Configure mailreaders on Linux
These instructions are explaining how to access your mailbox on the GSI MS Exchange server. Actually they are not specific to Exchange and should work with any IMAP mail server. Make sure you use encryption via SSL/TLS whenever it is available.
There are a lot of mailreaders available on Linux:
- GUI mail readers
- Text-mode mail readers
After you have successfully setup your mail reader, you may want to use it with encryption. Have a look for it here
For the impatient
- You may access your mailbox on the MS Exchange server using the IMAP protocol.
- The hostname of the incoming mailserver is
- Use your Windows account and password to login. You may but do not have to prefix the user id with the Windows domain name (i.e.
- From outside GSI you have to switch on SSL encryption (Port 993) to access your mailbox (recommended also inside GSI).
email.gsi.de for sending mails via SMTP: You have to enable TLS encryption (TCP port 587) and Authentication using the same credentials as for IMAP.
Use your Windows account and password to login. You do not have to prefix the user id with the Windows domain name (i.e.
- You can also use
smtp.gsi.de (Port 25) as your outgoing (SMTP) mail server without authentication from inside GSI.
smtp.gsi.de does not accept mails with
@gsi.de sender addresses from outside.
- Most of the Linux mail readers will also support sending via
localhost (so called
- Alternative to external IMAP access: login to GSI with ssh and read your mail e.g. with
- Use of encryption (SSL) is also recommended for GSI internal access, otherwise your Windows password will be transmitted unencrypted!
- The initial password you receive upon account registration will not work! You'll have to login to Windows first and change the password (e.g. use the Windows terminal servers).
- If you accidently mistype your password, your account will be locked after ten login attempts.
- Use your official GSI mail address (defaults to: Inital
@gsi.de) only. Otherwise replies won't get back to you.
- Import the GSI SSL root certificate for
Application specific instructions
The configuration of Mozilla Thunderbird and Debian Icedove mail reader are mostly identical.
If you start the mail reader for the first time, a wizard window will open. It asks you about name, e-mail address, login name and password and tries to guess the mail servers and settings automatically (click to enlarge)
you may use the button
to edit the entries (e.g. setting the name of the outgoing mail server to email.gsi.de) (click to enlarge)
And there is a button for
. The latter leads to the same window you get by clicking Edit
- Account Settings...
in the main window (click to enlarge)
to proceed with the setup. You should then have a new subtree in the mail reader window containing you Exchange mailfolders.
How to import the GSI Certificate:
Download the GSI Certificate from the GSI-Website: Secured Access to the GSI Webserver
Start the KDE Control Center. Under Security & Privacy
and the register SSL Signers
Import the Certificate and activate Accept for site singning
and Accept for email signing
There are two different methods to connect evolution with a MS Exchange Server:
Additional Documentation on the setup
- Since Version 2 evolution proviodes a plugin for native communication (formerly known as Ximian Connector). Unfortunately this version is not yet available for the LinuxFarm.
- Standard IMAP/SMTP access may be configured as well
is available from Novell.
The exchange plugin solely relies on WebDAV
communication with Exchange's Outlook Web Access
module and therefore works through a firewall without problems.
: Add a new mail account under Tools
-> Mail accounts
and fill out the tabs with the appropriate settings as shown here.
to open URLs in Firefox, Mozilla or Konqueror you'll have change the default handlers by issuing the following commands:
gconftool-2 --set --type=string /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http/command 'firefox %s'
gconftool-2 --set --type=string /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/https/command 'firefox %s'
You may verify this setting with this command:
For Mozilla simply replace
. For Konqueror use
kfmclient newTab %s
, which will open the link in a new tab.
This may be configured in the Gnome Control Center
as well if Gnome is fully installed.
is certainly the most advanced text-mode mail reader. It was derived from
but has much more features, especially IMAP support. For more information read the Manual
The IMAP specific configuration is quite easy: You'll have to add the following two lines to
Additionally you may add
...= to your
. It's understood that this is not at all recommened
, anyhow if you choose to do so make sure your
is not readable to anyone but yourself.
To Access the GSI LDAP Address Book you can use lbdb.
%ldap_server_db = (
'gsi' => ['ldap://ldap.hpc.gsi.de',
'mail cn givenname sn',
'mail cn givenname sn',
'', # bind user
'', # bind password
1 # use tls, otherwise gsi ldap provides no data
Reading pure html mails with mutt is not an easy task because they are shown as plain text by default. To automatically view html-mails in a console browser inside mutt you have to create the file
text/html; lynx %s; nametemplate=%s.html
text/html; lynx -dump %s; nametemplate=%s.html; copiousoutput
Additionally you have to add
file. Thats it!
Pine / Alpine
The IMAP configuration of Pine
is split in two parts:
- Make Pine use the IMAP server for its inbox.
- Enable Pine to browse the mailfolders on Exchange.
Setting Pine's inbox to be the IMAP inbox
In the main menu open
Name of Inbox server : email.gsi.de/ssl [Enter]
Folder on "email.gsi.de/ssl" to use for INBOX [inbox] : [Enter]
Turning off Kerberos Authentication for Exchange 2010
(Al)pine tries to connect to the new Exchange server using Kerberos credentials. This is not supported by the server and has to be turned off. This cannot be done via the Config
dialog for now (Feb. 2012) but
has to be edited directly. Locate the line
and change it to
Configure the mailfolders on the IMAP server
again, then go to
and there choose
Add Cltn [a]
to add a new collection.
You should fill in something like this:
Nickname : Mailfolders on Exchange
Server : email.de/ssl
to save your changes.
Further down the
page you may choose these:
[ Folder Preferences ]
[ ] combined-subdirectory-display
[ ] combined-folder-display
[ ] enable-dot-folders
[ ] enable-incoming-folders
[ ] expanded-view-of-folders
[ ] single-column-folder-list
[ ] vertical-folder-list
Pine knows folders
(something that contains messages) and directories
(something that contains folders).
enabled Pine will recognize mailfolders that contain both subfolders and messages: They will appear two times in the folder list - as a folder
and as a directory
suffixed with a
Also it should be handy to check
to hide all directories that contain no further folders (These are only displayed once then).
To make sure your official mail address is used you may set
customized-hdrs = From: My real name <P.Surname@gsi.de>
further down the page.
You should then also add the given email address to the
option still further down that page.
alt-addresses = P.Surname@gsi.de
Otherwise pine will list the sender (you) instead if the recipient when displaying the Sent
Using the LDAP address book
To get access to the GSI address book via LDAP you'll have to set the proper configuration. See the example for Icedove
, the Debian version of Thunderbird (click to enlarge)
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