Make sure you've read "Prepare Your System" before proceeding!

You need Docker and Docker Compose.

1. Learn how to install Docker and Docker Compose.

Quick installation for most operation systems:

  • Docker

    curl -sSL | CHANNEL=stable sh
    # After the installation process is finished, you may need to enable the service and make sure it is started (e.g. CentOS 7)
    systemctl enable docker.service
    systemctl start docker.service

  • Docker-Compose

    curl -L$(curl -Ls$(uname -s)-$(uname -m) > /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
    chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

Please use the latest Docker engine available and do not use the engine that ships with your distros repository.

2. Clone the master branch of the repository, make sure your umask equals 0022.

# 0022
cd /opt
git clone
cd mailcow-dockerized

3. Generate a configuration file. Use a FQDN (host.domain.tld) as hostname when asked.


4. Change configuration if you want or need to.

nano mailcow.conf
If you plan to use a reverse proxy, you can, for example, bind HTTPS to on port 8443 and HTTP to on port 8080.

You may need to stop an existing pre-installed MTA which blocks port 25/tcp. See this chapter to learn how to reconfigure Postfix to run besides mailcow after a successful installation.

Some updates modify mailcow.conf and add new parameters. It is hard to keep track of them in the documentation. Please check their description and, if unsure, ask at the known channels for advise.

4.1. Users with a MTU not equal to 1500 (e.g. OpenStack):

Whenever you run into trouble and strange phenomena, please check your MTU.

Edit docker-compose.yml and change the network settings according to your MTU. Add the new driver_opts parameter like this:

    driver_opts: 1450

4.2. Users without an IPv6 enabled network on their host system:

Enable IPv6. Finally.

If you do not have an IPv6 enabled network on your host and you don't care for a better internet (thehe), it is recommended to disable IPv6 for the mailcow network to prevent unforeseen issues.

5. Pull the images and run the composer file. The parameter -d will start mailcow: dockerized detached:

docker-compose pull
docker-compose up -d


You can now access https://${MAILCOW_HOSTNAME} with the default credentials admin + password moohoo.

The database will be initialized right after a connection to MySQL can be established.

Your data will persist in multiple Docker volumes, that are not deleted when you recreate or delete containers. Run docker volume ls to see a list of all volumes. You can safely run docker-compose down without removing persistent data.