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How to install RainLoop (web-based email client) on Ubuntu 20.04?

Email plays an important role in companies and on a personal level. Sometimes it is convenient to have a personal email server, but sometimes it is not. So for this, we would use the web interface of each of the email services. In general, all these web clients fulfill their purpose and there is no need for a third party client. Although sometimes it is necessary to have an alternative to them, there are desktop clients such as Thunderbird but there are also web-based. That’s why today I’ll show you how to install RainLoop on Ubuntu 20.04.

RainLoop is a modern email client created in PHP. It is quite lightweight and does not consume too many resources. So we’re talking about a web-based client. It is compatible with many email providers, but also with its own mail server. So we have a new option to handle mail quickly and easily. RainLoop is open source since it is released under the GNU AFFERO license. However, it has an enterprise version with more features focused on businesses.

In the community version these are some of its features:

  • Modern user interface.
  • Complete support of IMAP and SMTP protocols including SSL and STARTTLS.
    Extending functionality with plugins installed through the admin panel.
  • Perfect rendering of complex HTML mails.
  • Drag’n’drop for mails and attachments.
  • Keyboard shortcuts support.
  • Autocompletion of e-mail addresses

In addition, the application has integration to popular services such as Dropbox, Twitter, Google, and Facebook.

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So, let us start to install RainLoop.

Install Rainloop on Ubuntu 20.04

1.- Install LAMP on Ubuntu 20.04

Rainloop is a web application that requires a ready and functional webserver to run. The requirements are few so it will not overload the server and we will notice problems.

So, read our post about it.

How to install LAMP on Ubuntu 20.04?

And these modules php-curl php-json php-iconv php-xml php-dom php-mysql php-pdo libapache2-mod-php

2.- Create a new database and user for Rainloop (Optional)

By default, Rainloop has contact support, however, to enable the use and management of contacts, it requires a relational database manager such as MariaDB or MySQL.

So, if you already have it and want to add support to contacts, just create a database and a new user.

sudo mysql -u root -p
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON rainloop.* TO 'user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

Now you can continue.

3.- Download and install Rainloop on Ubuntu 20.04

Now you can download RainLoop. This download will be done from the /tmp/ folder and we will use the wget command.

cd /tmp/
wget http://www.rainloop.net/repository/webmail/rainloop-community-latest.zip

Then create a folder for all the content of RainLoop.

sudo mkdir /var/www/rainloop

Once the package is downloaded, decompress it with the unzip command.

If you don’t have unzip, install it:

sudo apt install unzip

Now you can decompress the file.

sudo unzip rainloop-community-latest.zip -d /var/www/rainloop

The next step is to set the permissions on the folder where RainLoop is located as well as to change the owner of the folder to www-data

cd /var/www/rainloop
sudo find . -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;
sudo find . -type f -exec chmod 644 {};
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data .

Then, we must create a new Virtualhost for Rainloop. Remember that we are using Apache as the web server.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/rainloop.conf

And add the following:

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerName yourdomain.com
DocumentRoot "/var/www/rainloop/"

ErrorLog "/var/log/apache2/rainloop_error_log"
TransferLog "/var/log/apache2/rainloop_access_log"

      <Directory />
               Options +Indexes +FollowSymLinks +ExecCGI
               AllowOverride All
               Order deny,allow
               Allow from all
               Require all granted

       <Directory /var/www/rainloop/data>
           Options -Indexes
           Deny from all
1.- Creating a new virtualhost for Rainloop
1.- Creating a new virtualhost for Rainloop

Replace ServerName with your own. Then save the changes and close the text editor.

To enable the new Virtualhost, execute the following commands:

sudo a2ensite rainloop.conf
sudo systemctl reload apache2

Now we will be able to access it.

4.- Access to RainLoop

Now open your web browser and go to http://your-server and you will be shown the login window.

2.- Rainloop login page
2.- Rainloop login page

This is the address you have to use to access your mail with your accounts, but first, you have to access the program’s configuration panel.

To do this, go to http://your-server/?admin and there you will see the login screen to the control panel.

3.- Rainloop admin login screen
3.- Rainloop admin login screen

Log in with the default credentials “admin” and “12345” and you will see the control panel.

4.- Rainloop settings
4.- Rainloop settings

There you can configure the language, appearance, and so on. You will also see a warning that you need to change your default password.

If you want to enable contacts, go to the Contacts tab and configure it with the database settings.

5.- Contacs section
5.- Contacs section

And in the Domains section, you can add your email accounts.

6.- Configuring Rainloop on Ubuntu 20.04
6.- Configuring Rainloop on Ubuntu 20.04

Now it is ready for you to enjoy it.


RainLoop provides us with a modern interface for our email. It is especially useful when we have a personal mail server running.

So, share this post and join our Telegram channel and our Facebook page. Also, buy us a coffee 😉

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