We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you two Citrix podcasts. Learn about 2020 trends and get answers to your biggest Citrix questions!Listen Now


What's my email address on a PPP connection?

harlow asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-17
Suppose I have a PPP connection to a host, and I am assigned an IP address dynamically.  Can someone send me mail to my PC via that temporary address while I am logged in?  Right now, for instance, I have been assigned the IP address  From some other system, can someone send me mail as harlow@, assuming harlow is a valid userid on my PC?

I don't have an officially assigned domain name for my machine, so that isn't an option.  I have the machine set up with the name jeh.linux.org and IP address, which (according to NET-2/3 HOWTO), is available for internal use only.

I normally receive mail at my system at work, but when I am home and using Linux, I would like to be able to forward incoming mail directly to the PC.  Any suggestions?

Justin Harlow

Watch Question

Some SMTP servers will try to resolve the hostname (the portion you have replaced with the IP address) and will not be able to because it is an IP address, and the mail will bounce.

Besides, your temporary address can change "unexpected;y" when your lease on the IP address expires, even if you are still connected.  (When this happens, DHCP (I presume you are using this protocol to get your temporary address from your service provider) negotiates a new address.)

If you are using an ISP, you should have a POP3 account with them.  If you are dialing into your corporate network, you should be able to get a POP3 account from an admin.

Once you have your POP3 account information, forward all your mail to that account.  Then use a POP3 client to get the mail into your system.  This way, you don't need to worry about addresses, and anyone can send mail to that address any time.

I presume you know all this already.  Another approach is this:  Some ISPs have hostnames assigned to their temporary addresses.  To find out if yours does, type:

% host

or whatever your address is.  If you get a hostname, you're good to go; make sure sendmail is running on your linux box, and send the mail to your username@hostname.isp.com.  You could even write a simple script to get this hostname whenever you log in, then build an HTML page around it and ftp it to an account on a web server you have access to.  (Of course, if you have a personal web account, then you probably have a POP3 account too...)

The best solution is to use the POP3 account provided by your ISP, though.  It just gets too problematic trying to keep up with temporary IP addresses.

good luck

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts


Thanks!  I was able to get the temporary hostname, and found that I can indeed send to my Linux box while connected.  

The reason all this is even a problem is that my employer refuses to run a POP3 server for various security and theological reasons.  They also have a firewall that only allows dumb-terminal connections from a remote location.  As a result, I use my account at a local university as my ISP when I am working at home.  I want to get the temporary hostname from the university connection, and then forward my company mail to my remote when I am working at home.  Happily, your input helped me do it!



Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.