WING, the Web IMAP/NNTP Gateway
This is an almost verbatim copy of Malcolm Beattie's WING
web page, updated to reflect the move to Sourceforge. It is by
no means complete!
WING is an Open Source Apache/mod_perl based system which
allows users to access email held on an IMAP server via any web
browser. The latest public release is version 0.9.
Here are PostScript slides
of the talk "The Design and Implementation of a Large Scalable
Mail Server" given by Malcolm Beattie at the UKUUG Linux '99 conference at
Aston, U.K. This talk is about Herald, the Oxford University
mail cluster which uses WING.
frames but table and cookie support are preferable.
- Users can create a hierarchy of multiple mailboxes and
browse and move messages between them.
- Messages with MIME attachments can be displayed
- Per user defaults (such as screen size and mail
signature) can be set and saved between sessions.
- Files local to the client browser can be included in
composed messages or MIME attached to them.
- Arbitrary headers can be added to composed messages
except that the "From:" header cannot be changed or forged
for outgoing messages from WING.
- WING is scalable up to thousands and tens of thousands of
- Users can import address books by uploading them via
their browser (only Pine format address books supported in
- Users can create their own links (bookmarks), presented
in a hierarchical list which can be folded/unfolded.
- Users can login using a "portal" view which provides a
frame down the left hand side of the browser containing
site-configurable links along with their personal links. This
is the only part of WING which requires frame support from
When integrated with a mail cluster similar to the one we
have here at Oxford University, WING also has these
- Users can manage their account via the WING interface.
This includes changing passwords, querying disk usage of
mailboxes and disk quota an setting mail forwarding and
- Users can create address books which can be browsed,
searched and shared in an ACL controlled manner with chosen
lists of other users and groups.
- WING server nodes can be added or removed transparently
and can be taken down for upgrades without affecting user
- There are a few web-based admin tools for querying the
status of the WING cluster and its users.
In its current state, WING requires many other pieces of
software to function. Future versions may be easier to install,
configure and maintain but this one requires the attention of
an experienced system administrator familiar with
Apache/mod_perl, Perl and SQL databases. It was also developed
primarily for Linux and other platforms may have to add extra
Perl code to make up for missing features. For configuring a
mail cluster and its associated features (currently
undocumented), the administrator will also need to know about
network configuration, firewalling, NFS, automount, named and
WING is available from the Sourceforge web/IMAP project
There isn't any official support. There is a mailing list
called "wing-admin", hosted by the University of Oxford, where
those who use or want to use WING can discuss things. To
subscribe, send an empty message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In due course, this mailing list will be migrated to the lists
hosted by Sourceforge.