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How do I move Merak to a new server?

The following steps outline the process of moving your Merak Email Server to a new server:

  1. Backup your configuration
  2. Backup all messages
  3. Backup any Webmail folders
  4. Install Merak on the new server
  5. Restore your configuration on the new server
  6. Retrieve your license for the new server
  7. Restore messages on the new server
  8. Restore Webmail folders on the new server

Before you start you should have the following information to hand

  • the location(s) of all your Users' mailbox folders
  • the location(s) of all your Users' WebMail folders
  • Your original purchase OrderID

1. Backup the configuration on your original server

To backup the configuration, use the Backup Configuration option in the File menu:

Config - Menu - File

A file with an .mcb extension is created.

Warning - Do not create it in Config folder. The created file is a compressed Config folder and it could cause a loop and affect the Mail Server functionality.

The following folders are included in the .mcb file:

  • Config folder All Server settings without the licence information)
  • Webmail\Config folder All Webmail settings)
  • Calendar folder (the Calendar/GroupWare settings including the Database with entries – tasks, notes, events and contacts)
  • Spam folder (the Instant AntiSpam settings including the Database with indexed words)

The Spam folder was added to the backup file since version 6.0.2 and the Calendar folder was added since version 7.0.1 so only administrators with these features and lower versions (possible only with beta versions) have to backup these folders manually.

2. Backup the messages on your original server

All the user's Inboxes are stored in the Merak\Mail folder by default.

However, you may have changed the settings in System –> Storage -> Directories –> Mail path option

Directories Tab

or you may have specified Domain Level Storage Folders.

You should backup all of these folders.

3. Backup your Users' Webmail folders

WebMail folders are stored in the Webmail\Users folder by default.

However, you may have change this in Webmail – Settings – Administrator Settings

Users Path Location Option

You should back up the folder as necessary

4. Install Merak on the new server

Download the latest version of MerakEmail Srver from and install it on your new server.

5. Restore the configuration on the new server

Use the Restore Configuration option in File menu to restore your configuration from the .mcb file created in step 1.

Config - Menu - File

6. Retrieve your license for the new server

Your new machine will have new server reference key (it is machine specific). The server reference key can be found in Help -> Licenses in the Administration Console.

You can retrieve your license for the new server reference key at

  • select Request License
  • enter your OrderID
  • enter your new server reference key
  • press the submit button

The on-line retrieval system can be used a limited number of times per year (to help prevent fraud).

If you have any problems you should contact the Merak Support Team

7. Restore messages on the new server

Copy the Mail folders you backed up in step 2 to the same directory on the new Server.

8. Restore Webmail folders for users on the new server

Copy the WebMail folders you backed up in step 3to the same directory on the new Server.

And you are finished.

How do I use the Remote Administration Console?

The Remote Administration Console, allows you to administer your Merak Mail Server from any machine connected to the Internet. So you could administer your Merak Mail Server running in California from your home office in Brazil.


You will need to know

  • the User/password for an administrator account on the Merak Mail Server
  • the port on which the Web / Control service of Merak Mail Server is running
  • and the hostname/IP address of that server.


  1. Download Download the Remote Administration Console and unzip the entire contents to any folder on your machine.
  2. Run the Config.exe file, the same interface as you are used to from the Merak Mail Server will be shown.
  3. Click the very left icon in the toolbar (as circled in red)

    to open the Remote Connection Manager dialog

  4. Click the Add button to define a new connection.
  5. Enter the hostname or IP address of your Merak Mail Server you want to administer.
  6. Enter the username of the administrator account which is already defined on that server.
  7. Enter the password for the account.
  8. Set the port to the port that the Web / Control Service is listening on. If you are going to use an SSL connection (recommended) then you must specify the SSL port
  9. It is recommended to use SSL connection.
  10. Check the Save Password if you wish. The password is encrypted and saved in the Windows registry but this is NOT RECOMMENDED on a public machine (ie a PC in an internet cafe), only on your own personal machine(s).
  11. Click Connect and, if everything is set up correctly, you will connect to your Merak Email Server and can make changes as required.

Where is the Old WebAdmin Interface ?

In Merak Email Server Version 8 the WebAdmin Interface was completely re-written.

It is now focused on Account Administration and its structure is completely XML driven, making it much faster than the old version.

The HTML files are now located in a different folder (Merak\HTML\accounts\ instead of Merak\HTML\ ) so you need to use a different URL to access the new WebAdmin -


where "hostname" is the hostname or IP address of the server where Merak Mail Server is running and "port" is the port that the Control / Web service is listening on.

In addition to the new WebAdmin a new Remote Administration Console has been introduced, downloadable here, which allows full remote Administration access of your Merak Email Server, using the same interface as the Merak Administration Console.

How to proceed complete reinstallation of Merak Mail Server and W...

For complete reinstallation of Merak Mail Server, please proceed these steps:

Backup your configuration as MCB file (Admin console menu ~ File ~ Backup configuration)

File Menu - Backup

and backup following folders:


(do not backup whole Merak\Webmail folder while it can cause problems when upgrading from older versions)

..\Merak\LDAP\ (in case you use it)
..\Merak\Spam\ (in case you use Challenge response)

Then stop all services and delete the Merak folder. After that, install new version from:

Copy back all backup folders and restore your configuration from the MCB file (use again admin console).

For WebMail Standalone backup following folders:

...and folder with mails downloaded to Webmail (if integration is not enabled).

Then delete the Webmail folder and reinstall Webmail standalone. When installation is finished, copy the folders back to their places.

Which ports does Merak use?

Each service is bound to an IP address and port number.

These can be changed if required, however, Merak's default ports conform to Internet standards are may be required by your ISP.

Most installations will work correctly with the defaults.

If you are using a Firewall you must open the ports for all the services you are using.

Warning - Merak's POP3 and IMAP run as one service so if you stop one, the other will also stop.

The same is true for IM and SIP.

You should also be aware that WebMail and FTP run under the Control Service. If you stop or restrict access to the Control Service your users may not be able to use WebMail or FTP.

Service Ports



Standard Ports

SSL Ports


Send mail




Receive mail




Read mail



Control (Web)

Web admin, web mail, proxy server




GroupWare and Calendar




Instant Messaging Server




LDAP Server (directory service)

389, 636



File Transfer Protocol




Session Initiation Protocol

5060 plus user-defined range (see SIP)


You may also need to set specific IP binding of the machine the server is running on if that machine is running other, non-Merak services (IIS, for example) as Merak will bind to all available IP addresses

Translating / changing Merak generated errors msgs like disk quot...


  • Merak generates messages our users don't understand. We would like to translate that.
  • Merak generates messages we'd like to change.


It is possible to translate/change text of Merak generated messages. Note that this does not include complete error messages, as these come from remote systems. However, you can even translate part of error messages that your users will see, except the response itself, which comes from the remote mail server.

For example, if you want to change the message which is sent when user reaches x% of his disk quota (set in Global settings/Domains/Warn users when mailbox size exceeds quota), go to System/Advanced/Translation, shown below.

Click on the Strings translation button and copy which text you want to translate from the top file (comment/example) to the bottom part, which is actually the file merak/config/strings.dat.

Merak -> System -> Advanced -> Translation

Translate/customize as needed, just be careful to keep same syntax and not remove %s whenever it is shown.

In the case of disk quota, the variables are:

stWarningSpace = 'Warning: mailbox close to limit/quota'
stWarningSpaceText = 'Your mailbox is close to its limit/quota. Please empty your mailbox or you will not be able to receive new messages.'

Close and save the file you are editing and restart SMTP (Mail Service/SMTP Service/right click restart) and strings.dat will be used.


How do I translate IceWarp reports into my own language?

Merak Mail server issues all email message strings, such as errors, notifications, confirmations, etc. in English by default.

You may wish to translate all these strings so that you can localise Merak Email Server for your community.

To do so, you have to create a strings.dat file in Merak\Config\ folder and define all the strings there. The easiest way is to copy the strings.dat file from Merak\examples\ folder to Merak\Config\ folder, edit that file, delete all to comment text from that file and translate the messages there.

Warning: In the translations the %s system variable is used extensively. It must remain in place as it is substituted with system information - time, error number, etc..


You want to translate the string:

"Remote Server Watchdog: server unreachable" being an example of a system-substituted variable.

Locate the string in the Example file -

stRemoteServerMonitorSubject = 'Remote Server Watchdog: server %s unreachable'

and change it accordingly

stRemoteServerMonitorSubject = 'Text in your language %s Text in your language'

NOTE that the %s MUST stay so it is evaluated and your message makes sense

What do the icons in the Session History tab mean?

There are three colours and two letters which can be shown in icons in the Session History.

S means the Server session (Merak acts as receiver)

C means the Client session (Merak acts as sender)

Red means Error

Green means Success

Brown means Warning

If you double-click on the circle, the log of the appropriate session will appear.

Server session

This type of session means that Merak Mail Server acts as Server in the Client/Server model. In other words, Merak Mail Server is the receiver of a message in this case. It can occur when:

  • a client wants to send a message through the Merak Mail Server
  • another server sends a message to Merak Mail Server because it is e.g. for users on Merak Mail Server [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:42 +0200 Connected [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:42 +0200 >>> 220- ESMTP to je gol; Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:42 +0200 [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:42 +0200 <<< HELO localhost [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:42 +0200 >>> 250 Hello localhost [], pleased to meet you. [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:42 +0200 <<< MAIL From:<> [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:42 +0200 >>> 250 2.1.0 <>... Sender ok [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:42 +0200 <<< RCPT To:<> [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:42 +0200 >>> 250 2.1.5 <>... Recipient ok; will forward [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:42 +0200 <<< DATA [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:42 +0200 >>> 354 Enter mail, end with '.' on a line by itself [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:43 +0200 *** <> <> 1 348 00:00:00 OK [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:43 +0200 >>> 250 2.6.0 348 bytes received in 00:00:00; Message accepted for delivery [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:43 +0200 <<< QUIT [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:43 +0200 >>> 221 2.0.0 closing connection

SYSTEM [00000A1C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:43 +0200 Disconnected

This i a session when client on the server sends a message from Mail Client to the Merak Mail Server - it was received by Merak.

Client session

This type of session occurs only when Merak Mail Server sends along an already received message to another Mail Server. [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:50 +0200 Client session Connected [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:50 +0200 Client session <<< 220 - Email zdarma na cely zivot ESMTP [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:50 +0200 Client session >>> EHLO [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:50 +0200 Client session <<< 250 8BITMIME [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:50 +0200 Client session >>> MAIL From:<> [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:50 +0200 Client session <<< 250 ok [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:50 +0200 Client session >>> RCPT To:<> [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:50 +0200 Client session <<< 250 ok [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:50 +0200 Client session >>> DATA [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:50 +0200 Client session <<< 354 go ahead [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:51 +0200 Client session <<< 250 ok 1082664147 qp 10068 [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:51 +0200 Client session *** <> <> 1 521 00:00:00 OK [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:51 +0200 Client session >>> QUIT [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:51 +0200 Client session <<< 221

SYSTEM [00000F6C] Thu, 22 Apr 2004 22:01:51 +0200 Client session Disconnected

This is a session where Merak Mail Server sends along the message which was received in previous Server session.

Intrusion prevention basics

Intrusion prevention basics

Intrusion prevention, formerly called tarpitting, is a great feature, which has one main feature of avoiding spam dictionary attacks, where spammers try to send messages to any addresses they have on their dictionary containing thousands of words.

If remote server sends a message to x wrong recipients, it is blocked for the specific time.

Check the screen below for recommend Intrusion prevention settings, where we block cross session attempts to send mail to up to 5 unknown accounts, and block IP’s for 4 hours (240 min).

Intrusion prevention recommended settings

Press F1 on the Intrusion Prevention tab for information on each option.

Note the maximum message size of 100 MB. It is important, because usually SMTP cannot block a message due to it’s file size being over the limit you specified, until it receives it completely. With this option, if someone is sending a message and it reaches 100 MB, that person’s IP is also blocked for 4 hours.

Note that most options in Merak, including Intrusion Prevention, have a Bypass feature (B button), where you can specify IP’s or domains that you do not want to be detected as intruders ever. In Merak 9 you have an option in the Bypass button to Bypass all local senders, so that your own customers are not tarpitted. Note also that by using SMTP Auth (or other method that your support such as a Trusted IP or POP before SMTP), your customer should usually not be tarpitted.

More information can be find in FAQ:How to configure AntiSpam and mail server security


How access mode works, changing globally service access using Too...

How access mode works, changing globally service access using Tool

A very important feature in Merak is the Access mode, which is available in all Merak modules. The best way to explain this feature is with the Antivirus module. As all modules in Merak,  if you click on the Access mode button, you will see it is set to “All accounts” by default (shown below).

Access mode dialog

This means that antivirus is active in all accounts and you cannot disable it, it is grayed out in the users service options, as seen below.

User can't change

This a good policy for the antivirus, to keep it on for all accounts, unless you have a license that does not attend to the number of users you have, which will be each time less common, since the new licensing policy requires customers to have the same number of accounts for all Merak modules, including the mail server.

FAQ: Licence exceeded

It is common, in the case of modules such as Anti-Spam and Quarantine, to activate or deactivate such services globally, for all accounts. Many customers decide, for example, to set both anti-spam and quarantine to Selected accounts in the Access mode drop down menu, so they can activate/deactivate each of these services individually, on a per user basis. Others might set Anti-Spam on a domain level (Selected domains), so it can be turned on/off only for the entire domain (also in the domain’s Options tab) and Quarantine on a user level (Selected accounts). There are more options in Access mode, such as accounts for a list (where you can select accounts that have access to service directly in the Access mode button) and All except selected Domains and accounts, which can get a bit confusing, since the modules that are marked on, are actually off.

Note that if you change your Access mode for a specific service from All accounts to Selected accounts, that service will be, by default, ON, for all users. One more reason for the need, many times, to do global changes and deactivate the service for all accounts, so they can select it as needed.

To do global changes, you can use the command line tool.exe, found in Merak’s root directory, which lets you access the API directly. You can view the list of constants in the file \merak\delphi\apiconst.pas (which has comments regarding each constant, if it’s a Boolean, integer or string value, etc). Look for the desired constant you want to change, for example the option where you can enable or disable Anti-Spam (in user’s Option tab) is called u_as and the service for quarantine is u_cr.

So if you want to disable quarantine for all users, considering you Access mode for Quarantine is set to Selected accounts, you can run the following command in Merak’s root:

tool modify account *@* u_cr 0

Or for a specific domain, tool modify account @* u_cr 0

It is recommend to disable your password policy, if you have one set up in Global settings/Password policy and enabling it back after running tool, since tool will not be able to save changes to accounts which are out of the password policy (you will get an error informing the object cannot be saved).


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