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Using an email client

Use an email client that can do IMAPS, SMTP with STARTTLS and authentication and LDAP. Sylpheed is a nice client as is the mailer that comes with Mozilla. For the console die hards there is the MuttMailer! Receiving email:

  • Server for receiving:
  • Use SSL for IMAP connection
  • Use port 993
  • The IMAP login and password is simply your wur account, for example annie001 and annie

Sometimes it is necessary to show also the unsubscribed folders to see all your mail folders (it is in the advanced options in Thunderbird).

Sending email:

  • Server for sending:
  • Use TLS (sometimes called STARTTLS) for SMTP connection
  • Use port 25
  • The SMTP password is simply your wur account, for example annie001 and annie

Using this server you can only send email if your from adress is a adress.

  • In Evolution authentication type NTLM/SPA works. [Don't know if this setting shows up in any other mail client, but here it was necessary so I added this FYI - Raoul]

If you want to send email using a from address that is not a adress you can use:

  • Server for sending:
  • No TLS.
  • No username or password.

See also WURImapForDummies for an elaborate example installing Mozilla mail.

Since Evolution 2.x has also an exchange connector it is really nice to use it. And setting it up is really easy!

  • Open the preferences window -> Mail Accounts -> Add
  • Push Forward
  • Fill in your Name and E-mail Address (it is not used for the connection so you can use the complete one)
  • Choose the Microsoft Exchange server type
  • Fill in your username e.g. annie001 and the OWA Url:
  • Push Authenticate
  • Fill in your password (check the remind box if you like to)
  • Check the automatically check box
  • For the Global Catalog use
  • You can leave the responses limit and password warning boxes checked (although I do not know whether it works)
  • Give your account a name
  • Find a timezone, if it is your first account
  • Push apply!

To search in the phone directory (which has all email addresses as well) use the following:

  • LDAP server: ldap.wau./nl
  • search base: o=Wageningen UR,c=NL
  • portnumber: 389
  • ssl: off

With Mozilla mail select edit-preferences -> Addressing -> Directory server and fill in above settings. It is nice - now you magically see all E-mail addresses appear when typing!

To search in the active directory:

  • LDAP server (hostname):
  • search base (base DN): DC=wurnet,DC=nl
  • port number: 636
  • bind DN: (yes that is your email address!)
  • bind password: your wur password
  • ssl: on
  • in thunderbird: advanced -> subtree -> searchfilter: (objectclass=User)

This server can be extremely slow, so I advice you to get a cup of coffee when you are using this one...

However if you connect to this server via the Exchange connector in Evolution, it works quite well instead!

fetchmail example

Use the following .fetchmailrc file

 poll protocol imap username "yourname" password "yourpassword" ssl

And here the one I use (Pjotr):

 poll with proto IMAP port 993 user 'yourname' there is 'account' here ssl
   fetchall keep mda "/usr/bin/procmail -d  %T"

mutt with IMAPs example

 mutt -f imaps://

using Thunderbird as mail client

Most of the IMAP settings explained above apply.

General settings

Incoming mail:

  • Server name:
  • Port: 993
  • Security: SSL

Optional settings

Optional (my preference)

  • When I delete: move to trash
  • Clean up ("expunge") inbox on exit

Setting correct folder names

The WUR exzchange server uses non-default folder names for the trash, sent items, etc. Some of these can be set from within Thunderbird: (Account settings -> Copies and Folders)

  • Place a copy in: other: Verzonden items on WUR account
  • Keep message drafts in: other: Concepten on WUR account.

The location of the trash folder cannot be modified from within Thunderbird. This has to be done by editing the "prefs.js" configuration file. Mine is located at:


The line that reads

 user_pref("mail.server.server2.trash_folder_name", "Deleted items");

or similar should be changed into

 user_pref("mail.server.server2.trash_folder_name", "Verwijderde items");

That will do.

Auto-compaction of folders

Deleted mails are not really deleted, they are only marked as deleted. This is not visible from within Thunderbird, but it is from e.g. webmail. To prevent this, folders need to be compacted.

  • Go to edit -> preferences -> advanced -> network & disk space
  • Mark "compact folders when it will save over" 100 kb

Happy thunderbirding!

Using DavMail (at WUR or at home!)

DavMail connects to the Outlook Web Access and sets up some local servers you can connect to from most mail clients. It also supports calendar and ldap.

On the DavMail website you can find an extensive description on how to configure DavMail with some of the most common mail clients.

When setting up DavMail use the following values:

  • For "OWA (Exchange) URL" fill in:
  • When asked for a username by your mail client upon connection to the local servers created by DavMail, fill in: "wur\" followed by your short login name

Remember to setup the custom folder names as described above!

That's it...

Sometimes DavMail gives the error "Set socket timeout to 115 seconds" in the tooltip of the icon. This problem should be solved soon, but until then you can use this quickfix to remove the swt class from the classpath in the script that runs davmail. In my case this script is located at:


Change the following line:

 java -Xmx512M -cp /usr/share/davmail/davmail.jar:/usr/share/java/swt.jar:$CLASSPATH davmail.DavGateway "$@"


 java -Xmx512M -cp /usr/share/davmail/davmail.jar:$CLASSPATH davmail.DavGateway "$@"

Now it should work again, although it looks a bit ugly Make sure you've got the latest Java on your computer, Davmail requires it.

using Lightning calendar with Thunderbird

With DavMail (see above) it is also possible to use the outlook calendar in Thunderbird. To do so, you'll need the Lightning integrated calendar for Thunderbird. The procedure outlined here has been tested with Lightning 6.6.4 in Thunnderbird 24.1:

  1. Install the Lightening Calendar Add-on via Tools, Addons
  2. Download and add the file Addon for web-mail-1-4-3.xpi
  3. Download Davmail

Davmail is a server on your desktop that talks to your Exchange server via webmail and is able to populate the Lightening with calendar information. So, you will be connecting to the calendar locally to Davmail, which in turn will be connecting to your Exchange server using your webmail login.

Once DavMail is installed, start it and make the changes to the configuration to suit your needs.

Notice OWA (Exchange) URL: make it your own

These should be your settings:
DavMail GateWay Settings.png

  • Click Save

You should connect to your server without any problems if you have the correct port numbers. When asked for name and password, prefix your login-name with WUR\ e.g. WUR\WINTE000.

Once Davmail is running you can then go to Thunderbird Lightening and create a new Calendar.

  1. Choose Network Calendar
  2. Choose CalDav
  3. Location type in the following
  • notice you are connecting to Davmail, not your Exchange server. Notice the port number of 1080 which is the same on Davmail and notice /users/ this is important leave it there.
  • Click on Cache and pick a good colour. Each entry will be of that colour. If you want to use category colours, better select a neutral colour here.


Thunderbird, Lightning and DavMail for Windows users

Since not only Linux users want to use the Thunderbird-Lightning combination instead of MS-Outlook, it is worth noting that exactly the same can be achieved on a Windows-run computer. Download davmail-4.1.0-2042-setup.exe (9.0 MB) via Follow the same procedure as outined above.