Upon hearing that my college offers email access through its POP and SMTP servers, I immediately set out to integrate it into my email setup.
Today I will show you how.
Because my email setup is quite complicated, this will take longer to configure than it would with a mail client such as Thunderbird or Outlook. However, I enjoy the level of customization offered by such a setup.
1. Setting up getmail
First, make sure that you have the .getmail directory in your home dir. If not, create it (mkdir -m 700 ~/.getmail)
~ % ls -la | grep getmail drwx------ 2 antony antony 4.0K 2008-07-09 17:30 .getmail/
Change to the .getmail directory and create the account file.
~ % cd .getmail .getmail % touch getmailrc_college
Edit the file. Note: !$ means the last space separated word from the previous command, in this case “getmailrc_college”
.getmail % vim !$ 1 [retriever] 2 type = SimplePOP3SSLRetriever 3 server = pop.college.edu 4 username = name 5 port = 995 6 password = password 7 8 [destination] 9 type = MDA_external 10 path = /usr/bin/procmail
Change the file permissions (read, write for user)
.getmail % chmod 600 getmailrc_college
2. Setting up procmail
All we have to do is add a filter for email from the college domain address. Note: Because my college email address can have a number 0-9 appended to the end of the username, I used the regex [0-9], which matches one digit.gt
.getmail % cd ~ % vim ~/.procmailrc 20 :0 21 * ^TO_name[0-9]@college\.edu 22 college/
3. Setting up msmtp
This is the most involved step.
Security is always first, so check the available authentication options of the server. I’ll use Gmail as an example (yep, straight from the manpage).
~ % msmtp --serverinfo --host=smtp.gmail.com --tls=on --port=587 --tls-certcheck=off SMTP server at smtp.gmail.com (yw-in-f109.google.com [18.104.22.168]), port 587: mx.google.com ESMTP 6sm2875694ywp.3 TLS certificate information: Owner: Common Name: smtp.gmail.com Organization: Google Inc Locality: Mountain View State or Province: California Country: US Issuer: Common Name: Thawte Premium Server CA Organization: Thawte Consulting cc Organizational unit: Certification Services Division Locality: Cape Town State or Province: Western Cape Country: ZA [truncated] Capabilities: SIZE 28311552: Maximum message size is 28311552 bytes = 27.00 MB STARTTLS: Support for TLS encryption via the STARTTLS command AUTH: Supported authentication methods: PLAIN LOGIN
The important part here is the issuer of the certificate (shown by the Common Name). In this case, the issuer is “Thawte Premium Server CA” so we need to download that certificate from the Thawte website and place it in our ~/.certs directory.
~ % cd ~/.certs .certs % unzip thawte-roots.zip -d thawte [truncated output] .certs % cd thawte thawte % cd Thawte\ Server\ Roots Thawte Server Roots % ls Thawte Server Roots.txt ThawtePremiumServerCA.cer ThawteServerCA.509 ThawteServerCA_b64.txt ThawtePremiumServerCA.509 ThawtePremiumServerCA_b64.txt ThawteServerCA.cer Thawte Server Roots % cp ThawtePremiumServerCA.cer ../../ Thawte Server Roots % cd !$ .certs % ls ThawtePremiumServerCA.cer thawte/ thawte-roots.zip .certs % rm -r thawte*
Now you can use TLS, so edit your ~/.msmtprc file
.certs % cd ~ % vim .msmtprc 21 account college 22 host smtp.college.edu 23 from email@example.com 24 user firstname.lastname@example.org 25 password somepassword 26 port 587 27 auth on 28 tls on 29 tls_trust_file /home/antony/.certs/ThawtePremiumServerCA.crt
4. Next, configure Mutt for account switching.
~ % cd .mutt
Create a profile for each account. Because I include my email address in my signature, I have to switch to a different signature when I change email accounts. The unmy_hdr resets the my_hdr variable, which is then defined by the following my_hdr. set sendmail= tells Mutt to use a different sendmail command. And set compose_format changes the display at the bottom of the screen so I know which mail account I am using.
~ % vim muttrc.local1 1 # default Mutt profile 2 set signature="~/.signature" 3 unmy_hdr 4 my_hdr From: Antony Jepson <email@example.com> 5 my_hdr Reply-To: Antony Jepson <firstname.lastname@example.org> 6 set sendmail="/usr/bin/msmtp --account default" 7 set compose_format="-- default Mutt: Compose [Approx. msg size: %l] Atts:%a]%>-"
~ % vim muttrc.local2 1 # college Mutt profile 2 set signature="~/.signature2" 3 unmy_hdr 4 my_hdr From: First Last <email@example.com> 5 my_hdr Reply-To: First Last <firstname.lastname@example.org> 6 set sendmail="/usr/bin/msmtp --account college" 7 set compose_format="-- college Mutt: Compose [Approx. msg size: %l] Atts:%a]%>-"
All we have to do is add a keyboard-binding that will source each different profile. This configuration will switch to a different profile when I press Control-q and Control-w.
.mutt % vim macros.rc 4 macro index "\Cq" ":source ~/.mutt/muttrc.local1\n" "Load default profile" 5 macro index "\Cw" ":source ~/.mutt/muttrc.local2\n" "Load college profile"
And, if you are not already sourcing this rc file in the default mutt configuration, add it..mutt % echo "source ~/.mutt/macros.rc" >> ~/.mutt/muttrc
5. Finally, because I will be using this address for the next four years, I’ll add it to my gpg key.
.mutt % cd ~ % gpg --edit-key Antony\ Jepson [truncated output] Command> adduid Real name: Antony Jepson Email address: email@example.com Comment: College email You selected this USER-ID: "Antony Jepson (College email) <firstname.lastname@example.org>" Change (N)ame, (C)omment, (E)mail or (O)kay/(Q)uit? O You need a passphrase to unlock the secret key for user: "Antony Jepson (College email) <email@example.com>" [truncated] Passphrase: somepassphrase Command> save
Finally, send your updated key to the keysever.
~ % gpg --send-key firstname.lastname@example.org
And that’s it. You now (or I, at least) have a working, secure, additional, Mutt-enabled, email account!
I’m still getting used to the WYSIWYG WordPress formatting toolbar, I’ll make (hopefully better) use of it as I write more posts.