The information on this page is out of date, the department no longer provides email access this is now handled by IT Services, see EmailAccess.

Email For PPE Users

Email for PPE Users is handled in just the same way as the rest of the Physics and Astronomy department (supported by the Faculty I.T Unit). There are no special arrangements for PPE, and this wiki page only gives you a quick overview of what's provided, and details of accessing it from PPE clients.

Departmental Email

Users will require to use their departmental linux/email user credentials for accessing the mail server, and in the event of difficulty e.g with bad passwords will need to get help from the faculty I.T unit. The PPE administrators do not have access to change these credentials, so, asking PPE admins for this kind of support will only cause you additional delays.

The departmental (/faculty) mail server can be accessed by any protocol-conforming client, whatever is convenient to users where they are. Some people prefer one method of access, some prefer another, and some use different techniques depending on where they are. There's a wide range of possibilities, too wide to discuss them all here.

When nothing else can do the job, the mail server has a Web Mail facility. Please don't use webmail as your normal method of access: there are genuine technical reasons why this method of access puts additional load on the mail server, leading to impaired response for the user as well as for others.

If you are receiving spam or other forms of abuse is to contact the Faculty I.T Unit staff, mailto:postmaster@physics.gla.ac.uk: don't forget to include full headers of any abusive mail items which you wish to report.

The departmental IT pages have several email related pages covering email client setup, email polices and email spam.

Generic Email Client Setup

The incoming server is an IMAP server is imap.physics.gla.ac.uk, and uses secure IMAP (IMAPS) which requires the IMAP port to be set to 993. This happens automatically in some email clients when ssl is selected, in others you have to set it explicitly.

The outgoing server is an SMTP server is mail-relay.physics.gla.ac.uk. From inside the department this can be accessed without authentication on port 25. It also supports authenticated access (which is mandatory when connecting from outside the department). The security types are TLS and SSL. Some programs will work with port 465 and TLS, some use port 587 and SSL and some will use 465 and SSL, others 587 and TLS. Use what works for your email program - Thunderbird works with 465 and SSL, macmail works with 587 and SSL.


Pine is a long-standing character-mode open source mail client, the ppe linux desktops have a modern version of pine which has been configured for the departmental email system. Pine can be started by typing pine at a command prompt. Once started you will be asked for your departmental email login and password. Windows users can use access pine via logging into ppelx (via ssh) and running pine there.

Unfortunately, the CUPS printing system does not handle plain-text printing sensibly. A good way to print email from pine is to "pipe" the mail to the a2ps command. This is done from pine using the "||" (vertical bar) key command: the enable-unix-pipe-cmd option has to be on in one's configuration for this to work. A typical command for printing "one-up" on the printer la, would be

    || a2ps -1 -Ph4

Check the a2ps man page for details of what a2ps can do. Experienced users could configure their preferred print command as the "Personally selected print command" in their PINE setup.

Control/t is the key command to invoke spell-checking. Our local default spelling-checker option on PPE linux systems is set to invoke aspell, using the option which requests it not to spell-check quoted content. Users are free to explore the various options, e.g spell-checking all content. If you prefer the "factory default" system spell-checker, then set the speller option in the configuration to a null value, i.e in the main configuration menu, specify it as "" (it will be shown as , overriding the local default setting).


PC-PINE is a very similar package (albeit not open-source), which runs on Windows and behaves, to the user, very much like PINE. Windows users who have become familiar with PINE may find that they like it.

Email Lists

There are two groups of email lists available to PPE users

The former contains lists of staff groups etc. and the latter are a section of lists for developing users.

Access to mail accounts elsewhere

We don't really aim to support access to diverse mail accounts elsewhere, but it might be useful to drop a few hints here, nevertheless.


See http://mmmservices.web.cern.ch/mmmservices/Help/?kbid=101051

Basically, CERN says they want to be accessed for SMTP protocol on port 25; but that's silly, because most ISPs will block port 25, as a defence against spamming by viruses and trojans, and the same applies for access from this campus. CERN support the non-standard SMTP port 2525 (and '''not''' the standard mail submission port 587). See also: http://mmmservices.web.cern.ch/mmmservices/Help/?kbid=191040

It is strongly recommended to use a secure configuration from the outset. The insecure port numbers for IMAP (and POP) are due to be closed in June 2006.

-- AndrewPickford - 06 Feb 2009

Topic revision: r2 - 2011-09-22 - AndrewPickford
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