Friday, February 22, 2008


Debian startup script

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pine and IMAP over SSL

Anybody used pine before for reading emails. Some of you may not, but if you started using email pre-2000, you probably have used pine before.

This entry may be a little trivial for those of you who are familiar with it,
but, the community website is also for newbies. I know there are also other
alternatives, but talking about one alternative is an option for a newbie to
decide whether he is a pine, elm, mutt, thunderbird or evolution user.

What is pine?

Pine is a freeware text-based e-mail client developed at the University of Washington. It is no longer under development, and has been replaced by the new Alpine client, which is licensed as free software rather than freeware.

Many people believe that Pine stood for "Pine is not Elm", in the manner of "GNU Is Not Unix", ie. a recursive acronym. However, one of its original authors, Laurence Lundblade, insists this was never the case and that it started off simply as a word and not an acronym, and that his first choice of a backronym for pine would be "Pine Is Nearly Elm". Over time it was changed by the university to mean Program for Internet News and E-mail.[1]

In 2006, the University of Washington announced that it stopped development of Pine with Pine 4.64, although Pine continues to be supported.[6]

In its place is a new family of email tools based upon Pine, called Alpine and licensed under the Apache License, version 2. November 29, 2006 saw the first public alpha release,[7][8] which forms a new approach since the alpha test of Pine was always non-public.

Alpine 1.0 was publicly released on December 20, 2007.

***All this is taken from wikipedia.

Why I use Pine? No particular reason. I just like the text based email. Its a matter of preference really. Some consider it less l33t, since arguably, mutt is more flexible. However, I found it good enough for me, its about the most l33t I want to get when reading emails. Plus, arguably, its faster than web based email. Although there is a web version of pine called webpine. Never used it so can't comment much.

Particularly, pine is flexible enough it most environment. I will be concentrating on using Pine over SSL with IMAP. On my debiana, a debian unstable distro, I installed pine/alpine, using

debiana:~# aptitude install alpine

This should install alpine. You can choose to run alpine by simply typing...

debiana:~# alpine

My biggest problem was to get pine fetch my mail from my IMAP server, and to do that securely without people sniffing in between.

When pine runs, you'll see this....

Press "S" to enter setup to start configure your pine.
Enter "C" to enter the basic setup of your configuration menu.
Which allow you to configure it to connect to your IMAP server.
Below are the configuration options I use, for my client:

SMTP Server (for sending)=

Since I do not have a validated cert from the SMTP server, i use this configuration, i also put the username name there to make it auto key in, for the particular user i want to send email. The novalidate-cert is not necessary, but its hack to avoid some hassles of pine keep asking you whether you allow an unvalidated cert be used.

Inbox Path=
{}INBOX Default Fcc (File carbon copy)= {}Sent

Similarly, I do the same same for reading my INBOX in IMAP and the SENT directory.

Exit and now all you need is to add your mailboxes directories in IMAP.

To do this, enter Setup again and now choose "L" for the collectionLists setup. Which is where you may define groups of folders to help you better organize your mail. In my case, I already have my email boxes organized on the campus server. To do that, I choose "A" to add a new entry, and entered the following options.

Nickname : Mail on
Server :
Path : Left blank
View : Left Blank

When you change all that, you can view all your email boxes, INBOX,SENT and etc in the directory list. Have fun exploring using pine.