This is information regarding LizardMail, the mailserver component of the LizardWiki server, which users with shell accounts on the server have access to. Each LizardWiki server has its own mail system, since unified accounts are not used.
This guide is separated into sections, depending on how you want to access the server.
- Your email address is your account name at servername dot fastlizard4 dot org, unless your login is on ridley.fastlizard4.org, in which case it's just fastlizard4 dot org. For example, if you login to phazon.fastlizard4.org using SSH as 'thedoctor', your address would be thedoctor at phazon dot fastlizard4 dot org, and if you login to ridley.fastlizard4.org using SSH as 'themaster', your address would be themaster at fastlizard4 dot org (replace 'at' with @ and 'dot' with .).
- Abuse of LizardMail is sufficient grounds for immediate account termination. Use of LizardMail is monitored.
From the Terminal (easiest)
- Note that, if you are restricted to using LizardShell as your login shell (instead of, say, bash), you are severely limited in what you can do, so you might want to take the time and effort to use a mail client (i.e., the somewhat harder way; see below).
The easiest way to access your mail is from the terminal. Log in to the server using SSH like you normally would. After the MOTD prints, you will see either "No mail." or "You have new mail." (or similar). The latter, of course, means that you have new mail. If you have new mail, simply run the
? command in the mail viewer for some basic assistance. To check saved mails, use the command
mail -f mail/Saved (you cannot yet do this if you use LizardShell). New messages that are not automatically deleted are saved when you quit the mail program.
If you are already logged into the server and a new message arrives, you should get a message that says
You have new mail in /var/mail/username.
Note that it is very difficult to read HTML emails using this method, since you will see the HTML source code. To read rendered HTML emails, you must use an email client.
- Note: At this time, LizardShell users are unable to send mail using this method.
To initiate the process, log in to the server using SSH like you normally would. Then, type the command:
...where tolist is a space-seperated list of email addresses you'd like to send the message to. Valid inputs for the tolist might be:
email@example.com- This will send the email to firstname.lastname@example.org only.
'Example User <email@example.com>'- This will send the email to firstname.lastname@example.org only and display the destination's name, Example User, instead of just their email address. Since the spaces in this example aren't intended to separate two email addresses, the address must be surrounded with single quotes! Also note the use of angle brackets to delimit the email address itself.
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com- Sends an email to multiple addresses
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 'Another Example User <firstname.lastname@example.org>'
To send a message to another LizardMail address (i.e., another LizardShell user), specify their full LizardMail address - e.g., username [at] servername [dot] fastlizard4 [dot] org.
You will then be prompted for the subject of the message. Press enter after entering it. You can now type your message. Note that the message is plain-text only (no HTML). When you're done typing the message, add a blank line at the end of the message, then press
<Ctrl>+<D>. You will then be prompted for CC's (carbon copies). Same format as the tolist, or just press enter if there are none. The message will then be sent. You do not need to re-enter your username or password, since you're already logged in to the server.
Before sending the message, you can abort it by pressing
Using an Email Client
While this method is considerably more difficult to setup than the in-terminal method, it is much more robust, easier to use after setup, and allows you to properly read HTML emails, among other things.
To use this, you'll need an email client, such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, Evolution Mail (Linux), or Mozilla Thunderbird (the one I use and recommend). This also works with your iPhone/iPod Touch and other smartphones.
Advanced users: Settings
If you're familiar with how your email client, you may find it easier just to configure it rather than follow any step-by-step instructions below. So, here are the configuration parameters:
- For all protocols, your username is the same as your SSH login username. Your password is the same as your SSH login password.*Each LizardNet server has its own mail system, so you need to add each server you want to check your email on as a separate account in your email program
- Unless your email address is
email@example.com, the server you should enter into your email client to connect to is the same as the part after the @ sign in your email address. The exception is for email addresses of the form
firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you know that the email you want to check is on ridley.fastlizard4.org. In this case, enter your email address as
email@example.com, but instruct your email client to connect to
- Use the same server for incoming and outgoing mail
- Especially if you need to connect to ridley.fastlizard4.org, you may have to manually override the settings your email client chooses. Never enter just fastlizard4.org as the server to connect to, as this may accidentally direct you to the wrong server.
- For incoming email, you may choose IMAP (recommended) or POP3 as the protocol. Outgoing should use SMTP.
- IMAP configuration: Plain/unsecure and STARTTLS connections on port 143, SSL/TLS on 993. Use unencrypted/"normal" passwords. Because your password won't be sent encrypted itself, it is highly recommended that you either use STARTTLS or SSL/TLS to provide complete connection security. Note that most clients will choose STARTTLS or SSL/TLS by default, but it's worth checking.
- POP3 configuration: Plain/unsecure and STARTTLS connections on port 110, SSL/TLS on 995. Use unencrypted/"normal" passwords. Because your password won't be sent encrypted itself, it is highly recommended that you either use STARTTLS or SSL/TLS to provide complete connection security. Note that most clients will choose STARTTLS or SSL/TLS by default, but it's worth checking.
- SMTP configuration: Plain/unsecure and STARTTLS on port 587. Do not use port 25. SSL/TLS unavailable, use STARTTLS for connection encryption. Use unencrypted/"normal" passwords. Because your password won't be sent encrypted itself, it is highly recommended that you use STARTTLS to provide complete connection security. Note that most clients will choose STARTTLS by default, but it's worth checking. Note that iOS Mail's "SSL" option in SMTP configuration is actually STARTTLS, and it's enabled by default.
- Folder layout: INBOX is your inbox (most clients figure this out automatically), Trash is your trashcan (most clients figure this out automatically), Drafts is your drafts folder (most clients figure this out automatically), Spamalot is the spam folder the server provides, Templates is your templates folder, and Sent is your sent mail folder (most clients figure this out automatically).
- If your client has an option for it, do not use encrypted or secure login. If you're worried about privacy, connect to the server using a secure method (TLS [preferred] or SSL).
- Login is required for SMTP
- Please setup your client to check for new message no faster than every ten minutes.
A Note About Combining Methods
Please note that combining the two methods for getting emails, Terminal and Email Client, can cause some very strange things to happen. For example, deleting (or moving) a message from your Inbox using IMAP in your email client will actually leave the message in the inbox file (which the
DON'T DELETE THIS MESSAGE -- FOLDER INTERNAL DATA") that you should not delete or move. In addition, the message displayed when you login via SSH to the server will read "You have mail" or "You have new mail", the latter indicating that new mail has actually arrived. Actually new messages are marked with a
N or a
DON'T DELETE THIS MESSAGE -- FOLDER INTERNAL DATA" message, remember to note its ID number (usually 1) and to use the
pre command on it (e.g., after opening mail, you see that the message's ID number is 1, so you enter the command
pre 1 before anything else to preserve it).
It is therefore strongly recommended that you use one method or the other, but not both.
Note: You can also manually expunge folders within your client. Right-click the folder to expunge and look for an Expunge or Compact folder option (e.g., Thunderbird calls it Compact). Remember that this only has effect on IMAP.
LizardMail uses a combination of MIMEDefang and SpamAssassin (with Bayesian filtering) to defend against incoming spam. By default, if an incoming email appears to be spam, the subject is prefixed with
*****SPAM***** and delivered to your inbox as with normal emails. However, it is possible to also have these emails automatically put into another folder to separate spam from regular emails, as with Gmail and other popular services. This isn't the default configuration because this mostly benefits users who use an email client to access their email over IMAP or POP3. To set this up, follow the directions below:
- Log in via SSH (this will need to be set up on each LizardNet server you have access to)
- Create a file
.forwardin your home directory with the following contents:
"|IFS=' ' && exec /usr/bin/procmail || exit 75 #your-username"
- ...Replacing your-username with your login username. Include the double quotes surrounding the entire line.
- Create a file
.procmailrcin your home directory with the following contents:
:0 * ^X-Spam-Flag: YES /home/your-username/mail/Folder
- Where your-username is again your login username, and Folder is the name of the mail folder you want to have spam placed automatically (case-sensitive!). Common choices for Folder will be Spamalot (the default spam folder created for every user on LizardNet SSH account creation) and Junk (the default spam folder created by many email clients, especially those made by Apple).
- Done! Now, junk emails - in addition to having their subject lines prefixed with
*****SPAM*****, will be automatically moved to the folder you specified.
- Note: You may sometimes also see emails that - in addition to the
*****SPAM*****prefix - have the text
[SPF_VERIFICATION_FAILED_-_POSSIBLE_SPAM!!]also prepended to their subject lines. This indicates that the email failed Sender Policy Framework checks, and likely did not actually come from the address given as the "From:" address in the email.
Training the Spam Filter
The spam filter may occasionally make a mistake and classify an email as spam when it isn't, or classify an email as not spam when it actually is. If such mistakes happen, and you are using an email client over IMAP (not POP3) to check your email, you can take advantage of the easy training system.
IMPORTANT: The training system only works if you are using an email client over IMAP, and only if you have enabled automatic spam folder filtering as detailed in the section above.
This works in a manner similar to popular services like Gmail. If you come across an email that was marked as spam but is not actually spam, simply move it out of the spam folder into any other folder (except those named "Spamalot", "Junk", or "Trash") and it will be automatically marked as a not-spam email. Conversely, if you come across a spam email that was not marked as such, simply move it into your Spamalot or Junk folder to automatically train the spam filter that the email was, in fact, spam.
- All training classifications may take up to 15 minutes to take effect.
- If you accidentally classify a good email as spam, simply move the email back to its original folder to immediately reclassify it as a good email.
- If you accidentally classify a spam email as good, you must wait a minimum of 15 minutes before moving it back to a Spamalot or Junk folder to reclassify it as spam (sorry, this is indeed a bit of a workaround to an odd problem).
- Emails that contain
[SPF_VERIFICATION_FAILED_-_POSSIBLE_SPAM!!]in their subject lines will always be marked as spam due to the way the SpamAssassin rules are written, no matter how you classify those emails.