Introduction

It is quite useful to be able to access webmail through an email client (like Evolution), as it is usually faster than online web interfaces and gives users an offline copy of their emails. There are three major webmail providers; Windows Live Mail (Hotmail/MSN), Yahoo! Mail and Gmail (Google Mail). It is very easy to setup your email client to access Gmail. Yahoo! and Hotmail on the other hand attempt to restrict their users to the web interface, offering email client access as a premium service. There are however several workarounds for the more restricted systems.

FreePOPs

FreePOPs establishes a local POP3 server which can be accessed at any time with any email client, and which interacts with webmail providers to retrieve your mail. FreePOPs cannot be used to send mail. Lots of webmail providers are supported; including Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail.

An old version is available in the repositories:

sudo apt-get install freepops

However, to be able to update to the latest webmail interface files you need to download and install the latest Ubuntu packages. You will need:

  • The "FreePOPs" package
  • The "FreePOPs - Graphical Updater (Gnome)" package.

Make sure you download the packages with the correct architecture for your computer - either 32 bit (i386) or 64 bit (amd64).

Once installed, you need to update the webmail interface files: Applications -> Internet -> FreePOPs Updater. Choose which webmail provider/s you want to access and update them.

Receiving Email

Use these in your email client's account settings to be able to download your webmail:

Server: localhost:2000  (alternatively Server:localhost  Port:2000)
Username: username@webmailsite.com (or similar)
No encryption (the server is on your own computer)

You can also download folders other than the inbox by specifying the folder you want to download in your mail client preferences:

username: username@webmailsite.com?folder=yourfoldername

Sending Mail

FreePOPs is not an email sending (SMTP) server. To be able to send email, you need to use either your ISP's SMTP server with your username & password, or use any other free SMTP server - one option is Gmail's if you have a gmail account:

Server: smtp.gmail.com
Username: username
Password: password
Use TLS encryption

You may also need or want to change the From and/or Reply-To addresses of your mail account in Evolution to your webmail address.

Yahoo! Mail

There exist several other workarounds for accessing Yahoo! Mail. If you are outside the U.S. you might be able to setup access through the Yahoo! webmail interface.

FetchYahoo

FetchYahoo is in Ubuntu, under the package name of fetchyahoo in the Universe repository. Once installed you will need to give it a configuration file. There is an example included in /usr/share/doc/fetchyahoo (you will need to decompress it by running gunzip filename.gz).

Running FetchYahoo is pretty easy, you just need to copy the configuration file somewhere (probably in your Home folder. Remember that starting a filename with a full stop, like .fetchyahoorc, will make it hidden.) Edit it with a text editor to use your username, password, etc. then give it a location to save the mail to. Personally I use mbox files, stored in $HOME/.fetchyahoo/spool, and I have one for my inbox and one for my bulk mail (actually I have two of each, since I run two accounts simultaneously). As long as these files exist, and you have permission to write to them, then you run FetchYahoo with:

fetchyahoo --configfile /path/to/your/configuration/file

If that worked then you can make it run periodically using a tool like gnome-schedule which is in Universe. If you want to use multiple accounts, or seperate out bulk mail from your inbox, then you need to create multiple configuration files and run FetchYahoo seperately with each one (ie. add each one to your scheduled tasks). Once you have your mail getting dumped to mbox files you can add this standard account-type to email clients like Evolution.

As with FreePOPs above, it may not be possible to use FetchYahoo to send email via Yahoo's servers. But it may be possible for you to find an alternative service and yet still send email with the From and/or Reply-To header being your Yahoo email address. If not, you may have to change to a different provider (one which is not webmail-only) for sending messages and recieving ones from new contacts, while using FetchYahoo to receive email from your old contacts who know your Yahoo! email address.

YoSucker

This is a program which can access Yahoo! Mail accounts and save the messages it finds into an "mbox" file (a "mailbox" which is a specially formatted text file containing emails). Yosucker can be found here, due to recent changes in Yahoo!'s systems you must be sure to get at least Prototype 69 of Yosucker, preferably the latest stable release. Also, make sure you are not using Yahoo! Mail's new webmail interface (in beta at the time of writing) since !Yosucker only understands the regular interface (you can tell Yahoo! Mail to revert back to the regular interface from within the webmail application in a browser)

To set up Yosucker you must extract the tar.gz file into a suitable location (it is sensible to run this program from somewhere in your home directory, since the configuration files must contain encrypted forms of your Yahoo! passwords in order to login to your Yahoo! Mail accounts). Once you have done this you should enter the newly extracted folder and then enter the "conf" folder inside it.

Inside this folder there are several text files ending in .conf, these tell Yosucker what to do. The easiest way to get started is to rename the "sample1.conf" file to something more descriptive for your account, such as "mainaddress.conf" or "spamaddress.conf". You should then open it with the text editor.

The options are fairly straightforward and are well documented within the comments. You should keep this line:

HOST=mail.yahoo.com

Even if you connect to yahoo.co.uk, yahoo.it or another international version. Yahoo! stores an account across their entire network, so using this host is perfectly alright, whilst changing it may break your configuration.

The first thing you should change is the line:

USERNAME=

You should set this to your Yahoo! username (only the username, no "@yahoo.com" or anything afterwards) and then move on to the line:

PASSWD=

This is slightly more tricky, since your password needs to be encrypted. If you open a terminal and navigate to the "bin" directory of Yosucker you will find a file called EncPasswd. Run this file with:

./EncPasswd

And it will ask you for your Yahoo! password twice (don't worry if no characters show up, it hides what you are typing in case someone is looking over your shoulder, but since you cannot tell if you have made a mistake it will ask again to confirm) it will then give you a long string of characters and tell you to put them in your conf file. Therefore copy that sequence and enter it after the PASSWD= to look something like this:

PASSWD=abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz012345

There are various other options in this configuration file, but all are documented inside the comments. You may wish to change the folders which Yosucker looks in, and whether to leave the messages on the server or not. These are optional, and I have found the defaults for the rest of the options are fine, except for one. You must specify a file where your messages will be saved. This is on the line:

OUTFILE=/var/mail/user

You must point it to a file (which may or may not already exist) that you have permission to change/create. A good system to use is the hidden file structure in your home folder. You can make a folder directly in your home called, for example, ".YahooAccounts" (notice the dot at the beginning) then create the output files in there, which keeps them accessible, writable, safe from deletion and out of the way. You just have to set the OUTFILE line to something like:

OUTFILE=/home/username/.YahooAccounts/spam_account

You can now save the configuration file, and possibly make some different copies (Yosucker can handle several Yahoo! accounts), then remove the unwanted sample configurations (DO NOT remove the file "header-translation" as it is needed). To run Yosucker take a terminal into Yosucker's bin folder and run:

./YoSucker

Your mail should now hopefully be saved into the appropriate hidden file, so you can setup your mail client (like Evolution or KMail) to use this as a local mbox spool. You may wish to make Yosucker check your mail periodically, this can be done by adding the full path to the "YoSucker" executable (the one in "bin") to a tool like the gnome-schedule package in GNOME (once installed it is in Applications>System Tools, you may need to enable it: right click Applications Menu -> Edit Menus). In KDE you should add it to CRON in your preferred way.

Yosucker can also send text only messages through Yahoo! Mail. I would appreciate it if somebody documented this here.

See Also


CategoryEmail

WebmailInEmailClients (last edited 2009-08-29 23:09:20 by peter.ford)