it really doesn't matter.

My preference in order is Debain 3.1, Ubuntu 6.10 or Fedora 6. It really doesn't matter - it's mostly a matter of which general distro are you most comfortable with.
Old 01-25-2007, 11:22 AM   #3
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Out of curiosity have you tried Debian Etch ? Yes I know it's not 'stable' yet, but it should be very, very, soon.
Debian stable 3.1r4 Was unable to install on my new HP server, it was unable locate the Hard drive.. Etch on the other hand installed without a hitch and is running beautifully.. Now if they would just get it all finished up and moved to stable so I can put my new mail server into production...

This is the 'recipe' I used for my new mail server
Debian Mail server how-to with Courier IMAP, Amavisd, Spamassassin, ClamAV

And don't forget to configure your hostname properly.. an oversight here landed me on a blacklist within 2 days of putting my new sever in production.. it's always the stupid little things that tend to bite us..

Was nothing to plug in a web front end for the users.. I actually used Usermin for the web based front end due to some bizarre performance issues we experienced with Squirrelmail on the old server.. could have been a resource issue though since that old mail server was a PIII 550 w/128MB RAM.. my shiny new server is MUCH faster..

Management absolutely LOVES the new webmail front end (usermin), and that they can easily set their Auto-reply or forwarding options from the same interface as well..

What NIC is in your server that Debian doesn't want to recognize ? what does lspci report it as ? Might be a simple fix to get it running in Debian stable which you already have installed..

Last edited by farslayer; 01-25-2007 at 11:25 AM.
Old 01-25-2007, 01:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info farslayer...

I'm downloading Debian Etch as I type.

I will probably start over with etch and see how it goes. I don't need to have the server up until April, so I plan on playing around a bit and trying a few different things.

Thanks for the links, they will be most helpful.

The NIC is a Netgear Fa-311. I thought Linux would have not problem seeing the card, but I was wrong.

Thanks again
Old 01-25-2007, 05:30 PM   #5
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If you are going to try etch. give the net-install a shot. All packages will be up to date when the install completes because it downloads the latest versions as it installs. the netinstall iso is only around 100 MB or so in size..

on a side note, when you installed Debian stable did you install the standard 2.4 kernel (default) or did you use the linux26 command to get the 2.6 kernel during install ? the 2.6 kernel may actually detect that NIC even if the 2.4 kernel did not..
Old 01-26-2007, 07:38 AM   #6
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Thanks for info farslayer...

I used the 2.4 kernel when I installed. I'm going to try the 2.6 and see how that goes. I'm also going to download Etch net-install and try that.

Thanks for all the help and advice.
Old 01-26-2007, 09:46 AM   #7
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An excellent linux mail server install with squirrelmail included is

It takes you through installing on a Debian server step by step, to the point where you could be 10 or 80, with no computer experience, just the ability to read plain english sentences.

As benefits, besides squirrelmail, you get spamassassin (anti-spam), mail anti virus (clamav), and the whole thing wraps together very nice and easily. The core component under squirrelmail is qmail, and imap, smtp, and pop3 access is included in the setup.

Debian etch is a great way to go, although if you get the network card to work, sarge works fine too.



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