Jul 151998

Reading my mail from NT1 (qpopper)

If you’ve been following this diary, you’ll know I can’t read my FreeBSD mailbox from Pegasus under NT.   Here’s the question I posted to the FreeBSD Questions mailing list.

I've installed qpopper. I have two users on my system. I'm trying to read their mailboxes from my NT box using the Pegasus mail client. I can read the mail for one user, but not for the other. The message displayed on the console is "-ERR Password supplied for "root" is incorrect".

I hope it's wanting the same password as used to logon using root at the console. Because that's what I'm supplying

I notice that in /var/mail, I have the following entries:

.abcdef.pop abcdef root

I don't get the error for the abcdef user (not the actual name). Should there be a .root.pop entry in this directory? If so, how should it be created?

One of the replies I received suggested that root cannot login over the network (by default).  This was to prevent dictionary attacks against telnet.  The writer suggested I add a .forward file in /root.  They figured they were making a guess.  But they weren’t far wrong.

.forward and /etc/aliases

I started searching for .forward documentation.  In the mailing list archives I found a reference to /etc/aliases.  If you check this file, you’ll find a section that looks like this:

# Well-known aliases -- these should be filled in!

For my situation, I changed the above to the following:

# Well-known aliases -- these should be filled in!
root: abcdef
manager: abcdef
dumper: abcdef

After making these changes, remember to run newalisases so that you changes will show through to sendmail.

Testing the forward

To test this, I started mail and sent mail to root in the hopes that it was forwarded to abcdef.  Here’s how to do that:

# mail
& m root
Subject: hi there.
How are you?

What you type is in italics.  Everything else is a machine generated prompt.

Getting the email

The object of this exercise was to allow me to read my FreeBSD mailbox from NT1 (see topology).  In Pegasus, I set my POP3 host to be the FreeBSD box.  The user name and password reflected the abcdef account.  Your email client will have similar settings. 

Well, it worked!  I can read my mailbox from NT1.  Great!

What about the stuff in the mailbox?

I have 30 messages in the root mailbox.  How do I forward existing message to another user?  That’s for another day.