Mail hosting

Things nerdylorrin.net Can Do For You

You can have your very own nerdylorrin.net email address! If you want, you can have any domain name you want (e.g. yourname@yourdomain.org) but you’ll have to pick up the tab for the domain registration. You can have multiple aliases if you want (e.g. I use lorrin and lhn).

Mail can either accumulate in your mailbox here or you can have it forward to another account. If you leave it here you access it with IMAP and webmail. IMAP can be used like POP (where you copy the mail to your computer and delete it off the server) but the real fun is leaving it on the server. Then you can access your mail from any of your computers and always see the same set of folders and messages.

You can also use the nerdylorrin.net server to send messages as well. Normally ISPs only let you send messages when you’re connected to the ISP (which is tedious for travelling laptop users) and the some of the big webmail places only let you send messages from your webmail address. The nerdylorrin.net server allows connections from anywhere and does not care what email address you want to send messages from.
If you want an email address I’ll need the following information:

  1. domain name to get, if any
  2. aliases you want other than your first name (e.g. your initials)
  3. if you want your mail forwarded what address to forward to
  4. if you want to store your mail here and/or send mail through the nerdylorrin.net server pick a password and tell me by phone or in person

Once everything’s set up you can configure your mail client as well as log in to Webmail via the link on the left.

Webmail Access

You can access your mail with your web browser. The URL is https://www.nerdylorrin.net/mail. But first you need to make your web browser aware of the nerdylorrin.net SSL certificate authority.

Go to the About -> Certificates page, and click on the link to the Certificate Authority certificate. Opt to permanently add the certificate to your list of trusted Certificate Authorities.

Mail Client Setup

Overview

If you receive mail at nerdylorrin.net and have not opted to have it forwarded to some other account you’ll need to log in and access it! Mail can be accessed with IMAP at mail.nerdylorrin.net, encrypted via either STARTTLS (port 143) or SSL (port 993).

Outgoing mail (SMTP) is supported at mail.nerdylorrin.net via STARTTLS on port 25 as well as on port 587.

Picking up mail with IMAP

Configure your mail client to use IMAP access to mail.nerdylorrin.net. You must enable TLS (using port 143, which is the default) or SSL (using port 993, which is the default) but disable “secure authentication”. (“Secure authentication” encrypts your login password; it is redundant when using TLS or SSL, which encrypt the entire connection including the login).

Thunderbird

Under Account Settings… -> Server Settings enter server name (mail.nerdylorrin.net), port (143), user name, connection security (STARTTLS), and authentication method (Normal password) as shown:

Apple Mail.app

Under Preferences… -> Accounts create an IMAP account
Enter your email address, username, and password

The Incoming Mail Server is mail.nerdylorrin.net
Click Advanced and configure IMAP over SSL as shown:

It can be confusing to set Mail.app to store Sent/Drafts/Trash/Junk on the server if mailboxes for them have already been set up on the server. First, go to Preferences -> Accounts -> Special Mailboxes check all the “Store … messages on the server” checkboxes. Then individually select each mailbox on the mailbox pane and go to Mailbox -> Use this Mailbox for -> and select the appropriate function.

Outlook

  1. Go to Tools -> Accounts -> Mail.
  2. Make a new account profile
  3. Go to Properties -> Servers -> Server Information -> Incoming mail and select IMAP server
  4. Set the incoming mail server to mail.nerdylorrin.net
  5. Do not check Log on using Secure Password Authentication
  6. Click Advanced
  7. Set the Incoming mail to port 993 and check This server requires a secure connection (SSL)
  8. Under IMAP set the Root folder path to “INBOX.” (don’t forget the trailing period).

Sending mail with SMTP

Configure your mail client to use SMTP access to mail.nerdylorrin.net. Enable logging in with a username and password. Select TLS (not SSL) over port 25 (the default).

Thunderbird

Under Account Settings… -> Outgoing Server (SMTP) Click Add… and specify server name (mail.nerdylorrin.net), port (25 or 587), connection security (STARTTLS), authentication method (Normal password), and user name.

Apple Mail.app

Under Preferences… -> Accounts -> Account Information select Add Server… under Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP)

After setting Server Name to mail.nerdylorrin.net, go to advanced and configure as shown:

Outlook

  1. Go to Tools -> Accounts -> Mail
  2. Go to Properties -> Servers -> Server Information -> Outgoing mail
  3. Set SMTP to mail.nerdylorrin.net
  4. Check My server requires authentication
  5. If you’re also picking up mail with IMAP you can check Use same settings as my incoming mail server; otherwise you’ll have to enter your login and password
  6. Click Advanced -> Outgoing mail (SMTP) and choose TLS (not SSL) over port 25.

SSL Certificates

Your computer will squawk about the SSL certificates used to secure the connection. There’s information on the About -> Certificates page. Basically you need download the nerdylorrin.net certificate authority’s certificate and make it available to your mail program.

Thunderbird SSL Configuration

The alert when the CA Certificate is missing looks like this:

  1. Accept the certificate temporarily by clicking OK.
  2. Download the nerdylorrin.net certificate authority’s certificate by right-clicking the link on the About -> Certificates page and saving it to disk.
  3. In Thunderbird go to Preferences -> Advanced -> Certificates -> Manage Certificates… -> Authorities
  4. Click Import and select the downloaded certificate file.
  5. Enable all the trust checkboxes.
  6. Optionally click View and confirm with me that the fingerprint matches
  7. Click OK

Apple Mail.app SSL Configuration

The alert when the CA Certificate is missing looks like this:

  1. Click Cancel and exit Mail.app.
  2. Download the nerdylorrin.net certificate authority’s certificate by right-clicking the link on the About -> Certificates page and saving it to disk.
  3. Double-click the downloaded certificate.
  4. Keychain should launch and display a prompt about what to do with the certificate.
  5. Select to add it to the X509 Anchors Keychain and click OK.
  6. Restart Mail.app.

Troubleshooting

Connection timeouts / can’t connect

If you’ve had too many failed logins your IP address will be banned for a couple hours. You’ll have to wait, unfortunately.

Mailing Lists

Mailing Lists (aka listservs) are available as well. They’re run by Mailman, which is fully administered via web interface, but is a little cumbersome to navigate.

No comments

Comments feed for this article

*