How to Setup RainLoop with Nginx on Ubuntu Linux

youtube 1684601 640
youtube 1684601 640

RainLoop is a simple web-based mail client that allows you to access all your external mailboxes from a single web interface. Written in PHP, it is a great way to bring all your external emails like Google, Yahoo, and other SMTP inboxes onto your server.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install the RainLoop webmail client on Ubuntu with Nginx and PHP 7.2 support.

With no database required, RainLoop comes with decent performance, simple installation and upgrade, and support for IMAP and SMTP protocols (SSL, STARTTLS), sieve scripts support, and integration with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Dropbox, and many more.

For more about RainLoop, please check out its homepage. Some highlights of RainLoop:

  • Modern user interface.
  • Complete support of IMAP and SMTP protocols, including SSL and STARTTLS.
  • Sieve scripts (Filters and vacation messages).
  • Minimalistic resource requirements.
  • Direct access to the mail server is used (mails are not stored locally on web server).
  • Allows for adding multiple accounts to primary one, simultaneous access to different accounts in different browser tabs is supported. Additional identities.

When you’re ready to get RainLoop installed on Ubuntu, follow the steps below:

Install Nginx HTTP Server

Nginx HTTP Server is probably the most popular web server, so install it since RainLoop needs it. To install Nginx HTTP on the Ubuntu server, run the commands below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

After installing Nginx, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable the Nginx service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop nginx.service
sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

To test whether Nginx is installed, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address. When you see that, then Nginx is working as expected.

Nginx web server default test page

Install PHP 7.2-FPM and Related Modules

PHP 7.2-FPM may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories. to install it; you will have to get it from third-party repositories.

Run the commands below to add the below third party repository to upgrade to PHP 7.2-FPM

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2-FPM

sudo apt update

Next, run the commands below to install PHP 7.2-FPM and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-curl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-mysql php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-json php7.2-cli

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open Nginx’s PHP default config file.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/fpm/php.ini

Then make the changes on the following lines below in the file and save. The value below is an excellent setting to apply in your environment.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
short_open_tag = On
memory_limit = 256M
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

After making the change above, save the file and closeout.

After installing PHP and related modules, you must restart Nginx to reload PHP configurations.

To restart Nginx, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

To test PHP 7.2 settings with Nginx, create a phpinfo.php file in the Nginx root directory by running the commands below

sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Save the file. Then browse to your server hostname followed by /phpinfo.php


You should see the PHP default test page.

PHP 7.2 ubuntu nginx

Download and Configure RainLoop

Now that Nginx and PHP 7.2-FPM is installed use the steps below to download and configure the RainLoop environment on Ubuntu servers. But first, use the commands below to download the latest version.

cd /tmp

After that, create the RainLoop directory and extract the download content there.

sudo mkdir /var/www/html/rainloop
sudo unzip -d /var/www/html/rainloop

Next, configure the directory access permission for Nginx.

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

When you’re done, run the commands below to create a rain loop Nginx configuration file.

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/rainloop

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it.

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    root /var/www/html/rainloop;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

    client_max_body_size 100M;

    location / {
    try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

    location ~ \.php$ {
         include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
         fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
         fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
         include fastcgi_params;

     location ^~ /data {
         deny all;

Save the file and exit.

Next, run the commands below to enable RainLoop virtual host and restart Nginx.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/rainloop /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Finally, open your web browser and browse the server name to access the back-end portal.

The default username and password: admin and password 12345

RainLoop Ubuntu Install

Log in and begin configuring RainLoop

RainLoop Ubuntu Setup

Congratulations! You have successfully installed and configured RainLoop on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 with Nginx and PHP 7.2-FPM.

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Richard W

I love computers; maybe way too much. What I learned I try to share at

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