Migration of departmental email system to CalMail

From UCB Math Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

New CalMail Math Service

At 9:00 A.M., on April 6, the Mathematics Department switched email service to the campus' email system, CalMail. This was done in order to free up departmental staff time for other duties, and because increasing volumes of spam, clever spammers, and changes in the way that email is used are making it increasingly difficult for us properly to manage an email in-house system.

Advantages for users are that the CalMail system will be more reliable than the departmental mail server, spam should be more effectively reduced, and disk storage for mail on the CalMail server will be substantially larger.

The main change for users is in the way that you read incoming mail. The extent of this change depends on which mail client you use. If you use a supported IMAP-capable email client, then there will be minimal changes other than updating the configuration. On the other hand, some legacy email clients do not support IMAP at all, and if you use one of those then you will have to switch to a different email client. For specific details on your email client, see the instructions below on how to switch over your email client to CalMail.

Step-By-Step Conversion Guide

To convert your email usage to CalMail, follow the four steps outlined below.

Get a CalNet ID

In order to use CalMail, you must have a CalNet ID. This is the username and pass-phrase that you use to access AirBears and numerous other campus-wide services.

If you are ineligible for a CalNet ID (e.g., if you are a short-term visitor to the department), then you cannot get a CalMail account. You'll have to rely on your host institution's email services, or any of the free email services that are available on the net (e.g., gmail, hotmail, etc.).

You probably already have a CalNet ID (if you're eligible), which should have been assigned when you first arrived on campus. If not, see a CalNet representative, currently Kathy Santos or Jennifer Sixt. You should also see them if you have forgotten your pass-phrase.

Your CalMail Password

Your CalMail account will already have been created, either as part of the transition or as part of the process of creating a new account on our system.

As of Aug 3, 2009, you no longer need to set a special CalMail password. You have to use the CalNet ID pass-phrase instead. If you already access CalMail via a desktop client (e.g., Thunderbird, Eudora, Outlook, etc.) your old password has to be replaced with the CalNet ID pass-phrase before Sep 30, 2009. See CalMail to begin using CalNet authentication for details.

Move Mail Folders to CalMail (Optional)

You may have some old email messages stored on files in your account here. If you wish, you can move these over to store them on the CalMail server. If your account predates the CalMail transition, you may also have mail messages still stored in your pre-transition inbox (former /var/mail/username).

The procedure for moving these mailboxes to CalMail is outlined in a separate wiki page, Move mbox Calmail.

Change Your Mail Client Setup

Finally, to access your new mailbox (which will likely have three administrative messages already in it), you will need to set up your mail client to use CalMail. Information on how to do so depends on your mail client. The following list gives brief information on email clients. For fuller information, see the the wiki page Email Calmail Settings.

Supported IMAP-capable email clients
Users of mutt, alpine (formerly pine), Thunderbird, Apple's Mail.app (also known as Mail) and other IMAP-capable mail readers will see minimal changes, although they will need to change the configuration. See the wiki page Email Calmail Settings for information on how to do this.
Eudora
Eudora may work, but its use is strongly discouraged. In fact, Eudora has been abandoned by its developers and does not meet the minimal security standards required by IS&T, so you should not be using it on campus at all. Please see this article on Eudora-to-Thunderbird migration from IS&T knowledge base. Also have a look at Tom Holub's blog with additional discussion and links to LSCR howto pages. Apple's Mail.app has built-in support for migrating from Eudora.
SquirrelMail
Users who read mail using the department's SquirrelMail web interface will need to point their browsers to CalMail instead.
Traditional Unix "mail" command
The Unix mail program does not directly support the IMAP protocol. Users can either switch to one of the above mail clients, or switch to the very similar program "nail". See the wiki page on CalMail conversion and Unix mail.
Solaris CDE "dtmail" client
The mail client dtmail will no longer be supported. (This is the client that you get when you click on the mail icon in the Solaris CDE environment). Users of dtmail will have to switch to one of the mail clients listed above.
Other Unix command-line mailers
Users of emacs RMAIL will be responsible for managing the transition on their own (for one possible solution see Emacs RMAIL with CalMail). Another emacs mail reader, VM (View Mail), might also be usable.

For a quick start on reading email, you can use the CalMail web interface at https://calmail.berkeley.edu .

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some questions you may have about the transition.

How can I use the CalMail web-based tool?
Just go to https://calmail.berkeley.edu/ and log in to either SquirrelMail or RoundCube. You can then read and send emails from there, but you would not have access to mail folders kept in your Math department Unix home directory.
Why haven't I received any mail since April 6?
Probably you haven't reconfigured your email client for CalMail. If you haven't, then your mail program is looking for mail in the wrong place.
How should I configure my email client?
See Email Calmail Settings page.
Will my math.berkeley.edu email address go away after the transition?
No, you will still have the same math.berkeley.edu email address as before. The only difference is that incoming and outgoing mail will be handled by CalMail servers, not by Math Department servers. (This assumes that you have a valid CalNet ID.)
Will I need to create my own CalMail account?
No, you will not need take steps on your own to create the CalMail account. Note that if you go to CalMail's web site and create an account for yourself, you will have a different email address, username@berkeley.edu, instead of username@math.berkeley.edu. Of course, you can do that, but it is probably not what you want to do, since you will then have two independent CalMail accounts after the transition.
New accounts have already been created for most users, including all staff and faculty. You may access them now. Note that your login on CalMail includes the text @math.berkeley.edu. If you find that you do not have an account, then you probably do not have a valid CalNet ID.
What if I already have a CalMail account?
It will continue to operate, independent of this new account. You might want to arrange to forward mail from one to another. Note that settings are not shared between your two CalMail accounts; if you forward mail from your old CalMail account, that does not result in mail being forwarded from the new account, unless you set it up.
Do I need a special CalMail Math password?
No, as of Aug 3, 2009, you have to use your CalNet ID pass-phrase for your CalMail Math account username@math.berkeley.edu.
Will the "quota for incoming mail" still be in effect after the transition?
The old mail quota system is no longer in effect. Incoming mail is no longer stored in the directory /var/mail, previously used for incoming mail, which was subject to the 25 MB departmental quota. Mail is now stored either on the CalMail server, which has its own quota of 1 GB per user, or in your home directory, where it is subject to your usual quota. (In the unlikely event that even 1 GB is not enough for you, you can send a request for an increase to math@lscr.berkeley.edu.)
What will happen to the old contents of my inbox?
You should move the contents of your old inbox (former file /var/mail/username) to your CalMail account using an IMAP-capable mail client. If you have not moved it yet, please do it before Sep 30, 2009 as the old Math mail server is going to be decommissioned soon. You may also have mail folders stored in your home directory, e.g. the mbox file in your home directory. Most people store mail in folders within their home directories. The transition did not affect either the mbox file or other mail folders within your home directory. These can be moved at your leisure - see Move mbox Calmail wiki page.
What about outgoing mail? Will the process of sending mail change?
When sending mail from one of the Math Department workstations or servers, you should not see major differences. If you've configured your own email client for remote access, you'll need to change the server settings, specifically the SMTP server, which should be calmail.berkeley.edu.
The one difference that you might notice is that local recipients will not automatically expand to @math.berkeley.edu addresses. e.g., if you try send mail to johnsmith, you will either have to configure your mail client to do the expansion to johnsmith@math.berkeley.edu, or type the full address yourself.
What happened to the mailing list(s) that I manage?
Managed mailing lists (i.e. Mailman lists) were moved for you. The list address is still the same. However, the list administrative page is hosted by CalMail at https://calmail.berkeley.edu/manage/list/mylists now. Currently, CalMail doesn't provide Mailman archiving, but that may change soon.
I subscribe to high-volume mailing lists and used to use procmail to direct them to separate folders. Will that setup continue to work?
No, procmail will no longer be operational on mail received by CalMail.
If you wish to automatically move incoming messages to different mail folders stored in your Math Unix home directory, you have to use a desktop IMAP client (e.g., Thunderbird, alpine, mutt, etc.) that supports message filters.
If you wish to automatically move incoming messages to different mail folders stored on the CalMail server, you may use either a desktop IMAP client as above or (preferably) CalMail own means, called filters. For setting up CalMail filters go to the Manage your account page, log in with your CalNet ID and pass-phrase, then select the account name and click on the "Filters" link on the left.
What about mail forwarding?
It is possible to forward mail from your CalMail Math account to any other mail address. Forwarding is no longer managed by editing a file .forward within your home directory, however. Instead, you will need to log in to the CalMail Manage your account page to set this up. When logged in, select the account name and click on the "Forwarding" link on the left. You may choose the option "Save a copy of incoming mail in my Inbox", if you wish.
If you currently do not have a Math Unix login account, but your former username@math.berkeley.edu address is forwarded, that forwarding has stopped, unless you explicitly requested it to continue. You can still make a request for forwarding, via email to math@lscr.berkeley.edu.
What if I don't have a valid CalNet ID?
Unfortunately, without a valid CalNet ID, we cannot create an account for you on CalMail. If you forgot your CalNet ID pass-phrase, contact Kathy Santos or Jennifer Sixt to reset the pass-phrase. If you have a Unix login account in the Math Department, or mail forwarding from an older account, but do not currently have a valid CalNet ID, we can arrange for mail forwarding to your new account. Send a request to math@lscr.berkeley.edu. Our current position is that we will honor all such requests, and we have not set any time limit on that forwarding. (This could change, if the administrative load becomes too great.)
I do have a valid CalNet ID. Why hasn't my new account been created?
At this point we have requested CalMail accounts for all users for which we have been able to find valid CalNet IDs. If you feel that you do (or should) have a valid CalNet ID, send email to math@lscr.berkeley.edu.
HELP! I can't understand this stuff. How can I get a person to help?
There are a number of people that can be contacted for help. Please DO NOT call these people and say that you haven't bothered to read the documentation that so many of us have worked to prepare. Your appeal for personal help will be greeted much more sympathetically if you at least indicate that you have read this page. In fact, if you have read it, you may not actually need to contact anyone. However, if you do: