Open Source Webmail Clients

For a long time I’ve been running SquirrelMail to provide webmail for my users. It does some things really well like allowing me to tie it into my Amavis/SpamAssassin spam and virii filtering solution on a per virtual-user basis. On the other hand the usability is not so great which is why I’m excited to see a new crop of AJAX powered webmail solutions on the horizon. For those not familiar AJAX lets you make web apps much more like desktop apps ala Google’s Gmail. Zimbra, communik8r and RoundCube have all come to my attention but none of them is quite ready for prime time yet. I hope that at least one of them stays an active project and allows for SquirrelMail style plugins which are essential to my webmail and need to work in a complex MySQL virtual user and Amavis per-user environment. If anyone else knows of any great webmail packages I haven’t seen please let me know!

*Edit: Based on the number of Google referred hits to this page I’m guessing that a lot of people are looking for a better open source webmail package for their mailserver. If you find one you like please post a link in the comments section and share your knowledge!


  1. I think we are in the same boat. I’m having trouble finding an open source webmail solution that will play nice with virtual users/multiple hosts and has a simple, clean front-end. Hacking the webmail systems to recognize virtual user mappings, spamassassin rules/preferences and allow custom triggers (e.g. mark not as spam and auto move to directory) have been the top challenges during setup. Sub-Admin accounts and highly customized templates would also be nice features to have. I’ve found a great product (based on open source packages) that provides most of these features, but it does cost a little. Check out @Mail ( It’s the closest thing that I’ve seen that still allows me to keep my existing mail/IMAP setup while providing most of the features that I need. I wish it was written in PHP 🙂 I’m in the process of installing the demo to test it out, so we’ll see how it goes.
    Thanks for pointing out some of the projects that are already utilizing AJAX! I didn’t even think to look around for such projects and some of them are certainly way more advanced than I would have expected. I was floored by the capabilities of Zimbra, although the demo ran a little slow for me. I can’t wait to test these packages and compare them to @Mail. Your post also made me look around some more and I found a great list of mail and other packages utilizing AJAX. You can find it at Wikipedia ( Good luck!

  2. Here’s one that I came across in my seemingly futile search for a decent webmail script:

    Seems like it might have potential. I will be installing and testing probably later this week.

  3. I just found out about this one. It’s currently in beta, but the demo is great!

  4. There’s a current webmail project that I’m actually a part of called Opticus. The official blog is on Ippimail’s site: .

    It’s a program that’s in development that will take the AJAX client and revolutionize the whole idea of webmail systems and email systems. It’s pretty sweet . . . you might want to spread the word so that developers are ready to ask for beta accounts when they get released (hopefully the end of May).


  5. Jason, you may want to check Claros ( as they have released a major 2.0 version with Ajax support all over the UI (webmail also includes a bundled instant messenger).

  6. My team have released a new open-source Ajax Webmail client called “Atmail Open”

    This is under the Apache 2.0 license, a lightweight IMAP client, fast UI and designed to be a drop-in replacement for Horde/IMP/SquirrelMail

    See for the project.

  7. atmail is really good if it supports SMTP & POP3 servers.