Archive for the ‘Administration’ Category

Improved Debian packages for manitou-mdx 1.4.0

October 15th, 2015 Comments off

An APT repository is now available for manitou-mail, with the latest manitou-mdx packages for amd64 and i386 architectures.
Create /etc/apt/sources.list.d/manitou.list with these contents:

# for Debian 7 or 8
deb jessie main
# for Ubuntu 14.04 and other current versions
deb trusty main

(the distribution codename is obtained from `lsb_release -c` )

then run:

apt-get update
apt-get install manitou-mdx

The first time, the installer now asks if it should install the database.

Screenshot from 2015-10-10 23:45:38

When choosing Yes, it creates a new database as indicated (assuming a default PostgreSQL cluster is up and running), and auto-starts (configured in /etc/default/manitou-mdx)

The default source of mail defined in /etc/manitou-mdx.conf is also the Maildir directory for manitou as a user (/var/lib/manitou/Maildir). Then if the system is configured to use Maildir, messages directed to the local address manitou@localhost will end up directly into the database.

Hopefully, these changes will make it easier to start with manitou-mdx compared to the previous versions of the package.

On Debian, the default maildrop destination is still mbox files (/var/mail/$USER), and delivery happens through procmail. maildir is always a better choice. With procmail, this is configurable by putting in /etc/procmailrc:


If not using procmail, for example if postfix is responsible for the maildrop, set in /etc/postfix/

home_mailbox = Maildir/

See for more details.

Categories: Administration, New features Tags:

Installing manitou-mdx on FreeBSD 10

September 22nd, 2015 Comments off

Installing manitou-mdx on FreeBSD 10.1 can be achieved following these steps:

1) Install Perl modules

# perl -MCPAN -e shell
install DBD::Pg
install MIME::Entity
install URI::Escape
install IO::Uncompress::Gunzip
install Bit::Vector
install HTML::TreeBuilder

2) Build manitou-mdx from source
the current version is 1.3.1 from

cd manitou-mdx-1.3.1
perl Makefile.PL
# make install

This will install into /usr/local

3) Create the database, user, schemas

$ export PGDATABASE=postgres
$ manitou-mgr --create-database --db-super-user=pgsql --db-name=manitou

Categories: Administration Tags:

Exim4 and its pipe_transport unset error

September 3rd, 2012 Comments off

On Debian systems, Exim4 in its default configuration does not allow piping of an incoming mail into  a program defined in /etc/aliases. Instead of launching the program it will report this type of error in /var/log/exim4/mainlog:

system_aliases defer (-30): pipe_transport unset in system_aliases router

Yet that’s the method  suggested in manitou-mdx documentation’s “Delivering incoming mail into files”  section, and it has the advantage of being quite standard across most  MTAs.  This is also a problem for  popular mail software such as MailMan, as mentioned in this Ubuntu issue.

The solution is similar to the one mentioned in the above issue, except that it’s better to create a custom configuration file rather than editing exim4.conf.template, according to update-exim4.conf manpage.

In the simplest case where a split configuration for Exim is not used (dc_use_split_config=’false’), the fix is as simple as creating /etc/exim4/exim4.conf.localmacros containing:


SYSTEM_ALIASES_USER and SYSTEM_ALIASES_GROUP may be specified too if the defaults are not suitable, but only SYSTEM_ALIASES_PIPE_TRANSPORT is strictly necessary.

If a split configuration is used, the line should go into a file under /etc/exim4/conf.d, e.g. /etc/exim4/conf.d/main/000_localmacros

Categories: Administration Tags: