Setting Up Mail Services

The Panel works in cooperation with mail server software, which provides e-mail services for mailboxes and mailing lists. After installation the mail server is configured automatically and is ready to serve, however, we recommend that you review the default settings to make sure that they satisfy your needs.

By default, the Postfix mail server is installed on Parallels Plesk Panel for Linux platforms, and MailEnable mail server, on Parallels Plesk Panel for Windows platforms. You can install another mail server software, if it is supported by your Panel, and then set up the Panel for using it.

If you want to use a mail server running on a separate machine, or want to prohibit your users from operating mail services, you can remove from the Panel all controls related to managing e-mail services and adding new mail accounts. This option does not actually switch off the Panel-managed mail server, but only removes the following items from the Control Panel accessed by hosting service customers and their users:

To hide the user interface elements related to mail services from the Control Panel:

  1. In the Server Administration Panel, go to Settings > Mail Server Settings (in the Mail group).
  2. Clear the Enable mail management functions in Panel checkbox.
  3. Click OK.

To use another mail server software with your Panel (currently supported only on Windows hosting):

  1. Check the list of supported mail servers in Parallels Plesk Panel Installation Guide. See if the mail server software you want to use is supported.
  2. Install the software according to instructions provided in Parallels Plesk Panel Installation Guide, or use the instructions provided by the mail server manufacturer.
  3. Log in to the Panel and go to Settings > Server Components.
  4. Click the Mail Server link.

    The mail server you have installed should now be displayed in the list of available mail servers.

  5. Select the mail server you need and click OK.

    The Panel will start using the new mail server without any need for server restart. Note that you can always select another mail server at any time later.

To view or configure the mail service settings:

  1. Go to Settings > Mail Server Settings (in the Mail group). The server-wide mail preferences screen will open on the Settings tab.
  2. Leave the Enable mail management functions in Panel checkbox selected if you want to allow your users to create mail accounts through Control Panel and use the mail services provided by the Panel-managed mail server. If you are using an external mail server, clear this checkbox.
  3. If you want to limit the size of an e-mail message that can be sent through your server, type the desired value in kilobytes into the Maximum message size box. Otherwise, leave this field blank.
  4. If you want to protect mail accounts from hacker attacks by not allowing the users to use simple passwords, select the required value from the Minimal password strength menu.

    There are five levels of strength:

    According to the calculation algorithm used by the Panel, the strongest password meets the following criteria: it is more than 8 characters in length, contains a combination of letters in mixed case, numbers and special characters, like !,@,#,$,%,^,&,*,?,_,~.

  5. To protect your server against unauthorized mail relaying or injection of unsolicited bulk mail, select the Enable message submission checkbox to allow your customers to send e-mail messages through the port 587.

    Also notify your customers that they need to specify in their e-mail programs' settings the port 587 for outgoing SMTP connections, and be sure to allow connections to this port in your firewall settings.

  6. Select the mail relay mode.

    With closed relay the mail server will accept only e-mail addressed to the users who have mailboxes on this server. Your customers will not be able to send any mail through your outgoing SMTP server, therefore, we do not recommend closing mail relay.

    With relay after authorization, only your customers will be able to receive and send e-mail through your mail server. We recommend that you leave the authorization is required option selected, and specify allowed authentication methods:

    There is also an option to allow open relay without authorization, which, by default, is hidden from the user interface. Opening mail relay without authorization is not recommended because it allows spammers to send unsolicited mail through your server. If you want to set the open relay, log in to the server's file system, locate the file root.controls.lock in your Parallels Plesk Panel installation directory (PRODUCT_ROOT_D/var/root.controls.lock on Unix and PRODUCT_DATA_D/var/root.controls.lock on Windows platforms) and remove the line /server/mail.php3:relay_open from this file. The open relay option will show in your control panel.

  7. Select the antivirus program that should be used on the server.
  8. Select the spam protection options that should be used on the server.

    Note: If you wish to set up spam protection systems, such as SpamAssassin spam filter, or protection systems based on DomainKeys, DNS blackhole lists or Sender Policy Framework (SPF), proceed to the section Setting Up Spam Protection.

  9. If you are using Qmail mail server, you can also select the mail account format.

    Selecting the Use of short and full names is allowed option will allow users to log in to their mail accounts by specifying only the left part of e-mail address before the @ sign (for example, username), or by specifying the full e-mail address (for example,

    To avoid possible authorization problems for e-mail users who reside in different domains but have identical user names and passwords, we highly recommend that you choose the Only use of full mail account names is allowed option.

    Once you have set your mail server to support only full mail account names, you will not be able to switch back to supporting short account names until you make sure there are no encrypted passwords for mailboxes and user accounts with coinciding user names and passwords residing in different domains.

  10. Click OK to submit any changes.

In this section:

Setting Up Spam Protection

Setting Up Virus Protection (Linux Hosting)

Setting Up Virus Protection (Windows Hosting)

Selecting Webmail Software

Configuring Mailman Mailing List Software (Linux Hosting)

Preventing Your Customers From Sending Mass E-mail (Linux Hosting)

Please send us your feedback on this help page.