Need Help Configuring LAN for Email - Questions

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Thread: Need Help Configuring LAN for Email

  1. Need Help Configuring LAN for Email

    I need help setting up my small network of machines to receive email.

    My email goes to a mailbox on the internet. I want one of my machines (the
    "server") to retrieve this email and hold it in a mailbox.

    I want to be able to read the email held on the server from a remote client
    machine.

    I am not fully sure what I am doing here, but I want to use the "mutt" mail
    client on the remote machine.

    I'm not sure what I need on the server, but I believe that "exim" may be one of
    the packages for the job.

    Do I need also need "fetchmail" on the server?

    Does the remote client need any other packages? Remember I want the mail to
    remain in a mailbox on the server on my LAN.
    remain on the server.

    How do I configure this lot ?

    I would like system mail messages to be forwarded to the central server in future. How can I achieve this?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can help with any of these issues.

    Regards,

    Mark.

    --

    Mark Hobley
    393 Quinton Road West
    QUINTON
    Birmingham
    B32 1QE

    http://markhobley.yi.org/

  2. Re: Need Help Configuring LAN for Email

    Mark Hobley wrote:

    > I am not fully sure what I am doing here, but I want to use the "mutt"
    > mail client on the remote machine.


    Use anything that supports POP3 or IMAP, even Outhouse Express.

    > I'm not sure what I need on the server, but I believe that "exim" may be
    > one of the packages for the job.


    One of the choices, that or Postfix or Sendmail.

    > Do I need also need "fetchmail" on the server?


    Yes.

    > Does the remote client need any other packages? Remember I want the mail
    > to remain in a mailbox on the server on my LAN.
    > remain on the server.


    You'll need either a POP3 server or an IMAP server, I'd choose the latter.

    > How do I configure this lot ?


    It's takes a bit of trial and error.

    > I would like system mail messages to be forwarded to the central server in
    > future. How can I achieve this?


    What system messages do you mean?


  3. Re: Need Help Configuring LAN for Email

    In message , Mark Hobley
    writes
    >I need help setting up my small network of machines to receive email.
    >
    >My email goes to a mailbox on the internet. I want one of my machines (the
    >"server") to retrieve this email and hold it in a mailbox.
    >
    >I want to be able to read the email held on the server from a remote client
    >machine.
    >
    >I am not fully sure what I am doing here, but I want to use the "mutt" mail
    >client on the remote machine.
    >
    >I'm not sure what I need on the server, but I believe that "exim" may
    >be one of
    >the packages for the job.
    >
    >Do I need also need "fetchmail" on the server?
    >

    You don't say which Linux distribution you have in mind, if any. Exim is
    the default mail server for Debian, but possibly not for any other
    distribution. You can install it on any Linux distribution, but Debian
    will configure it easily. Mail servers are not trivial programs to
    configure.

    Fetchmail is fairly simple to understand, as it does a much more limited
    job.

    >Does the remote client need any other packages? Remember I want the mail to
    >remain in a mailbox on the server on my LAN.
    >remain on the server.


    This means that either you use the IMAP protocol, which does this kind
    of thing and more, or you use POP3 and configure the client not to flush
    messages after download. I believe mutt can use either protocol, so you
    just need to ensure that the server runs the appropriate server
    software. IMAP, as implied, is much more powerful and flexible. About
    the only control you have with POP3 is whether to flush all the messages
    or not. I'm fairly sure you can't delete individual messages.
    >
    >How do I configure this lot ?


    That is very distribution- and application-specific. Exim under Debian
    uses a simple questionnaire, which should cover your needs. Fetchmail
    more or less needs only the ISP details. Installing either a POP3 or
    IMAP server under Debian does not, I think, need any configuration. If
    you use IMAP, I think you need to change the type of mailbox storage
    that exim defaults to, but as I recall that is all.

    There is a choice of IMAP server. I use Courier, there are at least two
    others, and I'm sure other people will offer opinions on them.
    >
    >I would like system mail messages to be forwarded to the central server
    >in future. How can I achieve this?


    In general, you configure logging on the client software with the name
    of a mailbox on the server, you make sure the server will accept email
    from these clients, and either the mailbox is you or there is an alias
    to you. For example, a lot of system email is sent to root, but the
    usual advice is to set an alias of root (and postmaster) to a real
    person, and not to actually access mail while logged in as root. The
    exim configuration actually asks for this alias specifically.

    Configuration is very specific to the exact software involved. For use
    with fetchmail, exim would only need to accept mail from localhost i.e.
    the server itself, but for remote logging it must accept mail from
    wherever the logs originate. It's not too difficult, and the
    configuration file /etc/exim/exim.conf contains a lot of documentation.

    You can certainly do what you want, but you probably need to get your
    hands metaphorically dirty with configuration information for the
    software you need to use. The information is all there in man pages and
    the exim specification, but you may need to learn some new concepts.
    --
    Joe

  4. Re: Need Help Configuring LAN for Email

    In alt.comp.linux Mark Hobley wrote:
    > I need help setting up my small network of machines to receive email.


    I've made some progress with this:

    >
    > My email goes to a mailbox on the internet. I want one of my machines (the
    > "server") to retrieve this email and hold it in a mailbox.


    This is now working.

    Server installed packages are exim and retchmail.

    Retchmail collects the mail from the ISP and delivers it to my mail server
    machine.

    > I want to be able to read the email held on the server from a remote client
    > machine.


    I haven't figured this bit out yet. It's very tempting at this point to use NFS
    to access the mail directories on my server, but I'll avoid this for now.

    Does anyone have any comments about this ?

    > I want to use the "mutt" mail client on the remote machine.


    I'm not sure what I've got to do here.

    > Does the remote client need any other packages? Remember I want the mail to
    > remain in a mailbox on the server on my LAN.


    I believe that I have to configure exim to provide IMAP on the server. I am
    then guessing that I have to somehow configure MUTT to connect to the IMAP
    server.

    > I would like system mail messages to be forwarded to the central server in
    > future. How can I achieve this?


    I haven't looked at this bit yet.

    I also need to work out how to send email, and configure the sender email
    address.

    > Thanks in advance to anyone who can help with any of these issues.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Mark.
    >


    --

    Mark Hobley
    393 Quinton Road West
    QUINTON
    Birmingham
    B32 1QE

    Reply to: markhobley at hotpop dot do_not_type_this_bit com

    http://markhobley.yi.org/

  5. Re: Need Help Configuring LAN for Email

    Mark Hobley wrote:
    > I haven't figured this bit out yet. It's very tempting at this point to use NFS
    > to access the mail directories on my server, but I'll avoid this for now.
    >
    > Does anyone have any comments about this ?


    I have a vague recollection that accessing mail spools over NFS is a bad
    idea.



    >>Does the remote client need any other packages? Remember I want the mail to
    >>remain in a mailbox on the server on my LAN.

    >
    >
    > I believe that I have to configure exim to provide IMAP on the server.


    I'm not familiar with Exim but I suspect the IMAP server is a completely
    separate package (certainly it's this way with other MTAs - mail
    transport agents). You didn't state what distribution you're using but
    this functionality is normally provided by a program like dovecot or imapd.


    > I am
    > then guessing that I have to somehow configure MUTT to connect to the IMAP
    > server.


    Indeed.

    Paul

  6. Re: Need Help Configuring LAN for Email

    In message , Mark Hobley
    writes
    >
    >> I want to be able to read the email held on the server from a remote client
    >> machine.

    >
    >I haven't figured this bit out yet. It's very tempting at this point to use NFS
    >to access the mail directories on my server, but I'll avoid this for now.
    >
    >Does anyone have any comments about this ?
    >
    >> I want to use the "mutt" mail client on the remote machine.

    >
    >I'm not sure what I've got to do here.
    >
    >> Does the remote client need any other packages? Remember I want the mail to
    >> remain in a mailbox on the server on my LAN.

    >
    >I believe that I have to configure exim to provide IMAP on the server. I am
    >then guessing that I have to somehow configure MUTT to connect to the IMAP
    >server.
    >

    Here's a chunk of my /etc/exim/exim.conf, from the Transports
    Configuration section:

    local_delivery:
    driver = appendfile
    group = mail
    mode = 0660
    mode_fail_narrower = false
    envelope_to_add = true
    return_path_add = true
    #mbox format file = /var/spool/mail/${local_part}
    #next 3 lines Maildir format
    directory=${home}/Maildir
    maildir_format = true
    prefix = ""

    My exim was originally configured for mbox mail storage, where each user
    gets one big file with all the email in. For its fancy folder moving and
    individual message deletion, IMAP needs to use maildir format, where
    each email is a separate file. *As far as I can remember*, commenting
    the old 'file=' line and adding the others were the only things
    necessary to make exim work with IMAP. Just installing Courier IMAP did
    the rest, I don't think there is any configuration necessary. This was
    some time ago, of course.

    I don't use mutt over a network, just locally, but have a look at:
    http://mutt.sourceforge.net/imap/

    See also man mutt and man muttrc.
    --
    Joe

  7. Re: Need Help Configuring LAN for Email

    > In message , Mark Hobley
    > writes
    > I want to be able to read the email held on the server from a remote client
    > machine.

    I am now receiving mail on the server.

    The server uses retchmail to retrieve the email from the internet. Exim on the
    server delivers mail to /home/mark/Mailbox on the server.

    I have installed courier-imap on the server from a Debian package. This just
    installed and ran, it didn't ask me any questions, and I haven't done any
    configuration.

    From the client computer, I can telnet the server imap2 port. This gives some
    sort of mail server session, so the imap server looks like it is running.

    > I want to use the "mutt" mail client on the remote machine.


    I have created a .muttrc file on the client computer as follows:

    set folder=imap://charon/Maildir

    (here charon is the name of the mail server as defined in /etc/hosts.)

    (This is what some people have advised. I have also tried:
    set folder=imap://charon/home/mark/Maildir but that didn't work either.)

    Do I need the /home/mark bit ?

    I run mutt from the command line on the client. This gives me a full screen
    mutt session, but at the bottom of the screen, I get:


    ---Mutt: (no mailbox)
    /var/mail/mark: No such file or directory (errno=2)


    I'm not sure whether this means on the local machine or on the mail server,
    but in either case, it's the wrong place.

    My mail is in the /home/mark/Mailbox directory on the mail server (charon).

    > See also man mutt and man muttrc.


    I've printed out reams of paper on most of these packages, but I'm having
    trouble deciphering the information, and determining the relevance of settings
    on one package to the settings of that on another.

    --

    Mark Hobley
    393 Quinton Road West
    QUINTON
    Birmingham
    B32 1QE

    Reply to: markhobley at hotpop dot do_not_type_this_bit com

    http://markhobley.yi.org/

  8. Re: Need Help Configuring LAN for Email

    Mark Hobley wrote:

    >> In message , Mark Hobley
    >> writes
    >> I want to be able to read the email held on the server from a remote

    client
    >> machine.

    > I am now receiving mail on the server.
    >
    > The server uses retchmail to retrieve the email from the internet. Exim on

    the
    > server delivers mail to /home/mark/Mailbox on the server.
    >
    > I have installed courier-imap on the server from a Debian package. This

    just
    > installed and ran, it didn't ask me any questions, and I haven't done any
    > configuration.


    Courier reads maildir format mailboxes. That is, one message per file, with
    messages stored in directories new/, cur/, tmp/ within each mailbox. The
    default location is ~/Maildir, which is your inbox, with other mailboxes
    being ~/Maildir/.folder.mailbox where .folder is an IMAP "directory" which
    contains mailboxes and .folder.mailbox is a mailbox (i.e. real directory)
    containing messages (i.e. new/,cur/,tmp/).

    To get exim to deliver to this type of mailbox you use the appendfile
    transport and specify "maildir_format" and set
    directory=/home/$local_part/Maildir
    assuming your home directory is in /home and your destination email address
    is the same as your login id.

    To deliver to other folders, in the relevent appendfile transport set
    create_directory and directory=/home/$local_part/Maildir/.folder.mailbox

    >
    > From the client computer, I can telnet the server imap2 port. This gives

    some
    > sort of mail server session, so the imap server looks like it is running.
    >
    >> I want to use the "mutt" mail client on the remote machine.

    >
    > I have created a .muttrc file on the client computer as follows:
    >
    > set folder=imap://charon/Maildir
    >
    > (here charon is the name of the mail server as defined in /etc/hosts.)
    >
    > (This is what some people have advised. I have also tried:
    > set folder=imap://charon/home/mark/Maildir but that didn't work either.)
    >
    > Do I need the /home/mark bit ?


    I can't get the .muttrc folder=whatever to work, but I can get mutt to
    connect to my imap server's default mailbox with the command:
    $ mutt -f imap://our.mail.server/

    To get to other mailboxes I can use the namespace as above:

    mutt -f imap://our.mail.server/INBOX.folder.mailbox

    --
    Nigel Wade

  9. Re: Need Help Configuring LAN for Email

    Keith Matthews :

    [...]

    > You'll need to get an Exim user to help you with delivering in maildir
    > format - I do know it can do it.


    This works perfectly for me:

    local_delivery:
    driver = appendfile
    group = mail
    mode = 0660
    maildir_format = true
    directory = /home/${local_part}/Maildir
    create_directory = true
    check_string = ""
    escape_string = ""

    b.

    --
    Ben Shimmin (bas@bas.me.uk)
    finger gpg@bas.me.uk | tail -30 | gpg --import

  10. Re: Need Help Configuring LAN for Email

    I can now recieve incoming mail.

    I use the command mutt -f imap://charon on the client. This connects to my
    mail server and I can see the messages.

    I now have to sort out outgoing email and lan mail. Hopefully, I'll be looking
    at this over the next few weeks.

    Thanks to everyone who has helped with this project.

    Regards,

    Mark.

    --

    Mark Hobley
    393 Quinton Road West
    QUINTON
    Birmingham
    B32 1QE

    Reply to: markhobley at hotpop dot do_not_type_this_bit com

    http://markhobley.yi.org/

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