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Mail Clients, pop3 servers, configuration settings

Mail Clients

Thunderbird and KMail are two excellent mail clients for linux users. I tried Evolution (it seems to be very popular) but it kept crashing and hence I had to stop using it.

KMail was excellent except for two problems - i. the composer does not wrap text automatically and ii. Support for IMAP folders is not very extensive.

Thunderbird provided me almost all the features of KMail except for a missing system tray icon which I was easily able to add using the alltray package (installable via apt). Hence I decided to use Thunderbird as I use an IMAP mail as well along with POP3.

Accessing Yahoo Mail Using POP3

YPOPs! is an application which emulates a POP3/SMTP mail server and provides free POP3 and SMTP access to Yahoo! Mail.

You need to download the source from the site, compile it and install it. Also YPOPs! source requires the mimepp library version 1.3.3.

Assuming that you have set POP3 port to "11111" and SMTP port to "25251", the below settings should work for KMail while creating a POP3 account for yahoo.
POP3 -, username: amaramrahul, Mail Encryption - None, Password Auth - Clear Text

Accessing Hotmail using POP3

Hotwayd is a utility which functions similar to YPOPs! and offers POP3 and SMTP access to Hotmail. Luckily hotwayd and hotsmtpd is available via apt. The below steps should be followed for accessing Hotmail via POP3.

  1. First install hotwayd and hotsmtpd
    # apt-get install hotway
    # apt-get install hotsmtp
  2. Add the below two lines in /etc/services:
    hotwayd 11110/tcp # Hotwayd Http-POP3 Gateway for Hotmail
    hotsmtpd 25250/tcp # Hotwayd Http-SMTP Gateway for Hotmail
  3. Add the below two lines in /etc/inetd.conf and restart the inetd service (/etc/init.d/inetd restart):
    hotwayd stream tcp nowait root /usr/sbin/tcpd /usr/bin/hotwayd
    hotsmtpd stream tcp nowait root /usr/sbin/tcpd /usr/bin/hotsmtpd
  4. Configure KMail with the below settings while created a Hotmail POP3 account.
    POP3 -, username:, Mail Encryption - None, Password Auth - Clear Text

Accessing GMail using POP3

Use the below settings in KMail to access Gmail via smtp.

POP3 -, username: amaramrahul, Mail Encryption - SSL, Password Auth - Clear Text
SMTP -, username: amaramrahul, Mail Encryption - TLS, Password Auth - Plain

Other utilites which provide similar functionality

FetchYahoo is a perl script that downloads mail from a Yahoo! account to a local mail spool. It is meant to replace fetchmail for people using Yahoo! mail since Yahoo!'s POP service no longer free. It downloads messages to a local mail spool, including all parts and attachments. It then deletes messages unless requested not to. It can also optionally forward messages to a specified e-mail address and repeat with a given interval.

Gotmail is a perl script to download mail from without user interaction. It is probably best run from a cron job.

Getmail is a mail retriever designed to allow you to get your mail from one or more mail accounts on various mail servers to your local machine for reading with a minimum of fuss. getmail is designed to be secure, flexible, reliable, and easy-to-use. getmail is designed to replace other mail retrievers such as fetchmail. To see a sample configuration file for fetching gmail mails, click here.

MrPostman is a java program that allows you to access Yahoo Mail, Hotmail and other webmail services directly from your favorite mail client. It converts the web pages of your favorite webmail provider to e-mails and provides the standard POP interface to your mail client. Currently supported webmail providers:
* Hotmail
* Yahoo
* gmail (Google mail)
* juno
* rediffmail
* Gossamer mail
* Outlook Web Access (Exchange 5.5)
* Outlook Web Access 2003

While it might be obvious that FetchYahoo and Gotmail are not POP3 servers, MrPostman is clearly a replacment for YPOPs! and Hotwayd. But why I did not choose it is because YPOPs! and Hotwayd work much better than MrPostman. Nevertheless it deserves a special mention here for the high number of providers to which it provides POP3 access.


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