You are currently browsing documentation for the master branch. Documentation for the stable 1.9 branch can be found here.

Changing the database back-end

By default Mailu uses a SQLite database. We have changed the internals of Mailu to enable the support of alternative database solutions such as PostgreSQL and MySQL/MariaDB.

Migrating to a different database back-end

From Mailu 1.9, Mailu has a cli command (link) for exporting and importing the complete Mailu configuration. Using this tool it is very easy to switch what database back-end is used for Mailu. Unfortunately roundcube does not have a tool for exporting/importing its configuration. This means it is not possible to switch the database back-end used by roundcube using out of box tools.

To switch to a different database back-end:

  1. Run config-export to export the configuration. E.g. docker-compose exec admin flask mailu config-export –secrets –output mail-config.yml

  2. Set up your new database server. Refer to the subsequent sections for tips for creating the database.

  3. Modify the database settings (DB_*) in mailu.env. Refer to the configuration guide (link) for the exact settings.

  4. Start your Mailu deployment.

  5. Run config-import to import the configuration. E.g. docker exec -i $(docker-compose ps -q admin) flask mailu config-import -v < mail-config.yml

Mailu has now been switched to the new database back-end. The Mailu configuration has also been migrated.

External MySQL/MariaDB

It is also possible to use a MySQL/MariaDB database server, hosted elsewhere. In this case you’ll have to take to create an empty database for Mailu, corresponding user, password and sufficient privileges on the database to CREATE TABLE, DROP etc. Usually making the user owner of the database would be the easiest thing to do.

The following commands can serve as an example on how to set up MySQL/MariaDB for Mailu usage. Adjust this to your own liking.

mysql> CREATE DATABASE mailu;
mysql> CREATE USER `mailu`@`%` IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY `my-strong-password-here`;
mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON mailu.* TO 'mailu'@'%';
mysql> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

External PostgreSQL

It is also possible to use a PostgreSQL database server, hosted elsewhere. In this case you’ll have to take to create an empty database for Mailu, corresponding user, password and sufficient privileges on the database to CREATE TABLE, DROP etc. Usually making the user owner of the database would be the easiest thing to do. Don’t forget to set pg_hba.conf accordingly.

The following commands can serve as an example on how to set up PostgreSQL for Mailu usage. Adjust this to your own liking.

$ sudo su - postgres
$ psql
psql (10.6)
Type "help" for help.

postgres=# create user mailu;
CREATE ROLE
postgres=# alter user mailu password 'my_secure_pass';
ALTER ROLE
postgres=# create database mailu owner mailu;
CREATE DATABASE
postgres=# \c mailu
You are now connected to database "mailu" as user "postgres".
mailu=# create extension citext;
CREATE EXTENSION
mailu=# \q

In pg_hba.conf there should be a line like this:

host    mailu           mailu           <mailu_host>/32            md5

Note that this example is the bare-minimum to get Mailu working. It goes without saying that the database admin will have to setup his own means of backups and TLS encrypted connections.

Nowadays it is recommended to use the official PostgreSQL image from the PostgreSQL community. The repository is located here.

Mailu PostgreSQL

Mailu optionally came with a pre-configured PostgreSQL image which was deprecated in Mailu 1.8. Since Mailu 1.9 it is removed from Mailu. The following section describes how to move to a different PostgreSQL image for novice administrators. The official PostgreSQL image (Postgres) will be used.

A Mailu deployment with the Mailu PostgreSQL image, only used PostgreSQL for the Admin container (Web administration interface). Roundcube used SQLite as database back-end. Mailu uses the following configuration for connecting to the database:

  • Database host: ‘database’

  • Database name: ‘mailu’

  • Database user: ‘mailu’

  • Database password: See DB_PW in mailu.env.

Note

The following instructions assume that
  • project mailu is used. (-p mailu). If a different project (prefix) is used, then a different project can be specified.

  • the data folder is /mailu. Change this to a different value in case Mailu makes use of a different data folder.

  • All commands must be executed as root. On Debian/Ubuntu the sudo command is used to execute commands as root.

Prepare the environment. Mailu must not be in use. Only the database container.

  1. Open a terminal.

  2. cd /mailu

  3. docker-compose -p mailu down

  4. docker-compose -p mailu up -d database

Create the dump SQL file for recreating the database.

  1. docker-compose -p mailu exec database /bin/bash

  2. pg_dump -h database -p 5432 -U mailu > /backup/backup_db.sql

  3. Enter the password. See the value of DB_PW in mailu.env.

  4. exit

  5. The dump is saved to /mailu/data/psql_backup/backup_db.sql.

  6. docker-compose -p mailu down

Prepare the new PostgreSQL deployment.

  1. mkdir -p /mailu/data/external_psql/pgdata

  2. Create the file docker-compose-postgresql.yml with the following contents:

version: '3.1'
services:
  database:
    image: postgres:13
    restart: always
    environment:
      - POSTGRES_USER=mailu
      - POSTGRES_PASSWORD=DB_PW from mailu.env file
      - PGDATA=/var/lib/postgresql/data/pgdata
    volumes:
      - "/mailu/data/external_psql/pgdata:/var/lib/postgresql/data/pgdata"
      - "/mailu/data/psql_backup:/dump"
  1. docker-compose -f docker-compose-postgresql.yml up -d

  2. docker-compose -f docker-compose-postgresql.yml exec database /bin/bash

  3. cat /dump/backup_db.sql | psql -h localhost -p 5432 -U mailu

  4. exit

  5. docker-compose -f docker-compose-postgresql.yml down

  6. Remove the file docker-compose-postgresql.yml.

The new PostgreSQL deployment has the dump loaded now. Now it is time to modify Mailu to use the official PostgreSQL docker image.

  1. Edit docker-compose.yml and change:

database:
  image: ${DOCKER_ORG:-mailu}/${DOCKER_PREFIX:-}postgresql:${MAILU_VERSION:-master}
  restart: always
  env_file: mailu.env
  volumes:
    - "/mailu_db/data/psql_db:/data"
    - "/mailu_db/data/psql_backup:/backup"

to

database:
  image: postgres:13
  restart: always
  environment:
    - PGDATA=/var/lib/postgresql/data/pgdata
  volumes:
    - "/mailu/data/external_psql/pgdata:/var/lib/postgresql/data/pgdata"
  1. Edit mailu.env and append the following after the block

###################################
# Database settings
###################################
DB_HOST=database
DB_PORT=5432
DB_USER=mailu
DB_NAME=mailu

Mailu is now configured to use the official PostgreSQL docker image. Bring your new deployment online

  1. docker-compose -p mailu up -d

Optionally you can remove left-over files which were used by the old database:

  • /mailu/data/psql_backup (old database backup files

  • /mailu/data/psql_db (old database files)

Note

Roundcube does not offer a migration tool for moving from SQLite to PostgreSQL. In case roundcube is used, then in the setup utility SQLite can be chosen as database back end for roundcube.