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Configuring Pine

Posted on 2004-08-22
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Hi,
I used to check my email by SSH-ing into the school servers and using the UNIX version of Pine as my MUA.  However, I can't do that anymore, but I still want to use Pine.  I installed Pine on Windows.  I am using IMAP.  I am able to read whatever is in my Inbox, but I can't send any messages; I get a message saying "[Error sending: Can't connect to nexus.stevens.edu,25: Timed out (10060)]"  When I go to the configuration options, I see that the "default-fcc" field says "<No Value Set: using "sentmail">"  I would like to save my postponed and sent messages on the server since I don't use Pine on one computer.  The IT guys here don't know anything about Pine.
Thanks,
Yasir
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Question by:Yasir_Malik
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by:PsiCop
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Well, I suspect the problem is mainly one of network configuration, or configuration of the sendmail MTA you're trying to access at stevens.edu. When you were on the local server using the local version of Pine on the machine, the machine was probably running sendmail configured to accept E-mail submitted by an MUA on the machine.

Now, you're not on that machine. Are you even inside the stevens.edu network? Might not matter if you are, they probably don't permit willy-nilly relays. When your PC attempts to connect to the sendmail MTA, sendmail is rejecting it, probably because its been configured to accept E-Mail for relay from only a small number of pre-defined hosts. Your PC isn't one of them, and if you move around, the other PCs you use won't be one of them either.

The sendmail server will need to be configured to support some sort of authorization, such as SASL. And then the Pine installations you use will likewise need to be configured to provide the authentication credentials the sendmail server will want. IMAP is just for clients getting E-Mail from servers - SMTP is used to send E-Mail out.
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by:Yasir_Malik
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I have put nexus.stevens.edu/novalidate-cert as my SMTP server, which is what my school says to use when configuring Pine for Outlook, Netscape, and Eudora.  They say that you should be able to check your email off campus.
And indeed, before all of my mail was dropped off into my UNIX account in ~/.mail and my sent mail was placed in ~/mail/sentmail.  I would be able to check my email by logging on to the server or by using IMP, which just parsed the appropriate files in my account.
My school changed their IT infrastruture recently, and I'm not even sure they use sendmail.  They have a seperate mail server this time.  Does that matter?
Thanks.
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by:Yasir_Malik
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Also, I am outside the stevens.edu network.
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by:PsiCop
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Well, they give the info to "check your email off campus". Just because you can CHECK your existing E-mail does NOT mean you can SEND new E-mail. Two different things entirely.

You need to find out IF you can use their mail relay from outside their network, and if so, how to do it. I would guess that they probably don't support relaying for external hosts at all - its just too dangerous these days. There might be some sort of VPN solution where you establish a secure link into the school network and can thereafter use their mail relay as if you were on campus. But only the campus IT people can answer that.
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by:Yasir_Malik
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Thanks for all your help.
According to the following document:
http://www.stevens.edu/it/documentation/files/Outlook_with_Authenticated_SMTP.pdf

"Information Technology is now supporting “authenticated SMTP”, which will allow your computer to send and receive e-mail on campus or off campus without having to keep on changing Outlook settings."

I'm guessing that those directions should work with Pine as well.  PC-Pine has SSL support.  The IT guys here don't know anything about Pine.
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by:PsiCop
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I looked at that doc - yes, PC PINE should be able to do that, if it was compiled with SSL support. It would have needed OpenSSL (v0.9.6 or later) to link against when it was compiled.

If SSL support was not compiled with it, then the PC PINE will have to be re-compiled with that support.
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by:Yasir_Malik
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According to the "About" window, I have "Version 4.60 with SSL."  I didn't compile the distribution myself since an executable for installing the Windows version of Pine was available.
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Hmmmm.... well, I admit to being stumped. The only idea I have at this point is that the ISP you're using is blocking Port 25, meaning you can't get to the campus SMTP server. More and more ISPs are blocking Port 25 fror their dial-up/DHCP customers to thwart spammers using unsecured Windoze boxes (of course, "secured Windows" is pretty much an oxymoron, isn't it?)
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by:Yasir_Malik
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I have Juno, and I've emailed technical support regarding port 25.  However, I use Juno's email client, not their webmail, to send email.  Why is it that the case?
You may as well be right because I remember sending email when on campus using Pine, both for Windows and NetBSD.  I should be able to access my other folders using Pine as shown in my webmail, correct?
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by:PsiCop
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Juno's E-Mail client may be pre-configured to use their SMTP server.

Frankly, I don't know much about Juno.
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by:Yasir_Malik
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They just got back to me, and indeed port 25 is blocked.  I'll be on campus next week, so maybe then I can get Pine setup with my other folders.
Thanks,
Yasir
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by:PsiCop
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Yer welcome. Sorry to hear they've got you blocked.

As a way around it, you could see if the campus IT people would set up some sort of VPN for you (and other people in your boat) to use. If nothing else, they could have an SSH server doing port forwarding (altho I dunno if they'd go for that).
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by:Yasir_Malik
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Now, besides the Inbox, how do I view the other folders I have on the server?  When add the folder {nexus.stevens.edu}sent, I get a message saying "[Folder already exists]" which is good, since the folder exists, but the folder doesn't show up on the folder screen.  When I add the folder {nexus.stevens.edu}hello, I get a message saying "[Folder "{nexus.stevens.edu}hello" created outside current collection]" but I don't see the folder on the webmail screen.
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by:PsiCop
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Honestly, I dunno. I've always used UNIX PINE as an E-Mail client from a shell account on the machine that stores the E-Mail. I've never used it as an IMAP client.
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by:Yasir_Malik
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Whoa, folder "hello" is there.  I had to "Subscribe" to it first.
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Ah.
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by:Yasir_Malik
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I've got Pine to display my other folders as well.  For some reason my Inbox is stored in mail/ but all the other folders are stored in the top level (home) directory.  I had to add a new collection that had whose path was my home directory.
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by:PsiCop
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Glad that its working.
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Hello?
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by:Yasir_Malik
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Oh, yes, PC-Pine works fine.  Having trouble with the Unix version though.  I am able to read and send email, but for some reason I get a message that I can't rsh into nexus.stevens.edu.
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by:PsiCop
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Prolly because they have rsh blocked or just plain turned off. Its not very secure.
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Here's what happens on the Unix version of Pine.  I get a message saying that [>rsh to IMAP server timed out<].  But I'm still able to open my Inbox and all other folders.   But for the error messaage to appear takes a long time.
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Hmmm...might be trying to authenticate for something. Dunno what, offhand. Best guess is that the admins have rsh either disabled on the server, or the router folx backhole rsh traffic from outside the university network.
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by:PsiCop
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And in a nutshell, that means you can't configure your way around it (except to, perhaps, turn off UNIX PINE's rsh-based functions).
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by:Yasir_Malik
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Well, I looked in my .pinerc file, and I found this:
# Sets the time in seconds that Pine will attempt to open a UNIX remote
# shell connection.  The default is 15, min is 5, and max is unlimited.
# Zero disables rsh altogether.
rsh-open-timeout=

So I set the option to 0, and the problem is gone; Pine doesn't try to rsh to the IMAP server.
Thanks for all your help.
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Glad its working better. I never used rsh in pine, so I didn't know about that option.
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