Email hints


The email setup at NBI is relatively traditional but with some server name exception. There is a central mail server that receives email and makes it available to clients. Likewise, email clients normally connect to the mail server to use its relay facilities when sending email.

If you use terminal based clients like pine or mutt locally you can normally use the default setup. If you use a graphical interface like Thunderbird, Mozilla, Outlook, Evolution etc. you can make a quick setup using
Outgoing server: smtp.nbi.dk , port 465 with SSL using User name and password authentication.
Incoming IMAP server: imap.nbi.ku.dk or imap1.nbi.dk, port 993 using SSL
It is absolutely recommended to use the IMAP protocol. If you have very good reasons to use POP, connect to pop.nbi.dk or pop.nbi.ku.dk on port 995 with SSL.
The first time you connect to one of these servers you are asked to accept a certificate that verifies the server's identity. If you accept permanently, but are asked again the next time(s) you connect, then try to download and install the certificates in the Trusted Root Certificates path.

Our mail clients expect to find all your email in a subdirectory named mail, i.e., in UNIX language ~/mail . See below.

The following contains more detailed information and hints. If it is just too much, please feel free to ask your questions on phone ext. 25283 or by email to oper.

Some good email habits.

Your email address.

Your basic NBI email address is userid@nbi.dk where userid stands for your actual login id to the NBI UNIX system. In addition, you will be reachable under aliases of the form Firstname.Lastname@nbi.dk (note the dot between Firstname and Lastname). Additional aliases can easily be created. This could be desirable if you are using a nickname, if your family name is longer than 8 characters, if you have used different userids at other installations etc.

Email clients.

The choice of client (mail reader) depends on what operative system you use and on whether you want to work with a terminal- or browser-like program. On Windows the choice is normally one of Thunderbird, Mozilla/Seamonkey, Outlook, or Opera, but there is also a version of Alpine, a terminal based client. On Unix and Linux you can choose between pine, mutt, Thunderbird, Mozilla/Seamonkey, Opera and soon alpine, etc. You can find somewhat more information on the Software information pages.

Please, note the restrictions on availability of incoming email described below.

Many clients can use LDAP servers for directory functions. The server ldap.ku.dk uses standard port 389 and DN o=ku,c=dk and provides email information for all Copenhagen University personnel. To use this option e.g. in Thunderbird 1.5, open
Edit → Preferences → Composition → Addressing → Edit Directories
and add a new server as in the picture below. Then go back to the Composition page and enable "KU phonebook" as Directory Server.

KU phonebook

Outlook users can do the corresponding configuration by opening Tools → E-mail accounts. On this page you should activate "Add a new directory or address book", and on the next page "Internet Directory Service (LDAP)". As servername you should choose ldap.ku.dk. Then click on "More Settings", choose Search and enter o=ku,c=dk as Search Base.

Yet another possibility is to use Webmail from your favourite browser.

Email servers.

Our mail servers support the two main protocols, POP and IMAP. If you use POP you will move all emails to your local computer. When IMAP is used the emails will be left in your mail folders under your NBI home directory.

You should use generic server names like smtp.nbi.dk, pop.nbi.dk, imap1.nbi.dk and imap.nbi.ku.dk for outgoing mail services, POP and IMAP protocols, resp. At present, smtp.nbi.dk points to the main mail server running on up.nbi.dk. The names imap1.nbi.dk and imap.nbi.ku.dk point to gluon.nbi.dk which is also our main fileserver. imap1.nbi.dk is thus the preferred IMAP server. You should always use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) for increased security. If you use SSL you can also work with the mailservers from outside the Institute. The ports to use are:
Outgoing server: smtp.nbi.dk , port 465 using SSL , port 25 without SSL
Incoming IMAP server: imap1.nbi.dk or imap.nbi.ku.dk, port 993 using SSL , port 143 without SSL. Incoming POP server: pop.nbi.dk on port 995 with SSL , port 110 without SSL.

If you have not configured your email delivery differently, the mail server stores incoming mail in a spool directory which is local to the mail server machines and can therefore not be read directly on other machines. The mail servers are not open for public login. To access your incoming mail you must therefore

Dealing with spam.

Spam, or with a technical term, unsolicited email containing virus or commercial content, is a a big nuisance to most of us. To filter the email with respect to spam we recommend SpamAssassin in combination with procmail. New accounts are automatically configured to use procmail and SpamAssassin. If you need to (re)create this basic configuration, just run
sa-setup
in a terminal window.

You should never edit your .forward file. Instead, e.g. for forwarding, change your .procmailrc file as described under the procmail software information.

Using NBI email from outside NBI.

The email server is opened for IMAP and POP access from outside NBI only if the client is configured to use SSL, see above. Other possibilities are to:

See Also


Last modified: Sun Jan 25 15:05:36 MET 2009
Björn S. Nilsson