There are several ways to get and send email at SDF, but the different options depend on your membership(s) here. This guide is intended to describe the options simply and clearly, by membership level
Here are the membership levels that matter for email (see SDF join page for more details):
validateat shell) or by finding a MetaARPA member to validate you
*VHOST includes VPM
The differences of the above accounts, besides the cost, is that VPM, VHOST and MetaARPA are annual memberships, so require continuing support of SDF, while User and ARPA are lifetime memberships, and only require payment once.
By default your E-mail Address is your SDF username, which by default works with a couple of domain names (you can also choose the domain you would like to use from the list of SDF domain names).
So if your username is “coffee” you can try sending yourself a mail with your existing E-mail account to:
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then you can try to read it.
Ways to read and send your SDF mail include the following:
You can always access your SDF mail account through any of several email programs installed on the server. All of these emails access your “mail spool”, where your email is put by the mail server.
mutt is available even to Pre-validated Users. Just type
mutt at the command prompt. Here's How to Use mutt
Other programs, including pine, alpine, mailx and rmail are available to any Validated User or ARPA or MetaARPA. Pine and Alpine are related programs (Pine is older, Alpine is newer) that are both frequently considered to be the easiest shell email programs to use, with on-screen help and a menu interface. Enter
alpine respectively to run either of these. You can find more info on how to use them at E-mail Beginners.
For users at the User level, to learn about your limited allowed space and the significance of the mail spool, see the difference between using mutt and alpine here: mutt and alpine and the spool. This also may be useful if you use both a shell mail client and webmail interchangeably.
There are two webmail interfaces:
If you want to use an email program running on your computer or phone or tablet or other device to access your SDF mail, things get a little more complicated. At different membership levels, you have a different set of options for both getting (“fetching”) or sending your mail.
Basically, While User or ARPA can read mail on their own machines or devices, these memberships don't allow you to send email from your own computer/device email client through SDF. You can, however, use your ISP to send mail from non-SDF-based email clients that will be “from” your SDF account.
There are two ways to read your incoming email using a client mail program. You can choose either, except if you are using virtual mailboxes with a VPM membership, in which case your only option is POP3:
(from the POP3/IMAP email faq)
The mail server to connect to for POP3 is
wm.sdf.org. The rest of the POP3 settings should be:
See this guide for setting up IMAP
IMAP settings should be:
As mentioned above, there are two different paths for sending SDF mail from an email client on your computer or other device, depending on your membership level.
If you want to use SDF's outgoing mail server, you need to either use an email client from your shell account, or pay annual dues for any of VPM, VHOST or MetaArray, and follow the direction in the next section.
If you are at the User or ARPA level and want to reply to email on your local client that you receive via methods above, you need a mail client that supports having a different server for incoming and out-going mail. Some Android default mail clients, for example, will not do this (K-9 Mail for Android–see the app store–is a client that will definitely work).
After you've set up your email client to receive mail (see above), the next thing you need to do is figure out the outgoing mail server that your computer or device's ISP provides.
For example, if you are with Comcast on your computer at home, you can set up POP3 or IMAP in your favorite mail client as described above to read your SDF mail, and use your Comcast mail SMTP server (outgoing mail server) to send mail “from” your SDF account. On your phone, you can do the same, except you would use Verizon/Sprint/T-mobile's SMTP server (you may have to look up how if you don't know it) for sending messages “from” your SDF account.
Next, you can follow the directions in setting up mail clients, but you'll have to replace the values for the settings with those of your ISP's outgoing SMTP server.
If you are MetaARPA, or if you have paid for VPM or VHOST, you can use the SDF SMTP servers to send mail from your computers and devices. Please see setting up mail clients, and use the settings values there.