Moving Dada Mail to a new Server/Account

Moving Dada Mail Between Servers


Moving Dada Mail between servers will basically require you to move two sets of Stuff:

Once you've moved over the Stuff, you will need to reconfigure Dada Mail for the new environment.

Gathering Information

"Basic", or, "Contemporary" Installation?

We're going to only differentiate between two types of installations: "Basic" and, "Contemporary".

In recent version of Dada Mail, you can log into any list's control panel with your Dada Mail Root Password and go to the, Dada Mail Setup Info screen. This screen will state whether you have a Basic or Contemporary installation of Dada Mail.

If this screen is not available, try to find which installation you have with these techniques:

Basic Installation

A, "Basic" installation changes the configuration variables right in the, dada/DADA/Config.pm file - usually you want to be very much aware of the following variables:

You'll know if you have a, "Basic" installation of Dada Mail, if the, $FILES variable in the, dada/DADA/Config.pm file is filled out to a directory that actually exists and that directory holds files/directories that have something to do with Dada Mail.

Note the path of the, $FILES variable.

Contemporary Installation

A Contemporary Installation uses an outside configuration file to set the configuration variables in called, .dada_config.

You'll know if you have a Contemporary Installation, if those same four variables in the, dada/DADA/Config.pm file:

Are still in their default values and your Dada Mail seems to be functioning fine. This probably means that your config variables are being read from an outside config file, called .dada_config.

Before moving Dada Mail, note what the, $PROGRAM_CONFIG_FILE_DIR in the, dada/DADA/Config.pm is set to. If it's set to, "auto" look for the, .dada_files directory in your hosting account's home directory.


If you're using the Default backend for Dada Mail, you won't have anything extra to move, but if you're using one the SQL backends, you'll also need to export your SQL database and import it into a new database on the new server.

If you're unsure whether you're running the Default backend or the SQL backend, first see what features are available to you in Dada Mail:

Features such as Profile Fields and Profiles are only available to installations that use the SQL backend. Try logging into your list control panel with the Dada Mail Root Password and going to Profiles - Profile Fields. If you can make new fields, you have the SQL backend installed.

Also, try going to the default screen of Dada Mail. If there are links to log into an individual profile, you have one of the SQL backend installed.

You can make sure which backend you're using by looking at your configuration. Look in the outside config file (.dada_config if you're using a contemporary installation of Dada Mail, or the dada/DADA/Config.pm file if you're using a Basic installation).

The variables you want to look for are:

If this group of variables looks like this:

        $SUBSCRIBER_DB_TYPE       ||= 'PlainText'; 
        $ARCHIVE_DB_TYPE          ||= 'Db'; 
        $SETTINGS_DB_TYPE         ||= 'Db'; 
        $SESSION_DB_TYPE          ||= 'Db';
        $CLICKTHROUGH_DB_TYPE     ||= 'Db';

is isn't present at all, or is commented out: You are using the Default backend of Dada Mail.

If this group of variables looks like this and is not commented out:

        $SUBSCRIBER_DB_TYPE       = 'SQL'; 
        $ARCHIVE_DB_TYPE          = 'SQL'; 
        $SETTINGS_DB_TYPE         = 'SQL'; 
        $SESSION_DB_TYPE          = 'SQL'; 
        $CLICKTHROUGH_DB_TYPE     = 'SQL';

You are using the SQL backend of Dada Mail. The details of where your database is located will then be in the, %SQL_PARAMS variable. If that variable seems to be missing information, double-check that you are actually using the SQL backend.

Old Server: Download Stuff

Once you've gathered the above information:

It's time to download everything needed.

Download Dada Mail, "The Program"

First, download Dada Mail, "The Program". This will most likely be the directory named, dada, that's located in your cgi-bin directory. It'll be the same directory that contains the, mail.cgi file, when you map the URL of Dada Mail to the server path.

For example, if the URL to Dada Mail is:


You'll know that you're, dada directory is located in your cgi-bin direcotry. Download that dada directory.

Download the Dada Mail Files directory

If you have a Basic Installation:

Download the directory that's set in the dada/DADA/Config.pm's $FILES variable.

If you have a Contemporary Installation:

Download the, .dada_files directory, that's a part of your $PROGRAM_CONFIG_FILE_DIR variable. For example, if that variable is set to,


Download the directory, /home/youraccount/.dada_files

Export the SQL Database

If you're using the SQL backend, you'll also want to export the entire SQL database. The domain, database name, username and password should be in that, %SQL_PARAMS variable.

New Server: Upload Stuff

Now, you basically just have to upload everything you just downloaded.

Upload Dada Mail, "The Program"

We again suggest (for now) to upload the, dada directory into the new account's cgi-bin.

Upload the Dada Mail Files directory

We suggest placing this directory in your home directory.

Import the SQL Database

If you're using the SQL backend, you'll want to now import the SQL database.

New Server: Reconfigure Stuff

Once everything is in place, you'll need to now reconfigure Dada Mail to work in your new environment.

Basic Installation

If your old Dada Mail was set up with a Basic Installation, you'll need to change, at the very least, the $FILES variable in your dada/DADA/Config.pm file, to point to the new location of your Dada Mail Files Directory.

Contemporary Installation

If your old Dada Mail was set up with a Contemporary Installation, you'll need to:

Update the $PROGRAM_CONFIG_FILE_DIR variable in your dada/DADA/Config.pm file to point to the new location of your, .dada_files/.configs directory

Update the, $DIR variable in your .dada_files/.configs/.dada_config file to point to the new location of your, .dada_files directory (yes, the same directory that your .dada_files directory lives within).

SQL Backend

If you are using the SQL backend, you will also have to update the login information located in the %SQL_PARAMS variable.

Change permissions of the mail.cgi script to 755

The last thing you will need to do is change the permissions of the mail.cgi script to, 755. If you've followed and completed all the above steps, correctly, you're Dada Mail should be back up in the new location!

Last Things to Do

If you've installed any additional plugins/extensions, make sure they are also configured correctly and have their permissions changed.

Also, make sure any previous cronjobs are also set on the new hosting account.

Dada Mail Project