Customize RoundCube

Update: We now offer an assisted installation at Digital Ocean hosting for $25. If you’d like to try out iRedMail quickly and affordably, order here.

Install Your Own Private E-mail Server in the Cloud

Looking for a great gmail alternative, check out FastMail. To get started installing your own private email server, skip ahead to the instructions…

Customizing Roundcube

RoundCube isn’t as advanced as the GMail web client. If you’re looking for a more robust GMail alternative, try FastMail.

However, if more people adopt iRedMail and RoundCube, there will be more people engaged in improving the open source codebase.

You can also workaround RoundCube’s shortcomings by using your smartphone and favorite desktop mail client via IMAP or POP.

There are a variety of plugins for Roundcube – here and here.

A few suggested enhancements to RoundCube are described below:

Persistent Login Plugin

The Persistent Login Plugin provides a remember me checkbox on the sign in page:


Jeff Reifman

I’m a technology consultant and writer living in Seattle. You can follow me at @reifman. You may also be interested in my AWS tutorial for WordPress.

To install the Remember Me plugin, go to your RoundCube plug-in directory (Your version # may vary) and download the code.

cd /usr/share/apache2/roundcubemail-0.8.2/plugins
sudo wget

You may need to install unzip to unpack the code:

sudo apt-get install unzip

Rename the folder:

sudo mv Roundcube-Persistent-Login-Plugin-master persistent_login

Modify the active plugins array by editing the RoundCube file:

sudo nano

Add “persistent_login” to the plugins array:

// List of active plugins (in plugins/ directory)
/usr/share/apache2/roundcubemail-0.8.2/config# sudo nano
$rcmail_config['plugins'] = array("password","managesieve","persistent_login");

Reload Apache:

sudo service apache2 reload
Extending Session Lifetime

The default session lifetime for RoundCube is only ten minutes. I’ve changed mine to one week or 4320 minutes.

Go to your Roundcube configuration directory (based on your version number):


Change the session lifetime from 10 minutes to 60 or 600 or 4320 minutes, etc.:

Mark As Junk Plugin

The Mark as Junk plugin provides a GUI mechanism for you to mark email as spam and have iRedMail’s spam agents learn from your selections.

It’s a detailed installation process which is described best at the iRedMail Wiki.

Encryption for RoundCube

I’m not aware of any ready-made solutions for encrypting the directories and MySQL databases used by iRedMail. And, even if there was dynamic encryption – the keys would be available on the server if Amazon gave access to authorities.

Unless you’re encrypting your important email, it’s vulnerable to interception or spying. Unfortunately, there isn’t really an official PGP Encryption plugin in RoundCube yet. Again, this is one of those no-brainer areas that we’d expect to improve if more people adopt iRedMail and RoundCube.

Here are two leading encryption solutions:
1. OpenPGP for RoundCube via Javascript. This plugin is still in development and I was not able to get it to work properly.

2. Kerry Linux Solutions. This one has a slightly more difficult install but seems to indicate that it works.

I’m not aware of any ready-made solutions for encrypting the directories and MySQL databases used by iRedMail – however, this is theoretically possible. But, even if there was dynamic encryption – the keys would be available on the server if hacked or if Amazon gave access to authorities.

Using Multiple Mail Server Accounts with RoundCube

The identities_imap plugin allows you to access mail from multiple remote IMAP servers as if they were local folders. It requires use of the RoundCube plugin manager to install.

Getting Support for Roundcube

Visit the RoundCube support website.

Please feel free to post corrections, questions or comments below. You can also reach me on Twitter @reifman or email me directly.

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One Comment

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