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Re: Newbie comments & queries

On Tue, Dec 11, 2001 at 10:58:03PM +0200, Ian Balchin wrote:
| dman, Brenda, Karsten, & others, hi, 
| following quite heavy complaints about my long-running Subject 
| line I changed it but have lost all help in the process, so am 
| posting this again under the original offending subject line.

Sorry, I've postponed responding to your message.

| I have got so far and can get no further.  I have installed mutt, 
| exim, fetchmail, wvdial (and also diald which I see running in 
| top) but no ways can I get an email in or out to my dial up ISP.
| The comments follow on from dman's email.
| I ran eximconfig again, correctly, and am sure there is no problem 
| there. 

If you run exim from the shell and enter a message, does it get
delivered?  For example :

$ exim fables@imaginet.co.za 
From: me <myaddr@myhost>
Subject: test message

yo, can I see this?


(where ^D is End-Of-File, entered by pressing Ctrl-D on your keyboard)

exim should then send this message to the address (given in the
command line).  You should then be able to check that you receive this
message.  If so, then exim is set up fine.  (This is the same way in
which mutt sends messages, via a pipe)

| > The "visible" mail name of your system should be the same as "echo
| > $HOST".  Don't worry about it too much, just don't pick the name
| > of your ISP (or some other real server).  
| looking at set i have no $HOST so gave hephaestus which is the 
| machine name (I have $HOSTNAME which is perhaps what you meant?) 

Oops.  Something like that :-).  The "hostname" command will also tell
you the name of the machine you are on.

| > First you need to tell mutt which host.  Edit ~/.muttrc for that.
| > Instead I use fetchmail for retrieving the mail.
| OK, then that will be good enough for me, fetchmail seems to be 
| the standard anyway. Having decided on fetchmail, no need to edit 
| .Muttrc, right? 


| I wrote the .fetchmailrc file.  Then I wondered where to put it.  
| The /usr/share/doc/fetchmail/sample.rc file states 
| 1.  put in your home directory (ie. /home/ian)

Yes.  All user "dotfiles" (files whose name starts with '.') go in
your home directory.

| 2.  permissions should not be greater than -rw-------  (0600) 

This is so that fetchmail knows that no one else on the system has
tampered with it (perhaps they stole your password, or told it to
deliver all messages to the bit-bucket, or to themself).

| POP# connection to imail.imaginet.co.za failed: temporary name 
| server error fetchmail: Query status=2 (SOCKET) 

Are you connected to the network?  Do you have DNS set up
(/etc/resolv.conf)?  If the "host" command
(eg "host imail.imaginet.co.za") gives you the same error, then you
need to set up DNS first (or get the IP and specify the IP instead of
the name in your fetchmail config, I recommend setting up DNS, it
isn't hard).

| mutt sill says "POP host is not defined" when I try and send the 
| mail. 

No.  POP hosts are used when _getting_, not sending mail.  And of
course no POP host has been defined, you didn't set the "pop_host" (or
whatever it is) in your .muttrc.

To send a mail, press "m".  Then enter the information (To, Subject,
message body).  When you finish editing the message you'll get a
screen that summarizes the message (the primary headers and the
various mime section(s)).  Press "y" here to actually send the
message.  As stated before, mutt considers the send successful if exim
accepts it.  mutt has no knowledge of whether or not the message gets
to the intended destination(s).

| > There is an internal arrangement, but it is not obvious just by
| > seeing some program names.
| OK, so in mutt I can send the mail, but how do I get it.

In mutt you aren't going to be "get"ing the mail, just reading it.
Some MDA (exim or procmail or a combination) will deliver (hence the D
in MDA) your mail to the specified folders.  If you have a "normal",
basic setup, the mail will all go to /var/spool/mail/<user>.  If you
run "mutt" (no arguments) it opens that folder by default.

| Does this automatically get done at the same time 

Unlike some systems (eg juno) "get" and "send" and "read" are separate
operations that are performed independently of each other, and by
separate programs.  mutt does the "read".  It allows you to compose a
message, which is ultimately sent by exim.  fetchmail allows you to
get the mail (if your machine is not a 24/7 server like your ISPs
machine is).

| or do I have to run fetchmail

you have to run fetchmail

| and dial in a second time to have this done?

only if you hung up the first time.  When you dial, you are creating a
pipe (or a hose, if you want to make an analogy to water) through
which data can flow.  That pipe doesn't care how much data is sent
through it, or what that data means.  You can stay connected as long
as you want (and the other side doesn't hang up on you) and do as many
fetches and sends as you wish.

| How, with diald (or wvdial) + mutt + exim + fetchmail do I make the
| process of sending and collecting mail from imaginet a simple
| one-time operation? 

You can put scripts that invoke fetchmail and exim in /etc/ppp/ip-up.d
(or something like that).  Those scripts will be run automatically
when the link is brought up ('pon').  This lets you automatically send
any messages exim has queued and retrieve any messages your ISP is
holding for you.

| With diald running something should fire this up automagically on 
| demand. 

If you setup diald correctly (I never did, and it wasn't that
important to me) then it will dial anytime some process tries to
access the network.  That is, if you run fetchmail (or exim) it will

| When i run wvdial it connects to my ISP and then seems to do the 
| right things, entering into ppp negotiation.  Then that is as far 
| as it goes, it stays there hogging the screen. It ends up with...
| PPP session from .......
| --> PPP negotiation detected
| --> Starting pppd at <the date>
| and it stays there, so how do I enter into another program to send 
| or fetch mail.  Cannot be right.

It is right.  wvdial dials.  It did that.  This is like connecting a
hose to the water spigot at the back of your house.  The hose is
there, but the hose can't take itself over to the garden and turn the
water on :-).

In another shell (or if you dialed and got your shell back, I don't
remember if wvdial forks to the background or not) run an app that
uses the network (eg fetchmail, exim, links, wget, telnet, whatever).

| > Do you have a login on the server?  My school runs Solaris, so I
| > just log in to that machine and do all my mail there instead of on
| > my debian box. If you use fetchmail, it won't give you the IMAP
| > benefit of server-side folders.  mutt has some support for IMAP,
| > but I've never used it.
| I am not sure that I understand you here.  

Solaris is another Unix operating system (similar, but different
enough from Debian).  I can log in to it from any machine with ssh (or
telnet, but some of the machines aren't running telnetd) just as if I
was sitting at the keyboard and monitor in the lab.  Some ISPs will
provide a shell, but I don't think many do.  When machines have
permanent connections, it is great.  Just think, you can do all your
work from home, just as if you were in the lab, and it makes no
difference.  (try and do that with windows!)



The Lord detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
        Proverbs 16:7

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