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I've intalled postfix on a server. Most tutorials show I need to install an IMAP server like dovecot or courier-imap, then install some webmail interface like roundcube.

Because I don't really have any preference when it comes to the IMAP server, I would prefer to install a webmail that comes with its own IMAP layer just to simplify the process from that point on.

Does a webmail like this exist? I'm running PHP, so the webmail preferably would run on PHP, but other languages are OK too.

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closed as not constructive by mgorven, Ward, Michael Hampton, Ladadadada, pauska Sep 18 '12 at 22:54

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Eh, don't double post. – cjc Aug 13 '12 at 1:12
They're 2 different questions. – sameold Aug 13 '12 at 1:15
Closely related. I've updated the Answer in the other question with some groupware suggestions. – cjc Aug 13 '12 at 1:16
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I agree with the comments to your question. What you're asking for doesn't really exist... Let me try to explain.

Sending and receiving messages is done with the SMTP protocol, so you need an SMTP server. Just after receiving the message, the SMTP server (or the MTA, Message Transport Agent) calls an MDA (Message Delivery Agent) that actually stores the message. Then you need an access to this message storage. This is where you usually use IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) or POP3 (Post Office Protocol) that provide remote access to this storage (and/or local access using the localhost interface). An alternative would be to directly access the message store, using one of the most common storage format: maildir or mailbox.

IMAP is a protocol, which means it needs a server and a client. Your webmail is the client part, now you need a server part. Having the webmail application containing both the client and the server part of the IMAP protocol (the IMAP layer as you call it in your question) doesn't really make sense, because then you wouldn't need IMAP at all.

At the end you either need:

  • a webmail which can directly access the message storage used by your SMTP server (usually the maildir format), which exists but is not very common (see my answer on your similar question),
  • an IMAP server provided by a separate piece of software.

You might also want to check SMTP vs mail retrieval.

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Having the webmail system either provide it's own IMAP service or access mailboxes without IMAP would mean that it needs to care about mail storage formats (mdir, Maildir, etc.) and authentication (database, *nix accounts, PAM, LDAP, etc.). It therefore makes sense to separate these concerns and let a separate IMAP server deal with those issues, and have the webmail system use a standard protocol (i.e. IMAP) to access the mail. For this reason I doubt that there is a webmail system that does what you are looking for.

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There are monolithic things like Zimbra, Horde (I think) and, obviously, MS Exchange, that wrap everything (MTA, MDA, MUA) up into one package. But I don't think the OP is looking for that. – cjc Aug 13 '12 at 10:18

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