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Check Google's GMail via Apple's Mail.app Internet
Using this technique, you can download and read your Gmail account mail in your GUI-based mail client. This article is written for Apple's Mail.app, but it is basically the same for all mail clients once you get the POP3 proxy software installed.

REQUIREMENTS
DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL FREEPOPS

Download FreePOPS for OS X from the OS X Downloads page. There are packages available for Panther and Jaguar. These are standard OS X style installer packages that will install a single directory named "FreePOPs" into your applications directory.

Since this is basically a command-line binary and has no GUI, and also because I wanted it to be accesible as a startup item, I decided to move the FreePOPs directory to a more suitable location -- /usr/local/. You can do this manually after running the installer package, or you can use something like Pacifist to extract the package contents directly into /usr/local/.

START THE FREEPOPS SERVER DEAMON

To start the server, you will need to use the Terminal and change directories (cd) to the FreePOPs directory (wherever you installed it):.
cd /usr/local/bin/FreePOPs
There really is no configuration required, so you can just issue the following command to start the server and put it in the background:
sudo ./freepopsd -p 110 -d
You should now be able to check your processes and see the freepopsd process running:
ps ax | grep freepopsd
CONFIGURE MAIL CLIENT (MAIL.APP)

Open Mail.app -> Preferences, and create a new account. For the details use:
  • Account Type: POP
  • Username: your_full_gmail_address>
  • Password: your_gmail_password
  • Incoming Mail Server: 127.0.0.1
You should now be able to check your gmail account within Mail.app.

NOTES:
  • The server will needed to be manually restarted every time you restart your machine
  • You can only check/read your gmail - THERE IS NO OUTGOING MAIL THROUGH GMAIL
(OPTIONAL) FREEPOPS STARTUP ITEM:

If you wish to have the freepops server daemon startup each time you reboot then follow the procedure below:

Create the following directory and files (as root):
/Library/StartupItems/freepops
/Library/StartupItems/freepops/freepops
/Library/StartupItems/StartupParameters.plist
Change permissions to executable on both freepopsd and StartupParameters.plist:
chmod 755 /Library/StartupItems/freepops/*
The structure should look something like this when done:
drwxr-xr-x    4 root     admin         136 Sep 29 01:55 .
drwxrwxr-x   13 root     admin         442 Sep 29 01:22 ..
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     admin         530 Sep 29 13:01 StartupParameters.plist
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     admin         523 Sep 29 13:25 freepopsd
Open the file /Library -> StartupItems -> freepops -> freepops, and paste in the following:
#!/bin/sh

##
# FreePOPs Server
##

## Note this is geared towards an installation of freepops in
## /usr/local/freepops. If you installed in some other location,
## change the 'base' line below to reflect the install directory:

base=/usr/local/FreePOPs
. /etc/rc.common

StartService ()
{
	ConsoleMessage "Starting FreePOPs Server..."
	#/usr/local/FreePOPs/src/freepopsd -w -l /var/log/freepops.log -p 110 -d
	cd $base
	/usr/local/FreePOPs/freepopsd -p 110 -d
}

StopService ()
{
    if [ -f "/var/run/freepopsd.pid" ]; then
	    ConsoleMessage "Stopping FreePOPs Server..."
	    PID=`cat /var/run/freepopsd.pid`
		kill -9 $PID
	fi
}

RestartService ()
{
	StopService
	StartService
}

RunService "$1"
Open the file /Library -> StartupItems -> StartupParameters.plist, and paste in the following:
<?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>Description</key>
	<string>FreePOPs Server</string>
	<key>OrderPreference</key>
	<string>Late</string>
	<key>Provides</key>
	<array>
		<string>freepops</string>
	</array>
	<key>Requires</key>
	<array>
		<string>Resolver</string>
	</array>
	<key>Uses</key>
	<array>
		<string>Disks</string>
		<string>Network</string>
	</array>
</dict>
</plist>
To start the server for the first time manually, you can issue the command:
sudo SystemStarter start freepops
STARTUPITEM NOTES:
  • I am a bit unsure about the correct permissions, but I believe they are set correctly above. If anyone has any thoughts, please post.
  • I also changed permissions on /usr/local/freepops to:
    drwxr-xr-x   11 root     admin         374 Sep 29 12:54 .
    drwxr-xr-x   40 root     admin        1360 Sep 25 01:29 ..
    -rw-r--r--    1 root     admin         560 Sep 19 06:53 AUTHORS
    -rw-r--r--    1 root     admin       17987 Sep 19 06:53 COPYING
    -rw-r--r--    1 root     admin        8200 Sep 19 06:53 ChangeLog
    -rw-r--r--    1 root     admin        1442 Sep 19 06:53 README-osx.txt
    -rw-r--r--    1 root     admin        7406 Sep 19 06:53 config.lua
    drwxr-xr-x    4 root     admin         136 Sep 19 06:53 doc
    lrwxr-xr-x    1 root     wheel          13 Sep 25 01:29 freepopsd -> src/freepopsd
    drwxr-xr-x    3 root     admin         102 Sep 19 06:53 modules
    drwxr-xr-x    4 root     admin         136 Sep 19 06:53 src
    Not sure about those either - but I believe they are correct.
  • I have been unable to get the StartupItem method to log correctly. If anyone has any suggestion ... it just never seems to write to the log when started via the StartupItems method. Manually starting it works fine. See the commented line in /Library -> StartupItems -> freepops -> freepops
  • The following commands are also valid with the StartupItems method:
    sudo SystemStarter stop freepops
    sudo SystemStarter restart freepops
    •    
  • Currently 2.38 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (8 votes cast)
 
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Check Google's GMail via Apple's Mail.app | 35 comments | Create New Account
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Check Google's GMail via Apple's Mail.app
Authored by: luhmann on Oct 05, '04 12:03:21PM

or you could just use this:

http://www.bdegan.com/2004/09/gmail-for-mail_08.html



[ Reply to This | # ]
Check Google's GMail via Apple's Mail.app
Authored by: raider on Oct 05, '04 12:11:32PM
Check Google's GMail via Apple's Mail.app
Authored by: rmiller021 on Oct 06, '04 11:09:40AM

That program works really well. However modify the pop and the smtp servers so that there applescripts so the don't sit in your dock.

POP Server-
with timeout of 1 second
try
do shell script "cd ~/gmailtools/freepops-0.0.14; src/freepopsd > /dev/null 2>&1 &"
end try
end timeout

SMTP Server-
with timeout of 1 second
try
do shell script "python ~/gmailtools/libgmail-0.0.8/demos/gmailsmtp.py > /dev/null 2>&1 &"
end try
end timeout



[ Reply to This | # ]
Check Google's GMail via Apple's Mail.app
Authored by: gdbjr on Oct 05, '04 03:24:19PM

Tired it but the apple script timed-out. Might have to due with the firewall at work. Perhaps I shall try once at home.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Dubious ethical activity
Authored by: SOX on Oct 05, '04 12:09:31PM
Gmail has said they dont want any third party automated account managers accessing their system. The reason is obvious, the service is free and they pay for it with ads and other community activity centered on google. Defeating this will either lead them to defeat the third party access and/or degrade the overall system. Or maybe earn their bucks some other way like sharing your e-mail with interested corporations.

perhaps the worst idea I saw was the release of GmailFS which actually mounted the gmail as a unix file system and allowed you to store a gigabyte of data on each account you had. the demo for this included copying the entire application firefox on the GFS then launching it, then as a kick in the pants, using it to go to the google webpage.

It would be easy to laugh at this oroborus sort of humor. But consider the following. One could easily write a MacOSXHintsFS files system that stored and retreived data placed in these very comment fields. Would that make you happy to see Rob's system corrupted to the point where you had to wade through acres of garbage to find real comments and so exploited that rob could not afford it? I dont think so.

So think ethically before doing these cute party tricks.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Dubious ethical activity
Authored by: fds on Oct 05, '04 01:14:42PM

Or you could just get a spymac.com account. Same free 1 GB of space plus officially sanctioned free POP3 access. Only trouble is it seems to block all yahoogroups.com traffic.

By the way, I personally don't give a rat's ass about causing any kind of trouble to google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and the like, a sentiment I'm sure many of us share. Comparing that to abusing macosxhints and Rob's resources is quite a stretch.

If Google can't actually handle you filling up your 1 GB and using it for anything you please, they shouldn't be offering it in the first place.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Dubious ethical activity
Authored by: chyna4xena on Oct 06, '04 01:35:33AM
Although it might seem OK to cause 'trouble' for multi-billion dollar companies, in this case, that 'trouble' won't affect Google, Inc any, but it WILL affect Gmail users.

It isn't difficult to understand: If Google, Inc starts losing ad revenue from Gmail because people use these third-party methods to access their accounts instead of going to the Gmail site (and getting the ads) then Google will either stop providing the Gmail service, or they will start charging for it.

Your last line missed the point entirely - Google has no problem with a user filling up their 1Gb, nor do they have a problem with you using it for anything you please. They do (and I do, and other Gmail users do) have a problem with users circumventing the advertising because that means eventually no Gmail for anyone.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Dubious ethical activity
Authored by: vonleigh on Oct 07, '04 11:49:34AM

Just because a couple of nerds figure out alternative uses, doesn't mean that all of a sudden they'll cut the service for the other 99% of the using population.

Even a hint like this, because it has some unix commands, will be glossed over by the majority.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Dubious ethical activity
Authored by: osxpounder on Oct 24, '04 01:55:53AM

Sure it does.

---
--
osxpounder



[ Reply to This | # ]
Dubious ethical activity
Authored by: karnat10 on Oct 06, '04 08:17:12AM

Agreed, think ethically before doing stuff on the web, don't disturb others and don't hurt the good.

But please, don't be so pitiful with corporations, even if it's Google. Corporations don't act altruistically and have always shown without any shadows of doubt that they maximize profits and minimize spendings and legal compliance. There are no 'good' corporations. Google is admittedly acting non-evil at the moment, but they're still a profit-maximizing entity, and they have a huge potential to be evil.

This attitude dictates our behaviour as customers. We have to maximize our profit as well, at least when dealing with other profit-maximizers. If not, we're going to lose. So, if a certain activity is technically possible, legal, and not disturbing others, do it! It's their fault if they let you do something on their site which is against their interests.

I mean, we don't NEED any particular corporation. Any large corporation will sooner or later become slow, expensive, too powerful, and generally think it's indispensable. Well, nobody is, because if they fail, others will come, and will do a better job.

I'm not advocating any disturbing activities here, but if someone is 'stupid' enough to offer a service on the web, they have to do it right or face the consequences. On the web, there is no room for mercy.



[ Reply to This | # ]
a Billion dolalr corporation does not need help!
Authored by: alexmathew on Oct 06, '04 11:55:20AM

Google is what it is because of users - now they are another corporation that seems to assume that everyone has to help it somehow because.....(list any reason here)

for one thing I never liked the "cute", "snobbish" and "degrading in some respects" manner of handing our gmail accounts. I have one - but obviously someone at google is enjoying seeing people grovel, willing to auction their stuff and worse to get an account.

google may or may not survive - but it wont be because or in-spite of users - they are a multi-BILLION dollar corporation and can take care of themselves - thankyou.

if you really want to help - try to help small self funded companies like spamcop.net who are fighting legal and DOS attacks from spammers.

Any sympathy for google is wasted here.
AM



[ Reply to This | # ]
a Billion dolalr corporation does not need help!
Authored by: chyna4xena on Oct 06, '04 07:45:33PM

karnat10 and alexmathew have both missed my point completely.

As my original message actually made clear, it is NOT Google Inc that I have sympathy or support for - it is the USERS of Gmail that I have concern for. These users are not multi-billion dollar evil corporations bent on world destruction; while you two are playing at being faux anarchists, try and remember that.

karnat10 states, incredibly, that "It's their fault if they let you do something on their site which is against their interests." and also "if someone is 'stupid' enough to offer a service on the web, they have to do it right or face the consequences". So you advocate vandalism on wikipedia.org? You are okay with people hacking and/or phishing online banking sites? Your "if you can do it, then it is OK" philosophy is nothing more than a modern day "Might is Right".

I find it very odd indeed that you would both fail to understand that it is not just Google Inc who would be affected by the disappearance of Gmail - the users would suffer, whilst Google, Inc continued to profit.



[ Reply to This | # ]
No-one here's an Anarchist - faux or other wise
Authored by: alexmathew on Oct 08, '04 07:46:34AM

The point is techniques to do something with a service that its not meant to - is part of being cutting edge in the tech world - I understand your concern for the users - but its actually irrelavant with google.

Every technology (other than discovering the theory of relativity, I guess) is derivative. If I see something that exists, I must try to do something else with it - most of it is completely legal (ethical or not - is something left to the Amercian board of censors!) and if called illegal - its usually protecting someones vested interests. RIAA does a great job with the legal aspect of things. Ripping CD's was hack sometime ago - do you rip any CD's? Do you know that according to RIAA ripping even your OWN CD's is illegal - leave alone being unethical!

If google really wants to STOP people from using gmail as a disk - they can. The app does not attack any user accounts - nor does it incovenience the users - considering that the users begged to get on gmail(BETA) anyway - it forces google to actually THINK rather than sit on their behinds and bask in the glory of a search engine! (Their SMS offering is joke - but thats another topic.)

Finally, I dont intend to use gmail and I dont intend to use this app - but its nice to know that there are people left in this world who will challenge the status-quo.

Bye
AM



[ Reply to This | # ]
Re: No-one here's an Anarchist - faux or other wise
Authored by: chyna4xena on Oct 08, '04 09:35:33AM
alexmathew, just because a "cutting edge" thing can be done, does not mean it should. Why don't we create a "cutting edge" bomb that can destroy the entire planet in one go ? I don't accept that technological development (whilst it is a good thing) can be an excuse to behave either illegally or unethically.

"The app does not attack any user accounts - nor does it incovenience the users"
No-one said the app by itself would do anything. The concern is that Google Inc have already stated they do not want third party automated account managers (TPAAMs) accessing Gmail - for the obvious reason (ad revenue), and that Google will shut down Gmail unless ad revenue is greater than costs. Did you consider that the complete loss of Gmail will certainly "incovenience the users" ?

"If google really wants to STOP people from using gmail as a disk - they can"
This isn't just about using Gmail as a disk - it is also about using a TPAAM with it. I don't think that Google could easily stop people using TPAAMs. A TPAAM could, in theory, send exactly the same requests as a normal web browser - how would the Google servers know the difference ?

"Ripping CD's was hack sometime ago"
Um, no it wasn't. The ability to read CDs was built in to the player, it wasn't "hacked" in! And just because the RIAA takes an unbelievably conservative position on IP doesn't condone people breaking the conditions of a free service and thereby denying it to other people.

"its nice to know that there are people left in this world who will challenge the status-quo"
Challenging the status quo is one thing, wilfully committing an act that negatively affects thousands of people is another. Just because you are "challenging the status-quo" does not mean what you are doing is right! Someone could, after all, challenge the status quo of you being alive.

Sorry about the long comment, but there is one more thing - I believe that Einstein was only able to develop special relativity thanks to the efforts of countless predecessors, including Maxwell and Lorentz.


[ Reply to This | # ]
Italian GUI
Authored by: riccard0 on Oct 05, '04 01:25:38PM
For those who prefer a GUI (and understand a little Italian), there is a graphical version of FreePOPs

[ Reply to This | # ]
Basic Menu translation - please!
Authored by: alexmathew on Oct 06, '04 11:46:15AM

Can someone list the basic Menu commands in english for this Italian app - PLEASE!
Thanks
AM



[ Reply to This | # ]
Italian GUI
Authored by: bossa nova on Oct 10, '04 11:24:10PM

Thats great. Now all we have to do is learn to speak italian to use it.
Doh!

---
Thanks!

John



[ Reply to This | # ]
Moot for most anyway...
Authored by: jimhoyt on Oct 05, '04 01:53:24PM

...unless you know the secret handshake that will pry loose a gmail account.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Moot for most anyway...
Authored by: restiffbard on Oct 05, '04 02:49:30PM

gmail accounts are easy to get. Just ask for one.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Moot for most anyway...
Authored by: lebowski on Oct 05, '04 05:19:23PM

if you want one i'll give you one...

---
------------------

You can\'t fight in here, this is a War Room!!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Moot for most anyway...
Authored by: knueven7 on Oct 05, '04 06:08:45PM

Who do I need to ask for a gmail account?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Moot for most anyway...
Authored by: oink on Oct 05, '04 06:14:12PM

I wouldn't mind one to see what the hype is about. Should I email you?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Moot for most anyway...
Authored by: chyna4xena on Oct 06, '04 01:26:42AM
There are two automatic Gmail invite queues that I know of:

http://gmail.snakez.org/

http://isnoop.net/gmailomatic.php

The isnoop queue seems to be down at the moment, and snakez doesn't currently have any invites to give away. If you've got spare invites, please donate them to a queue. If you want an invite, visit these sites (and other queues if you can find them) and you should get one pretty soon.

I have 6 invites to give away if people still want them. E-mail me at xena@zahadum.com to get one. Only the first six e-mails will be replied to, if you don't hear back, then you were too late (sorry).


[ Reply to This | # ]
FREE GMAIL ACCOUNTS!
Authored by: echomancer on Oct 06, '04 02:37:27AM

I have 6 gmail accounts I will gladly share w/ the community to the first 6 people who email me through this site.



[ Reply to This | # ]
FREE GMAIL ACCOUNTS!
Authored by: luai on Oct 06, '04 10:57:53AM

Hi,
I'd like to have one Gmail please. Thanks



[ Reply to This | # ]
What?
Authored by: powerbookg3user0 on Oct 05, '04 08:26:11PM

Please state the Startup Items part more clearly. I can't understand! You said that there was a freepopsd in /Library/StartupItems/freepops/ bu thtere isn't?????!!!!

---
Takumi Murayama



[ Reply to This | # ]
What?
Authored by: rhithyn on Oct 05, '04 10:56:09PM

It does seem a little confusing, but all you do is create the first folder:

/Library/StartupItems/freepops

and then you create the two files in it and chmod them to 755.

So you will only have one directory with two files in it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Check Google's GMail via Apple's Mail.app
Authored by: jsil on Oct 05, '04 09:06:28PM

I think that I will wait until Gmail releases their imap settings. What's the point of 1 gig of storage if you are just going to download it on your computer?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Check Google's GMail via Apple's Mail.app
Authored by: blueoak on Oct 07, '04 12:02:05PM

I'd like to use this hint, but the gmail plugin doesn't seem to work at all. Forget even doing the auto-start gig, I'm just running it from the command line. You fire it off, watch sysout as you operate Mail, and several messages appear implying some configuration/install errors: e.g., "can't find /usr/local/share/freepops/lua/gmail.lua", "can't find ./modules/include/support.lua".

Something missing in the install procedure, looks like to me.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Thanks!
Authored by: jecwobble on Oct 07, '04 11:38:17PM
I don't have a gmail account, but I do have a Yahoo account. I had been using YoSucker in conjuction with fetchmail to get mail from it, but about a month ago it broke. Using FreePOPs, I've got fetchmail grabbing my Yahoo email again!

P.S. - A simpler stop function for the StartupItem would be


/usr/local/FreePOPs/freepopsd -k


[ Reply to This | # ]
Thanks!
Authored by: mysty on Oct 11, '04 08:50:08AM
The gmail tip works great and this yahoo related comment sounds really interesting.

Ive been missing mail client access to my yahoo account for a long time now, and picking up some mails very late as a result.

Is there any chance you could share your fetchmail conf file that works with yahoo/FreePOPs?

Thanks in advance

[ Reply to This | # ]

Details on my setup
Authored by: jecwobble on Nov 07, '04 11:12:08PM
FreePOPs is really easy to configure, actually. In fact, I didn't configure anything. I start FreePOPs with this in a StartupItem file:
freepopsd -p 110 -b 127.0.0.1 -d
And I have this in my fetchmailrc file:
# Yahoo webmail
poll 127.0.0.1
        proto pop3
                
        user "USERNAME@yahoo.com"
        pass "PASSWORD"
        is mylocalusername
        nokeep
        smtphost 127.0.0.1
Where USERNAME is my yahoo user name, PASSWORD is my password for that yahoo email account and mylocalusername is the short name of my OS X account. I don't actually use the loopback IP address of 127.0.0.1 as I have NetInfo configured to recognize an internal domain name that's mapped to my computers local IP address. But I believe 127.0.0.1 should work fine.

If you are not using fetchmail to pull your email down to a local running SMTP server, you can configure you email client of choice with similar settings. Examples can be found here

[ Reply to This | # ]

Check Google's GMail via Apple's Mail.app
Authored by: olorenya on Oct 08, '04 03:41:28AM

works like a charm again bluehz,

one issue is that you have the startupparamtets.plist in the wrong directory, i don't know if it will work where you have it, but it seems like it should be in the /library/startupitems/freepops folder. and it is a bit confusing that one of those is a folder the other two are files.

other that, just wondering why you switched it back to port 110?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Check Google's GMail via Apple's Mail.app
Authored by: bossa nova on Oct 10, '04 11:48:47PM

chyna4xena, mostly I agree with you...

guys (& gals if that applies) I think you are going off a little prematurely.

go to eh' hem' "google" and type in the following search terms:
"Inc Non-Profit"
Please read at least three pages of what you find and then tell me that corporations are bad.

Incorporating is a legal tool that can be used by good people and bad people. I can't believe the sweeping generalizations I am hearing here.

:-) have a nice day!

---
Thanks!

John



[ Reply to This | # ]
It quit working
Authored by: dan55304 on Oct 17, '04 09:46:28PM

I was using this and it just quit working properly. I changed nothing on my system but now all messages are retrieved blank. Did Google break it?



[ Reply to This | # ]