How to read local Unix mail in Mail.app under Tiger ?

Tuesday, July 18 2006 @ 10:17 AM BST

Contributed by: Admin

How to configure Mail.app under Tiger so that I have access to my Unix account's mailbox ?

Mail.app can connect to 3 types of mailboxes server: .Mac, IMAP and POP.
Mail.app can convert mbox files into .emlx ones but can't use a mbox file or folder as a mail source.

There is no other way than setup a POP (or IMAP) server to run on the local machine.
To do that, you also need to start the Postfix MTA on that machine.
First step, will be to look at what is already installed on your machine.
Indeed, depending on you have upgrade your Tiger box from a Panther installation or you have done a fresh install, you may have some files left installed from previous installation.
Of course, to do all what will be explained here, you need an administrator account (a sudoer…)
/etc/hostconfig
/etc/postfix/main.cf
/etc/postfix/master.cf
/etc/postfix/canonical
/etc/postfix/smtpd.conf

In hostconfig, you will add or modify a line:
MAILSERVER=-YES-
In main.cf, you need:
myhostname = localhost.localdomain
mydomain = localdomain
mynetworks_style = host
sender_canonical_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/canonical
relayhost = YOUR_ISP_RELAY_HOST_ADDRESS
The relayhost entry should be set to your ISP's one because the majority of ISPs don't authorize you to connect directly to other SMPT port to avoid spam propagation…
...but in case your ISP authorizes this you could use relayhost = localhost.
In /etc/postfix/canonical add a line:
YOUR_MAC_LOGIN: YOUR_EMAIL_ADDRESS
Example for John Doe, its user name on the Mac is jdoe and it's email address is john.doe@mac.com:
jdoe: john.doe@mac.com
/etc/postfix/smtpd.conf should contain:

auxprop_plugin: login
pwcheck_method: auxprop
mech_list: plain login

It's enough for the local user to be able to read its own local mail. Other scheme could be used if you need more security in your environement.
Then in Terminal.app, you have to rebuild the canonical db:
sudo postalias hash:/etc/postfix/canonical
In master.cf, be sure that the smtp line is NOT commented out. (remove the leading #)
By starting the postfix daemon using sudo postfix start in Terminal.app, we are at half way...
You now have to install the plist file to launch the ipop3d daemon at startup:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
	<key>Label</key>
	<string>edu.washington.pop3</string>
	<key>ProgramArguments</key>
	<array>
		<string>/usr/local/libexec/ipop3d</string>
	</array>
	<key>Sockets</key>
	<dict>
		<key>Listeners</key>
		<dict>
			<key>Bonjour</key>
			<false/>
			<key>SockServiceName</key>
			<string>pop3</string>
			<key>SockType</key>
			<string>stream</string>
		</dict>
	</dict>
	<key>inetdCompatibility</key>
	<dict>
		<key>Wait</key>
		<false/>
	</dict>
</dict>
</plist>
in /Library/LaunchDaemons (or ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/) under the name pop3.plist
(It would be similar for an IMAP dameon)
You install ipop3d itself in /usr/local/libexec/ (at the same place as specified in the plist file).
And you can start it from Terminal.app, using sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/pop3.plist

Now in Mail.app, you are ready to create a new POP account using "localhost" as your server and your Mac login…

(download here the ipod3d, imapd and .plist files)

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