README File for Windows Servers

Before We Begin

This documentation is pretty old and hasn't been tested out with the 3.0 release. We don't install Dada Mail on Windows-based servers, so we don't know exactly what works, what doesn't. Good luck!

Please follow these directions to have any hope in getting Dada Mail running on Windows NT. You'll need to make some tweaks to the file; all variables, unless otherwise noted are located in the file.

Please Please Please Note: Dada Mail is developed for a Unix-centric server in mind. There are a few major differences between a server, like Apache which Dada Mail is tested on extensively and a server, like Microsoft's Internet Information Server, which isn't tested by us at all. At the moment, there is no interest for me (as the developer) to make it work on a Microsoft platform. The reason for this is my lack of time to invest and my lack of a server to test on.

I leave this as an invitation for a different party. My personal opinion of products from Microsoft really don't have anything to do with it, I just don't want to give the full thumbs up if Dada Mail is flaky on IIS due to me not testing it enough on that particular platform.

Mail Sending

Your most likely going to have to use SMTP for all mailings; Sendmail usually isn't available for Windows.

You may also want to tell Dada Mail use SMTP sending right off the bat, instead of having to configure it everytime you make a list. You do this by adding a new line in the %LIST_SETUP_DEFAULTS hash:

                send_via_smtp => 1,

These may be other entries in this file, you can put this particular entry either above, or below any other ones:

                use_pop_before_smtp => 1,
                smtp_server         => 'your.smtp_server',
                send_via_smtp       => 1

While you're at it, you may also want to add the 'strip_message_headers' and set it to 1:

                use_pop_before_smtp   => 1,
                smtp_server         => 'your.smtp_server',
                send_via_smtp         => 1,
                strip_message_headers => 1,

Use one of the SQL Backends

Don't try running Dada Mail using anything but the SQL backends. It'll just save you much heartache.

Windows IIS Server

No Parse Header Mode (nph)

Perl CGI scripts need to be run in No Parse Header mode, set the $NPH variable to 1:

        $NPH = 1;

You may also need to rename the mail.cgi script to nph-mail.cgi, but try that after you've done everything else.

The ``shebang'' Line

You may also need to change the first ``shebang'' line in mail.cgi from:


to something like:


fork() Issues

Dada Mail uses something called fork() that may or may not be available to Windows Versions of Perl. fork() is very critical to mass mailings.

Documentation and caveats with using fork() on Win32:

File Locking Issues

Your version of Windows my not support File Locking, this is extremely important in keeping the subscription list uncorrupted. You may want to look into using a SQL backend to use as your subscription list. There may also be unknown complications with the templating in Dada Mail as well. YMMV.

Maually putting the path to Dada Mail's Perl Libraries

Your copy of Dada Mail should be all set to run on a Windows Server. If you still cannot run the program, open up the mail.cgi script and find these two lines:

        use lib './'; #look for the DADA folder in the same directory as the script
        use lib './DADA';

you may have to change these to the full absolute path of where they're at (example:)

        use lib 'D:\somewhere\else\dada'; 
        use lib 'D:\somewhere\else\dada\DADA';

More Information


Thanks goes out to David Wood ( obsidian -> ) for adding many great points to this FAQ.

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