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Getting started

Stalwart Mail Server is an open-source mail server solution with JMAP, IMAP4, and SMTP support and a wide range of modern features. It is written in Rust and aims to be secure, fast, robust and scalable.

Choosing a package

Stalwart Mail server is distributed as a single binary that includes JMAP, IMAP, and SMTP servers and also as standalone packages for those who need only one of these servers:

  • All-in-one Mail Server: A single binary that bundles JMAP, IMAP, and SMTP servers. This version is for those who need a complete, out-of-the-box solution.
  • JMAP Server: Standalone package containing only the JMAP server.
  • IMAP Server: Standalone package containing IMAP and JMAP server.
  • SMTP Server: Standalone package for those needing only an SMTP server.

Choosing a database backend

With the exception of the SMTP server-only version, when installing Stalwart Mail server you will be asked to select a database backend. This database serves as the storage for indexes and metadata, but it does not store any email messages. The available options are:

  • SQLite: Ideal for small to medium-sized installations. Designed for single-node setups, you can still ensure data redundancy using solutions like Litestream.
  • FoundationDB: Suitable for distributed, multi-server installations. It can support millions of users, making it an excellent choice for larger organizations.

Be aware that changing the database backend at a later time will require migrating your data.

Supported blob stores

The blob store is where email messages and other data such as Sieve scripts are stored. Unless you opt for the SMTP-only version, a blob storage backend has to be selected. Available options are:

  • Local Storage: Store blobs and messages locally. Email messages are stored using the Maildir format.
  • S3-Compatible Distributed Storage: Store blobs and messages on an S3-compatible server, including Amazon S3, Google Cloud, or MinIO.

Supported authentication backends

A database or directory server is required for authentication, validating local accounts, and obtaining account-related information such as names or disk quotas. Available options are:

  • LDAP: LDAP servers, including OpenLDAP and Active Directory.
  • SQL: SQL databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite.

In the event that you don't have an existing directory server or authentication database, the installation script can automatically create an SQLite authentication database for you.