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Steps to Customise SquirrelMail

Posted by Allura on 20 09 2019.


This article aims to explain how WHM and cPanel version 11.44 and it’s previous versions make updates to SquirrelMail web application along with a guideline for users to make customizations to the installation.

General Installation Process

It is necessary to understand how WHM and cPanel update SquirrelMail before making changes to your SquirrelMail installation.

  1. To update cPanel and WHM, the /script/upcp script runs.
  2. The /usr/local/cpanel/install/webmail script is executed.
  3. This executes the /usr/local/cpanel/bin/update-squirrelmail script.
  4. This uses the rm -rf /usr/local/cpanel/base/3rdparty/squirrelmail command to remove the existing SquirrelMail installation.
  5. The correct SquirrelMail source tarball is extracted to the /usr/local/cpanel/base/3rdparty/ directory.
  6. The ownership is changed to the root user and the wheel group.
  7. The SquirrelMail data directory permissions are changed to 755.
  8. The existence of /var/cpanel/squirrelmail/install file is checked for. During step 5, this step is executed simultaneously. If the file exists, the script terminates it and step 6 is not executed. If the contents of the file are not possible to run, a print out to STDOUT takes place, and the usual configuration remains.
  9. IMAP configuration values are extracted and copied in the location.

Customized Instance of SquirrelMail Installation

A custom SquirrelMail tarball can be created. Necessary factors are:

  1. Location for a custom SquirrelMail tarball

During its runtime, /usr/local/cpanel/bin/update-squirrelmail looks for SquirrelMail custom tarballs. The value of $sqversion in these locations should match the value of $sqversion that the script defines. Its is important for the tarballs to extract to usr/local/cpanel/base/3rdparty/squirrelmail directory.

  1. Location to place a custom overlay file.

Certain characteristics, including themes, graphics, and plugins of SquirrelMail, can be customized using the overlay tarball. However, there is no necessity for the overlay to contain complete SquirrelMail distribution. Only the contents that you wish to modify are enough as cPanel and WHM overlay it onto the SquirrelMail installation. The chosen tarball needs to be installed and extracted while the /usr/local/cpanel/bin/update-squirrelmail script looks for appropriate files.

In case of multiple tarball files, the script uses them in the order in which it is listed.


Install SquirrelMail Plugins

Follow the given steps to install SquirrelMail plugins.

  • To open the SquirrelMail configuration menu, run /usr/local/cpanel/base/3rdparty/squirrelmail/config/ command.
  • The number of plugins to be installed needs to be input by the user. The available plugins are:

Installed Plugins    1. Login Authentication (login_auth) 3.0  Available Plugins:    2. administrator    3. Bug Report (bug_report) CORE    4. calendar    5. change_password 0.2    6. Demo (demo) CORE    7. filters    8. fortune    9. info    10. listcommands    11. mail_fetch    12. message_details    13. New Mail (newmail) CORE    14. Preview Pane (preview_pane) 2.0    15. sent_subfolders    16. spamcop    17. squirrelspell 0.5    18. Test (test) CORE    19. translate

  • Save changes and click on exit.


To take a look at your new SquirrelMail configuration, go to where denotes your domain name and session is indicates your present security token.