Check email anywhere from SquirrelMail server

Q I have a Linux mail server (SquirrelMail). How can I check my mail from any Windows workstation without installing any extra software?

A You can read your mail using any standard mail software, or even Outlook Express. If you want to be able to read it without reconfiguring the mailer on the workstation, as would be the case if you were only using it temporarily, your best option is to install a webmail program on the server - that way you can read your mail from anywhere with nothing more than a web browser. One of the most popular webmail servers is Squirrelmail (www.squirrelmail.org). You will need an IMAP server running on the Linux box, because most webmail programs use IMAP. SquirrelMail is a PHP program, running through a web server, so you will also need Apache (or another web server) installed and running.

Once installed and configured, which is well documented and a simple process, you can access your mailbox from most web browsers. While SquirrelMail is one of the more popular and longstanding webmail projects, there are several other choices; I rather like RoundCube, from www.roundcube.net. This is an Ajax project, and although it's only at release 0.1beta2, seems stable with a reasonable feature set. Which of these you choose to use, or whether you go for another alternative, such as NeoMail (http://neocodesolutions.com/software/neomail) depends on your needs. If you need only occasional access to check your email when away from your own computers, I would recommend you try RoundCube, although any of these is fine for this task.

If you anticipate a heavier use requiring more of the features of a full email client, you should try them all and see which suits your needs best. You can have more than one of these installed at a time by putting each one in a different directory on the server. That way you can jump between them before you decide which one suits your needs most closely.

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