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Revision as of 10:12, 9 July 2010 by FastLizard4 (Talk | contribs) (A Note About Combining Methods: another note)

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Under construction!

This is information regarding LizardMail, the mailserver component of the LizardWiki server, which users with shell accounts on the server have access to.

This guide is separated into sections, depending on how you want to access the server.


  • Your email address is your account name at lizardwiki dot dyndns dot org. For example, if you login using SSH as 'thedoctor', your address would be thedoctor at lizardwiki dot dyndns 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).

Checking mail

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 mail to check your new emails. Use 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.

Sending mail

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:
mail tolist
...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:

  1. - This will send the email to only.
  2. 'Example User <>' - This will send the email to 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.
  3. - Sends an email to multiple addresses
  4. 'Another Example User <>'

To send a message to another LizardMail address (i.e., another LizardShell user), specify their full LizardMail address - e.g., username [at] lizardwiki [dot] dyndns [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 <Ctrl>+<C> twice.

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:

  • Server address (all protocols):
  • Available mail protocols:
    • IMAP (for getting emails - recommended) - Plain/unsecured, TLS (recommended), and SSL - For Plain/unsecured, use port 143, and for TLS or SSL, use port 993 (this port setup is automatic in many programs).
    • POP3 (for getting emails and storing them locally - NOT RECOMMENDED) - Plain/unsecured, TLS (recommended), and maybe SSL - For Plain/unsecured, use port 110, and for TLS or SSL, use port 995 (this port setup is automatic in many programs).
    • SMTP (for sending emails) - TLS (recommended) and maybe SSL - always use port 587 (you may have to manually set the port, since te default is 25).
    • IMAP is recommended for getting emails since it leaves the emails on the server instead of downloading them from the server then deleting them off the server).
  • For all protocols, your username is the same as your SSH login username. Your password is the same as your SSH login password.
  • 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.

Setup procedures for different clients may be added later. Or you can add some yourself - Log in or request an account and edit this page!

An Important Note about Certificates

The secure IMAP, POP3, and SMTP protocols all use the same certificates as the webserver. Since the authority on the certificate is LizardWiki, your mail client will probably reject or at least warn you about it. It is strongly recommended that you install our certificate (if possible; this will also increase security), else you should be ready to get some scary warnings about invalid certificates.

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 mail terminal command reads) with a special deleted flag that only IMAP understands. The gist of this is that the message will appear deleted (or moved) to your email client, while to the terminal mail command, the message is still there. You can partially fix this by enabling automatic expunging of your inbox in your email client (note that this isn't supported by all email clients, notably the iPhone/iPod Touch Mail app), although this will leave behind one special message ("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 U in mail's message list. If you see the "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.