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Mailtrain v2

Mailtrain is a self hosted newsletter application built on Node.js (v14+) and MySQL (v8+) or MariaDB (v10+).

This is version 2 of Mailtrain. It mostly implements all features of v1 and add some more. It is a complete rewrite, so you will have to install it from scratch.

If you are upgrading from Mailtrain v1, backup the DB and use it for Mailtrain v2. Mailtrain v2 should be able to upgrade the DB to the new schema.

Features

  • Subscriber lists management
  • List segmentation
  • Custom fields
  • Email templates (including MJML-based templates)
  • Custom reports
  • Automation (triggered and RSS campaigns)
  • Multiple users with granular user permissions and flexible sharing
  • Hierarchical namespaces for enterprise-level situations
  • Builtin Zone-MTA (https://github.com/zone-eu/zone-mta) for close-to-zero setup of mail delivery

Recommended minimal hardware Requirements

  • 2 vCPU
  • 4096 MB RAM

Quick Start

Preparation

Mailtrain creates three URL endpoints, which are referred to as "trusted", "sandbox" and "public". This allows Mailtrain to guarantee security and avoid XSS attacks in the multi-user settings. The function of these three endpoints is as follows:

  • trusted - This is the main endpoint for the UI that a logged-in user uses to manage lists, send campaigns, etc.
  • sandbox - This is an endpoint not directly visible to a user. It is used to host WYSIWYG template editors.
  • public - This is an endpoint for subscribers. It is used to host subscription management forms, files and archive.

The recommended deployment of Mailtrain would use 3 DNS entries that all points to the same IP address. For example as follows:

  • lists.example.com - public endpoint (A record lists under example.com domain)
  • mailtrain.example.com - trusted endpoint (CNAME record mailtrain under example.com domain that points to lists)
  • sbox-mailtrain.example.com - sandbox endpoint (CNAME record sbox-mailtrain under example.com domain that points to lists)

Installation on fresh CentOS 7 or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (public website secured by SSL)

This will setup a publicly accessible Mailtrain instance. All endpoints (trusted, sandbox, public) will provide both HTTP (on port 80) and HTTPS (on port 443). The HTTP ports just issue HTTP redirect to their HTTPS counterparts.

The script below will also acquire a valid certificate from Let's Encrypt. If you are hosting Mailtrain on AWS or some other cloud provider, make sure that before running the installation script you allow inbound connection to ports 80 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS).

Note, that this will automatically accept the Let's Encrypt's Terms of Service. Thus, by running this script below, you agree with the Let's Encrypt's Terms of Service (https://letsencrypt.org/documents/LE-SA-v1.2-November-15-2017.pdf).

  1. Login as root. (I had some problems running npm as root on CentOS 7 on AWS. This seems to be fixed by the seemingly extraneous su within sudo.)

    sudo su -
    
  2. Install GIT

    For Centos 7 type:

    yum install -y git
    

    For Ubuntu 18.04 LTS type

    apt-get install -y git
    
  3. Download Mailtrain using git to the /opt/mailtrain directory

    cd /opt
    git clone https://github.com/Mailtrain-org/mailtrain.git
    cd mailtrain
    git checkout v2
    
  4. Run the installation script. Replace the urls and your email address with the correct values. NOTE that running this script you agree Let's Encrypt's conditions.

    For Centos 7 type:

    bash setup/install-centos7-https.sh mailtrain.example.com sbox-mailtrain.example.com lists.example.com admin@example.com
    

    For Ubuntu 18.04 LTS type:

    bash setup/install-ubuntu1804-https.sh mailtrain.example.com sbox-mailtrain.example.com lists.example.com admin@example.com
    
  5. Start Mailtrain and enable to be started by default when your server starts.

    systemctl start mailtrain
    systemctl enable mailtrain
    
  6. Open the trusted endpoint (like https://mailtrain.example.com)

  7. Authenticate as admin:test

  8. Update your password under admin/Account

  9. Update your settings under Administration/Global Settings.

  10. If you intend to sign your email by DKIM, set the DKIM key and DKIM selector under Administration/Send Configurations.

Installation on fresh CentOS 7 or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (local installation)

This will setup a locally accessible Mailtrain instance (primarily for development and testing). All endpoints (trusted, sandbox, public) will provide only HTTP as follows:

  1. Login as root. (I had some problems running npm as root on CentOS 7 on AWS. This seems to be fixed by the seemingly extraneous su within sudo.)

    sudo su -
    
  2. Install git

    For Centos 7 type:

    yum install -y git
    

    For Ubuntu 18.04 LTS type:

    apt-get install -y git
    
  3. Download Mailtrain using git to the /opt/mailtrain directory

    cd /opt
    git clone https://github.com/Mailtrain-org/mailtrain.git
    cd mailtrain
    git checkout v2
    
  4. Run the installation script. Replace the urls and your email address with the correct values. NOTE that running this script you agree Let's Encrypt's conditions.

    For Centos 7 type:

    bash setup/install-centos7-local.sh
    

    For Ubuntu 18.04 LTS type:

    bash setup/install-ubuntu1804-local.sh
    
  5. Start Mailtrain and enable to be started by default when your server starts.

    systemctl start mailtrain
    systemctl enable mailtrain
    
  6. Open the trusted endpoint http://localhost:3000

  7. Authenticate as admin:test

Deployment with Docker and Docker compose

This setup starts a stack composed of Mailtrain, MongoDB, Redis, and MariaDB. It will setup a locally accessible Mailtrain instance with HTTP endpoints as follows.

To make this publicly accessible, you should add reverse proxy that makes these endpoints publicly available over HTTPS. If using the proxy, you also need to set the URL bases and --withProxy parameter via MAILTRAIN_SETTING as shown below. An example of such proxy would be:

To deploy Mailtrain with Docker, you need the following two dependencies installed:

These are the steps to start Mailtrain via docker-compose:

  1. Download Mailtrain's docker-compose build file

    curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Mailtrain-org/mailtrain/v2/docker-compose.yml
    
  2. Deploy Mailtrain via docker-compose (in the directory to which you downloaded the docker-compose.yml file). This will take quite some time when run for the first time. Subsequent executions will be fast.

    docker-compose up
    
  3. Open the trusted endpoint http://localhost:3000

  4. Authenticate as admin:test

The instructions above use an automatically built Docker image on DockerHub (https://hub.docker.com/r/mailtrain/mailtrain). If you want to build the Docker image yourself (e.g. when doing development), use the docker-compose-local.yml located in the project's root directory.

Deployment with Docker and Docker compose (for development)

This setup starts a stack like above, but is tweaked to be used for local development using docker containers.

  1. Clone this repository

  2. Bring up the development stack

    docker-compose -f docker-compose-develop.yml up -d
    
  3. Connect to a shell inside the container

    docker-compose exec mailtrain bash
    
  4. Run these commands once to install all the node modules and build the client webapp

    cd /app
    bash setup/reinstall-modules.sh
    cd /app/client && npm run build && cd /app
    
    
  5. Start the server for the first time with this command, to generate the server/config/production.yaml

    bash docker-entrypoint.sh
    

Docker Environment Variables

When using Docker, you can override the default Mailtrain settings via the following environment variables. These variables have to be defined in the docker-compose config file. You can give them a value directly in the docker-compose.yml config file.

Alternatively, you can just declare them there leaving their value empty (see https://docs.docker.com/compose/environment-variables/#pass-environment-variables-to-containers). In that case, the value can be provided via a file called .env or via environment variables (e.g. URL_BASE_TRUSTED=https://mailtrain.domain.com (and more env-vars..) docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml build (or up))

Parameter Description
PORT_TRUSTED sets the trusted port of the instance (default: 3000)
PORT_SANDBOX sets the sandbox port of the instance (default: 3003)
PORT_PUBLIC sets the public port of the instance (default: 3004)
URL_BASE_TRUSTED sets the trusted url of the instance (default: http://localhost:3000)
URL_BASE_SANDBOX sets the sandbox url of the instance (default: http://localhost:3003)
URL_BASE_PUBLIC sets the public url of the instance (default: http://localhost:3004)
WWW_HOST sets the address that the server binds to (default: 0.0.0.0)
WWW_PROXY use if Mailtrain is behind an http reverse proxy (default: false)
WWW_SECRET sets the secret for the express session (default: $(pwgen -1))
MONGO_HOST sets mongo host (default: mongo)
WITH_REDIS enables or disables redis (default: true)
REDIS_HOST sets redis host (default: redis)
REDIS_PORT sets redis host (default: 6379)
MYSQL_HOST sets mysql host (default: mysql)
MYSQL_PORT sets mysql port (default: 3306)
MYSQL_DATABASE sets mysql database (default: mailtrain)
MYSQL_USER sets mysql user (default: mailtrain)
MYSQL_PASSWORD sets mysql password (default: mailtrain)
WITH_LDAP use if you want to enable LDAP authentication
LDAP_HOST LDAP Host for authentication (default: ldap)
LDAP_PORT LDAP port (default: 389)
LDAP_SECURE use if you want to use LDAP with ldaps protocol
LDAP_BIND_USER User for LDAP connexion
LDAP_BIND_PASS Password for LDAP connexion
LDAP_FILTER LDAP filter
LDAP_BASEDN LDAP base DN
LDAP_UIDTAG LDAP UID tag (e.g. uid/cn/username)
WITH_ZONE_MTA enables or disables builtin Zone-MTA (default: true)
POOL_NAME sets builtin Zone-MTA pool name (default: os.hostname())
WITH_CAS use if you want to use CAS
CAS_URL CAS base URL
CAS_NAMETAG The field used to save the name (default: username)
CAS_MAILTAG The field used to save the email (default: mail)
CAS_NEWUSERROLE The role of new users (default: nobody)
CAS_NEWUSERNAMESPACEID The namespace id of new users (default: 1)
LOG_LEVEL sets log level among `silly

If you don't want to modify the original docker-compose.yml, you can put your overrides to another file (e.g. docker-compose.override.yml) -- like the one below.

version: '3'
services:
  mailtrain:
    environment:
    - URL_BASE_TRUSTED
    - URL_BASE_SANDBOX
    - URL_BASE_PUBLIC

License

GPL-V3.0