First of all you should read the documentation. Apart from the documentation
included when installing SquirrelMail (you'll find it in doc/), and
the documentation for the end users (which is available through the "Help" link
in SquirrelMail), there are a few other useful resources:
After reading the documentation there's one more thing to do: search for more
information on your own. The SquirrelMail Project has
mailing list archives and
contains useful information. The answers to your questions are likely to be
found there if not in the documentation. It's also recommended to use a search
engine, such as
the SquirrelMail search page.
Please use the tools described above, to make sure that you're not repeating a
question that have been asked before. Chances are that the answer you're looking
for is out there already.
To be able to get help solving your problem, you need to provide details about
it. The better details you provide, the easier it will become to find the
solution needed. Make it a rule to collect as much information as possible, even
if you think that it might be irrelevant. Having to ask about more details is
quite common and slows down the process, which most likely isn't what you want
when asking for support.
Everyone trying to solve a problem, regardless of what kind of problem it might
be, wants to know as much as possible about the various things that might affect
the situation at hand. Here are some details that's needed when asking for
SquirrelMail version (such as 1.4.0, 1.5.0, or 1.4.12-SVN from
Every plugin installed (both names and version numbers)
PHP version (such as 4.2.0 or 5.2.4)
Web server (both brand and version number, such as Apache 1.3.27, or IIS
IMAP server (both brand and version number, such as Courier-IMAP 4.2.0,
UW IMAP as packaged by Debian as "uw-imapd (7:2002edebian1-13.1)", or
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003)
SMTP server (both brand and version number, such as Sendmail 8.14.1, or
Postfix as packaged by FreeBSD as "postfix-2.4.5,1")
OS and, if applicable, distribution (such as Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 for
i386 (kernel "linux-image-2.6.18-4-686 (2.6.18.dfsg.1-12etch2)"), Red
Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0.0 for PPC, NetBSD 3.1 for ARM, or Windows 2000)
How your software was installed, including the package name if
applicable (Fedora 7 "dovecot-1.0.1-12.fc7" installed by RPM, or
SquirrelMail 1.4.11 installed manually)
Browsers tried (both brand and version, such as Firefox 18.104.22.168, or
Internet Explorer 7.0.6000.16512)
Any things that might make your install different, even if minor (such
as web server rewrite rules, configuration files, load balancers, and
The bug report plugin (bundled with SquirrelMail) collects a number of useful
details, as does the
script. Make sure that the data provided by at least one of these is part of
your request for support.
Remember that details are of the essence, and it's close to impossible to give
too many of them.
When you are getting errors from SquirrelMail, PHP, your IMAP logs, or any
other source, please copy and paste the exact message text from all
error messages. Error messages from the SMTP or IMAP servers can usually be
found in the system mail log, which might be in a place such as
/var/log/maillog, and PHP errors might be found in the web server logs
(sometimes in a file such as /var/log/httpd/error_log), or by turning
PHP error displays on by either using the
Debugger plugin or
by editing php.ini (display_errors=On and error_reporting=E_ALL)
and restarting your web server.
The suggested logs above might not be applicable for your system, so check your
system documentation if you don't know where to find the error messages.
In addition to the sections above, there are some extra things to think about
when using the mailing lists.
All the lists are related to SquirrelMail, so please don't use them for
non-related topics. If, for some reason, you have to post something off
topic, please mark that post with "OT" in the subject line.
Post in plain text
Disable HTML posting in your mail client when posting the mailing lists.
Most archive tools can't handle HTML, so try to describe your problem with
words in plain text, and not in colors and such.
People may argue the pros and cons for various posting styles, such as
top-posting, bottom-posting, and double quoting, but use inline replying
when mailing to the SquirrelMail mailing lists. Remember that any mail you
send isn't just useful now and for yourself. When searching the archives
months later, being able to read a mail top-down is much easier than having
to jump back and forth in the mail to get the context. More information can
be found in
Wikipedia's article on posting style.
Trim your replies
Remove irrelevant lines from your replies, such as footers, but leave enough
for someone to understand the context when searching the archives.
Link to images, don't attach them
Try not to use images, but sometimes a picture says more than a thousand
words. In those cases, please refrain from attaching your picture.
Publishing it at the web and providing a link to it helps keeping the list
Only describe one problem per thread
Don't describe more than one problem per thread. That helps when choosing a
fitting subject and is more useful when searching the archives.
Start a new thread when having a new problem
Don't reply to a thread when your own post is not related to it, also known
as "hijacking threads". This is valid even if you change both the subject
and the mail body, since the other headers (which you can't change from your
client) will make your post appear in the thread you're replying to. Always
start a new thread from scratch.
Don't expect to get a reply within minutes. Wait at least 24 hours before
posting the same mail again. If you're impatient, you might want to consider
commercial support instead.
Make sure to use a subject line that describes the problem at hand. Putting
"Help" is a poor description, but something like "Connection dropped by IMAP on
login attempts" is more useful, both for you, the people trying to help you, and
other people searching the archives since they have similar issues.
To make the mailing list archives easier to search and use, please keep the
following in mind when choosing a subject for your post to the mailing list:
Not everyone wants to read every message. A good subject lets readers
know the subject without opening the message.
The mailing list archives serve as a form of self-generating
documentation. The better your subject line, the more likely someone
will learn from your post or reply.
If you are certain that the problem is related to a specific plugin, you
should include the plugin name in the subject line.
If you are writing a reply, try to preserve the sender's original
subject (unless it is the generic "no subject") as this helps preserve
threading if other reply mechanisms do not.
Some examples of good subject lines:
Warnings with today's SVN trunk
SquirrelMail 1.0.1 doesn't work with PHP 4.0.1p1
Re: SquirrelMail 1.0.1 doesn't work with PHP 4.0.1p1
compose.php won't load in Mozilla
mail_fetch plugin 1.4.9a hangs checking for messages
Subject line does not appear when sending mail to oneself
Some examples of too generic subject lines which violates the policy:
Problem (or variations thereof, like "I have a problem" or "SquirrelMail
Before contacting the free support, which is provided by the SquirrelMail
Project Team and the SquirrelMail community, make sure that the prerequisites
are fulfilled. Please note that this free service is "best effort only", i.e.
please do not demand answers within a certain timeframe in the same way as when
you have a
commercial support agreement.
Please note that the free support only covers the SquirrelMail software, and not
any other problems that you might have regarding sending or receiving mail with
your employer's or ISP's particular installation. Problems such as "My mail
keeps bouncing", "How come the boss didn't get my big proposal? Fix it!", or
"Why are you blocking my mail?" is akin to asking the folks who built the road
why your car's running poorly.
If you have general questions, comments, or suggestions please send them to our
mailing lists. The SquirrelMail Project Team actively monitors the lists, and
you should get replies within a reasonable time. The available lists are listed
When you try to join a list, a confirmation mail will be sent to you. Simply
reply to that confirmation message (leaving the subject line intact), and you
will be subscribed. Remember that you must be a member of a mailing list in
order to post to it.
SquirrelMail Webmail Users Mailing List (legacy name)
Despite its name, this list is intended for supporting administrators and not end users. This is the main SquirrelMail Webmail list, dealing mostly with administrating SquirrelMail Webmail and general feedback.
Legend: S = SourceForge, M = MARC, G = Gmane, N = Nabble
(there's also an
all-in-one interface for all list archives at Nabble).
The subscription interface for
all mailing lists can
also be found at the project site at SourceForge.
The SquirrelMail Project uses trackers to manage bugs, patches and feature
requests. Using a tracker instead of the mailing lists prevent your patches,
feature requests, and bug reports from "getting drowned" in the amount of mails
at the lists. Try to use the trackers only when reporting new, not previously
addressed issues. If you're not sure whether to use the mailing lists or the
trackers, ask for advice at the mailing lists.
A list of
all trackers can
be found at the project site at SourceForge.
The Internet Relay Chat channel
The SquirrelMail Project has an
Internet Relay Chat channel. It can be used to get support on a best
effort basis. Ask your question and wait patiently - someone will answer it
eventually. Keep in mind that even if the channel appears populated, most of the
users are away from their keyboards (AFK) most of the time. And no, typing
"Hello?" won't get them back any quicker - it's better to describe what you need
third party companies that provide commercial support and service level agreements
for SquirrelMail installations. These companies make their living supporting
open source software for a fee, so don't call them asking for free support.
Depending on the services they provide, they might not require you to do as much
research on your own as when asking for free support, and you might be able to
have guaranteed response and resolution times as well (check your support
contact for the details).
The SquirrelMail Project takes security very seriously. If you think you've
discovered a security-related issue in SquirrelMail, i.e. something that's a
problem for all users installing and using SquirrelMail, please contact the
SquirrelMail Project Team directly. The developers will do their best to work
with you towards a solution as quickly as possible and will of course give all
credit where it's due.
A list of already solved SquirrelMail security issues and the contact
information for security issues can be found at the
SquirrelMail security page.