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Comments for Citadel

28 Dec 2006 08:07 mikecrowe

Move over postfix....
When hosting my personal and church site, I needed a flexible, easily administered solution. After implementing (yes, successfully) a postfix virtual email system, I recently found Citadel (actually, I had crashed my server, and was seriously dreading re-implementing postfix).

Installation? EasyInstall, and boy is it

Configuration? Browser based. Here's what it took:

1) Receiving emails for,, ...

2) Enter the users for each domain

3) Tell it I had spamassin running on the machine.

I was floored. It was receiving all my emails. Amazing.

Then, I needed a mailing-list type functionality. Create a "room" called Finances. Subscribe to that room for the people who need updates, and suddenly all emails to are now distributed as a mailing list. Wow.

An excellent product, excellent development community, very good web client/email tool. What more could you ask for?

Give it a shot today...

13 Sep 2005 09:26 ajc

Looking for an "Exchange Killer?" Try Citadel.

Years ago, users expected their electronic mail systems to send and receive
messages, and not much else. Today’s users, however, are more
sophisticated. They expect Personal Information Manager (PIM) functions
such as calendars and address books, a choice of access methods, and a
variety of groupware functions. Yet the goal of providing an easily
deployable open source groupware platform has, until recently, been somewhat
elusive. Most of the popular choices have been built as traditional web
applications, requiring a system administrator to install and configure a
mail server, a web server, and a database server before being able to
begin the groupware installation. Moreover, the resulting functionality has
followed a cookie-cutter style modeled after proprietary systems that some
consider outdated. This is why you might be surprised to learn about the
existence of a project that not only solves the complexity problem, but takes a fresh new approach to groupware.

Citadel is an open source groupware server that has
its roots in online communities. You may remember the Citadel BBS’s of the 1980's and 1990's; today’s groupware platform carriessame
lineage. But to write off Citadel as an overgrown BBS package would be an
unfair underestimation of the powerful abilities of this impressive
platform. While most groupware systems center around the automation of
business processes, Citadel offers a platform that you can build a community
around. It centers around the idea of connecting people together in real
time using a set of tools that focuses on people, not processes.

System administrators will find Citadel refreshingly easy to install.
There is no need to "bring your own" mail server, web server, or database
server. Citadel has all of its data stores and protocols built in. It
uses the powerful Berkeley DB [] database for all
of its storage needs. All of the popular electronic mail protocols are
built in, including ESMTP, POP3, and IMAP, as well as GroupDAV for
connecting popular open source PIM clients such as Kontact and Evolution.
There is no need for the tedious mucking about with cryptic Sendmail
configuration files or obscure Cyrus commands; everything is configurable
through an easy to use browser-based interface.

For those who are nervous about the prospect of compiling software from
source, Citadel provides an "Easy Install" script that handles this task
for you. Entering one command at a shell prompt downloads an install
script from the Citadel project's download server, and performs the entire
installation automatically.

14 Feb 1999 22:12 crackmonkey

Cynbe ru Taren's original comments on Citadel

Citadel is a room-structured message system. The fundamental
design goal is to provide a congenial forum conducive to interesting
discussions. The software is intended to be as unobtrusive, unintrusive
and unconstraining as possible. In software as elsewhere, good engineering
is whatever gets the job done without calling attention to itself.

The fundamental design metaphor is that of a building consisting of
a series of independent rooms, each of which hosts a discussion devoted
to a particular topic. Messages are stored and retrieved in chronological
order within each room. Messages are formatted to the caller's screen width.

Callers may travel freely between the rooms,
reading old messages and posting new ones. New rooms may be created
at will, and old ones are deleted when they empty of messages.

People familiar with other electronic message systems may wish
to compare Citadel rooms with EIES conferences, ArpaNet mailing
lists, individual "linear" BB systems or whatever; the parallels
are not exact but the functions are similar.

The fundamental Goto, Read and Enter commands have been streamlined
as much as possible. The message display format has a minimum of
unnecessary noise: the topic is implicit in the message's location
within a room, no explicit TO field is present, no message ID # is
printed, no redundant "END OF MESSAGE" blurbs etc. The most common Goto,
Read and Enter commands are all single-key. Citadel automatically
skips rooms which have no new messages, and old messages in the
current room. (Less concise commands are of course available to
override this.)


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