Can users with appropriate email clients running on Unix/Linux access their
Domino–hosted mail? Of course they can, if the Domino administrator enables
IMAP access and ideally also SMTP and LDAP access. Lotus Notes mail files have
to be IMAP–enabled by running a
load convert –e _mail/file.nsf_ for each of
the Notes users that should have IMAP access. This utility adds additional
references to the mail file which allow the IMAP task to access it. As soon as
the conversion process terminates, I can check access as long as I know what
my user name and password are. The user name by which Internet protocols
authenticate a user depend on the Internet Authentication setting on the
Security tab of the Server's document in the Domino Directory. As soon as I
have all my details, I telnet into the Domino IMAP server, as long as nobody
is looking over my shoulder (password visible):
$ telnet domi.fupps.com 143 Trying 192.168.44.1... Connected to domi.fupps.com (192.168.44.1). Escape character is '^]'. * OK Domino IMAP4 Server Release 6.5.4 ready Thu, 5 Jul 2007 21:13:09 +0200 . login email@example.com password . OK LOGIN completed . logout * BYE logging out . OK LOGOUT completed Connection closed by foreign host.
That looks good. Will SMTP also work?
$ telnet domi.fupps.com 25 Connected to domi.fupps.com (192.168.44.1). Escape character is '^]'. 220 domi.fupps.com ESMTP Service (Lotus Domino Release 6.5.4) ready at Thu, 5 Jul 2007 21:16:14 +0200 quit 221 domi.fupps.com SMTP Service closing transmission channel Connection closed by foreign host.
That looks equally good. Now I can get started. I'll be using Mutt in these samples, but almost any standards–compliant client be it graphical or text–based will work. Some examples are Thunderbird, or the always popular Pine, or even Net::IMAP, if I am so inclined. :-) Oh, and before I forget, most of these programs are available for Cygwin, so if I want to use them on Windows, I can go right ahead. Suppose I have a Lotus Domino shop with a number of Linux clients and I want to use Mutt as a mailer on one of these, I can set up Mutt to access my Lotus Notes mail via IMAP thusly in my .muttrc:
set my_serv = domi.fupps.com set spoolfile=imap://$USER@$my_serv/INBOX set folder=imap://$USER@$my_serv/ set mail_check=10 fcc-hook .* "imap://$USER@$my_serv/Sent"
(Note that the user–defined variables set my__ are a newer feature of Mutt;
if you have an older version, either replace the text in your .muttrc or
ensure your environment contains the variable; Mutt imports them.) Mutt's
fcc-hook is very powerful and is fully documented. What I'm doing above is
telling Mutt to store all sent messages into the Sent folder of my IMAP
server. Read my lips: I said: "Sent folder". I didn't say: "Sent View". This
means, that if I access my mail file with a Notes client and search my Sent
view, I won't find the messages I sent off though Unix, because they've been
ferreted away in the Sent folder. Apart from this detail, my
IMAP client can access any shared folders I have in my Notes client, and it
can create new ones as well. Mutt has typically required a
sendmail–compatible interface on the machine in order to deliver mail,
but since version 1.5.15, mutt has SMTP support built right into it. On
systems which don't have Exim or a different mailer on them, Mutt can
be configured to deliver messages through a smart host providing it is willing
to accept messages. (E)SMTP support must be enabled when Mutt is built with
the ––enable–smtp switch to configure, and I recommend adding
––enable–imap and ––with–ssl ––enable–hcache at the same time. Adding
outgoing SMTP is easy: the variable $smtp_url_ contains the scheme, an
optional user and password and the server name of the SMTP server in the form
smtp[s]://[user[:pass]@host[:port]/. So if the SMTP server doesn't require
authentication, a simple
set smtp_url = "smtp://$my_server"
will suffice. To enable SMTP AUTH add the user to the variable:
set smtp_url = "smtp://$USER@$my_server"
As soon as the first outgoing SMTP connection is attempted, Mutt will prompt
for the password. In order to avoid the prompting, I could add my password in
the .muttrc, but I don't want my password stored in clear text somewhere on
the file system. Adding support for querying an LDAP directory (on Domino: the
Domino Directory) is a bit more complex. It entails utilizing Mutt's
query_command to enable an external program to query the LDAP directory and
return results which Mutt then displays to the user. The query command is
invoked when I type a
Q in one of the address fields, or when I type a
partial name followed by CTL-T to have the name expanded.
set query_command = "/home/jpm/bin/lquery '%s'"
%s in above command is replaced by the string I'm searching for. I've
quoted it to protect it from being expanded by the shell, when Mutt invokes
the command. The program itself can do most anything, including of course
querying an LDAP server. The output of the program is simple: the first line
is read but ignored by Mutt and the resulting lines should contain a TAB
delimited list of email address, name and optionally a comment (perhaps a
telephone number or department number, etc.). A numer of online resources
explain this topic very well: the QueryCommand page in the Mutt
Wiki and a Perl program.