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Use Pine to read mail UNIX
At work I read my work-related email email using Eudora. At home, I pull my home email from three POP accounts using Mail. I've always wanted to read my home email from work, and respond to my home email using my home POP accounts. Problem is, my POP accounts won't let me do that unless I'm on their network, or authenticated into their network, so my work Eudora was out of the question.

To be able to read my home email at home, and respond thru my home ISP mail servers, I had this convoluted setup where I SSHed to my Mac at home, and pulled the mail off the POP servers using Fetchmail or Charles Cazabon's excellant getmail Python script. The script would pull down the mail and I'd then read it using Pine.

Now this worked fine, but I was bored one day and decided to re-read the Pine FAQ and discovered that you can use Pine as a POP client much the same way as you'd use Mail or Eudora. You want to read the section marked "I have multiple email addresses. How do I read them all using Pine?"

Now you might be asking why should I care to do this? Well simply if you are on a wireless connection out in the world, or out of town and using another network connection, your home-ISP should allow you to collect your email off their mail server, but not send/respond to email thru their mail servers if you aren't on their network. This is part of the fight ISPs are waging against spammers. Additionally, you might not want to pull your mail over an insecure network because someone else might be able to intercept it and read it.

Instead, you SSH to your Mac at home, and pull/read your email from there using Pine. Your email information is encrypted when transversing the insecure network you are on, plus you can now send/respond to mail thru your usual ISP's mail servers.

[robg adds: We have had a couple independent hints on using Pine with Mail; this seems to be another method of doing so...]
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Use Pine to read mail | 7 comments | Create New Account
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better yet.....
Authored by: darin on Aug 01, '03 02:20:56PM

If you are going to be using ssh, anyway, use this lesser known feature of ssh and you can use the on your laptop to access the mail through your home network as though you were sitting on the network in your home. That way, you can send and receive mail normally.

Do this from the command line:
ssh -L -N 1234:addressofpopserver:110 addressofhomecomputer
ssh -L -N 5678:addressofsmtpserver:25 addressofhomecomputer

Then, change the pop and smtp server info in to localhost and the respective ports from 110 to 1234 and 25 to 5678 (any reasonable port should work here -- just be consistent with the ssh command).

This will tunnel all your pop and smtp traffic through the secure ssh tunnel to your machine at home. The ISP will think you are on your home network, and mail will just work.

If you're behind a firewall in a hotel or job that blocks ports 110 and 25, then choose something else that is open and not being used on your home computer and specify it in the ssh command, thusly (assuming port 443 is open to ssh traffic):

ssh -L -N -p443 1234:addressofpopserver:110 addressofhomecomputer
ssh -L -N -p443 5678:addressofsmtpserver:25 addressofhomecomputer

Now, if I could only figure out how to change the mail server and port info in with an applescript, I could do all of this in an applescript.

Also, if there's anyone having luck with ipfw and port forwarding, you could theoretically do all this with the port forwarding rules and leave the settings alone, but I haven't been able to make it work yet. Here's my best attempt so far, but it doesn't work:

sudo ipfw add 1234 fwd,1234 tcp from any to any 110
Anyone see why not?

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Trouble applying to Eudora
Authored by: ejensen on Aug 01, '03 07:15:04PM

I tried applying this hint to Eudora but have trouble getting Pine to read the Eudora mbox files. The problem seems to be the difference between the end-of-lines (Macintosh vs Unix formats). Using BBEdit I switched the EOL's so Pine could read the mailbox, but then Eudora would not read the file. Is there any way to have both Pine and Eudora happy?


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Using it to read's mbox
Authored by: oculos on Aug 02, '03 12:26:04AM

I tried to use pine to read mboxes, and i succesfully managed it, using an ol'tip i've found here at, creating symlinks from those mailboxes. It worked great to read those mails, but it ruined some mails. Is there a safe way to share those mailboxes?

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Or... switch to a better ISP!
Authored by: funwithstuff on Aug 04, '03 05:07:58AM
You could switch your email to an ISP that supports SMTP-Auth, and which allows you to read your mail from elsewhere. Most *do* allow you to read your email from outside of their network.

Ultimately, register your own domain and get a good email service through it. That way, you can send and receive email from anywhere, no matter which network you're connected through, and most importantly, you never have to change your email address again. Better, you can change your email address ( if (when?) your email address is found by spammers. Give special email addresses to anyone who asks.

Try these guys: They give 10 mailboxes and unlimited forwarding with their basic hosting account. I don't work for them.

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Is it possible to use BOTH Pine and on the same mailboxes ?
Authored by: ygor on Aug 04, '03 11:33:32AM

Preliminary googling suggests it might be possible.

I'm going to chase this a bit and report back here if/when I find something.

If anyone else finds anything along this line, I would appreciate a holler.


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Is it possible to use BOTH Pine and on the same mailboxes ?
Authored by: ojf on Aug 05, '03 01:09:23PM

Yes it is -- but my solution may not address your problem. POP mail was never really meant to be shared but you'll have no problems if your mail is kept on an IMAP server. This isn't terribly exotic technology - many ISPs use IMAP as their preferred method of getting mail. Anyway, one of the nice things about IMAP is that your mail is stored on the server and several mail clients (pine, OS X Mail, Netscape, etc.) can access it at the same time. Keeping the mail on the server keeps everything synchronized.

An additional benefit is that IMAP allows you to have a secure connection -- use this an you can send and recieve mail from any network. Since your connection is authenticated the smtp server doesn't care if you aren't on its network.

Of course, if you have to use POP mail... well, at least it's a fun sounding name. =) Good luck.

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Is it possible to use BOTH Pine and on the same mailboxes ?
Authored by: ygor on Aug 06, '03 11:05:20AM

IMAP is a wonderful solution, I would agree.

HOWEVER most ISP's have a low storage limit of your stuff on their server. Mine has a 10Mb limit. My local mailboxes are in the low hundreds of megabytes.

(Note to self: Clean out mailboxes)

So, unless you are fortunate enough to have access to an IMAP server with lots of elbow room, it is not, dsadly THE solution to this discussion.

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