Preliminaries

Easy one-shot-get-all overview of your mail configuration

Use the E-Mail Configuration Web App to get an overview of all necessary configuration details you have to configure your E-Mail client with.

The rest of this text gives some more explanation and background info, which is interesting but can be skipped.

You might be interested in some screen-grabs of some specific E-Mail Clients at the bottom of this page, though ;-)

Collect the necessary Info for E-Mail Client Setup

Have a look at the E-Mail overview page and note down on a piece of paper or so the following details:

  • Your exact E-Mail Address
    • Firstname.Lastname(at)cs.kuleuven.be
  • The name of the Incoming E-Mail Server
    • mail3.cs.kuleuven.be or mail4.cs.kuleuven.be to read E-Mail using IMAP
  • The name of the Outgoing E-Mail Server
    • mail3.cs.kuleuven.be or mail4.cs.kuleuven.be to send E-Mail using SMTP

You will need these details to configure your E-Mail Client.

IMAP configuration

When using IMAP to read your E-Mail, please mind the following settings (possibly in an Advanced section of your configuration):

  • leave the IMAP server folder directory empty
  • do not use Subscriptions to folders unless you really understand the consequences
    (when you do use it, you will only see the mail folders you actually/specifically subscribed to ... all other folders will be invisible)
  • do not use Namespaces unless you really know what that is (in that case, please let us know as well ;-)

Also pay special attention to whether or not you want a complete, synchronized copy of your E-Mail on your local machine !

It pays off to think about that before starting to configure your E-Mail client because once it is started, it takes extra effort to switch such synchronization back off.

Encryption

Our E-Mail servers require encryption (also from within the departmental networks) when reading E-Mail because you need to give your password when connecting.

Our E-Mail servers support sending E-Mail in a non-encrypted way, but only from within the departmental networks. When connecting from outside departmental networks, you need an encrypted connection as well because you need to authenticate with your departmental credentials.

Some background information about encryption and E-Mail: you probably find 2 kinds of encryption in most E-Mail clients: SSL and TLS. SSL gives encrypted communication from start to end. TLS starts non-encrypted but will switch to encryption when asked for (with the STARTTLS command). These terms can be misleading ... read http://sial.org/howto/openssl/tls-name/ for some explanation.

When using an encrypted channel, your machine and the server exchange and verify certificates. When something seems not to be OK, most E-Mail clients present an alert showing what they think is wrong and offering you a choice to continue. Check that alert and decide whether it is safe to continue or not. Things that often are wrong with certificates are:

  • expiration date has passed
  • the certificate authority that has signed the certificate is not known or trusted
  • some intermediate certificate that has been used to sign the certificate is not known or trusted

When in doubt, do not continue, but first verify whether this is normal.

Common Setup for All E-Mail Clients

Configure your E-Mail Client to:

  • use your E-Mail Address
  • connect to the Incoming E-Mail Server of your choice:
  • connect to the Outgoing E-Mail Server of your choice:
    • fill in the right server
    • when connecting from outside the departmental networks:
      • use SMTP with SSL (on port 465)
      • specify your login name to connect with (and thus you will be asked to give your password but most probably only when sending your first E-Mail ... your client will most probably remember your password for your entire session)
    • when only connecting from within the departmental networks:
      • use SMTP without encryption or with TLS (on port 25)
      • do not specify a login name to connect with (and thus you will not be asked to give your password when sending E-Mail)

You must use encryption for Incoming (and can for Outgoing E-Mail) even when tunneling through an SSH tunnel because there is no simple way to detect whether a connection is originating from an E-Mail client directly or via a ssh tunnel.

Detailed Setup for Specific E-Mail Clients

The below links point to web pages describing the actual setup/configuration for some specific E-Mail Clients.

These pages are almost certain out of date ... moreover, they describe the setup for an example user, your desiderata might vary ... so use with care ... use only as a hint on how you might do it ... make sure to have read the above common setup for all E-Mail clients first.

The above advice is valid for any web page however: it is always a bad idea to just do as shown or told to.