POP3, IMAP and SMTP AUTH for Popular Mail Clients


SDF uses SMTP Authentication to allow remote network clients such as desktop, tablet and phone mail applications to use its SMTP server for the purpose of sending (relaying) e-mail messages. SDF users with the VPM, VHOST and MetaARPA memberships have access to the SMTP server.

Quick Starter Notes

Receiving Email

Sending Email

Please note: the SMTP AUTH secret is set on the command line via mkvpm. The command history of the shell may keep the secret in the history file.

The Mail Client Configurations

  • K-9 Mail for Android
  • Outlook Express under Windows
  • Mail.App under MacOS X
  • Mozilla Thunderbird under Windows
  • Heirloom Mailx under Linux/BSD
  • Postfix MTA on NetBSD 6.x
  • iPhone Mail Application
  • Please note that BlueMail on Android does not support the correct password encryption algorithm, and therefore you cannot set up your SDF email account under BlueMail. The devs have been notified of this bug; if they do fix it, the instructions here will be updated.

    K-9 Mail for Android

    To retrieve mail via IMAP
    imap servermx.sdf.org
    Usernamesdf user name (eg, alan8r)
    AuthenticationNormal password
    Passwordpassword associated with sdf user above

    To send mail, set up SMTP with
    SMTP servermx.sdf.org
    UsernameYour domain name*
    AuthenticationEncrypted password
    Passwordstring set via mkvpm set YOUR_PASSWORD_HERE
    * If you are a Meta-ARPA member and not a VHOST member, this is whatever web domain you've chosen (frequently username.sdf.org@sdf.org). If you're a VHOST member, it's your VHOST domain.

    Outlook Express under Windows

  • Open Outlook Express
  • Tool -> Accounts
  • Click Add -> Mail to start the Account Wizard
  • Display name: Your Name
  • E-Mail address: Your email address (ex. bill@microsoft.com)
  • Select POP3
  • Incoming Mail server: mx.sdf.org
  • Outgoing mail (SMTP) server: mx.sdf.org
  • Account name: Your email address (full email address for VPM and VHOST members, just username for MetaARPA)
  • The wizard will now save, double click on the new configuration under the Mail tab to continue
  • Select the Advanced tab
  • Outgoing mail (SMTP) change from 25 to 587 (not completely necessary, but recommended)
  • Select the Servers tab
  • Check the box 'My server requires authentication, then click Settings
  • Select Log on using:
  • Account name: YOUR DOMAIN NAME (ex. alan8r.sdf.org, traumhost.com)
  • Password: What you set with the mkvpm set secret command at the shell
  • Click 'Apply'

    Mail.App under Macos X

  • Open Mail.app
  • In the Mail menu, select Preferences
  • Click the Accounts tab
  • Select the account on the left you wish to edit
  • On the Account Information tab, find "Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP):"
  • Click the arrows for the dropdown menu, and select Edit Server List...
  • Make sure the server you wish to use is selected in the list, and click on the Advanced tab
  • In the Authentication dropdown, select "MD5 Challenge-Response"
  • Type in your SDF username in User Name field
  • Type in your password in Password field
  • Click ok, and close the Preferences window.

  • Mozilla Thunderbird

    This instructions should work for any recent Thunderbird (version 68 and up)
  • Tools -> Account Settings -> Add Mail Account
  • Your name: Your Name (ex. Bill Gates)
  • Email address: your email address (ex. amrowsell@sdf.org)
  • Password: your normal shell login password
  • Click Continue and then click Manual Config
  • Incoming IMAP
  • Incoming Server Hostname: mx.sdf.org
  • Security: STARTTLS
  • Port: 143
  • Authentication: Normal password
  • Outgoing SMTP (only works if you are MetaARPA or pay for dialup)
  • Outgoing Server Hostname: mx.sdf.org
  • Port 587
  • Security: STARTTLS
  • Authentication: Encrypted password
  • Username: Your domain name, @sdf.org ... for example, amrowsell.sdf.org@sdf.org
  • Click Re-Test and Create Account
  • You will be prompted for your SMTP password the first time you go to send mail. This is the password generated by mkvpm on the command line.

    Heirloom Mailx under Linux/BSD

    Add the following to ~homeuser/.nailrc to set the default SMTP relay:

    # Remote SDF SMTP relaying (use SDF 'mkvpm' tool to set auth user:pw):
    set ssl-verify="ignore"
    set smtp-use-starttls
    set smtp=mx.sdf.org:587
    set smtp-auth=cram-md5
    set smtp-auth-user="sdf_user.sdf.org@sdf.org"
    set smtp-auth-password="my_password"

    The SDF CA is self-signed but can still be used if desired. Retrieve and store
    somewhere (ie. under ~/.openssl/) as pem file, then edit ~homeuser/.nailrc like so:

    set ssl-ca-file="/home/home_user/.openssl/sdf_self-signed_ca.pem"
    set ssl-verify="warn"  # will issue "self-signed CA" warning

    Account-specific smtp settings are possible; see the Heirloom Mailx documentation.

    Postfix MTA using libsaslc(3) on NetBSD 6.x:

  • first, verify that postfix(1) knows about libsaslc :
    % sudo postconf -A
  • create (as superuser) the following postfix config files:


      myhostname = mypc.my.box
      mydomain = my.box
      mynetworks_style = host
      alias_maps = hash:/etc/mail/aliases
      # SMTP client settings: 
      relayhost = [mx.sdf.org]:submission
      smtp_generic_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/generic
      smtp_sasl_auth_enable = yes
      smtp_sasl_password_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/sasl_passwd
      smtp_sasl_security_options = noplaintext, noanonymous
      smtp_sasl_tls_security_options = noanonymous
      ## explicitly allow/prohibit certain SSL protocols:
      #smtp_tls_mandatory_protocols = !SSLv2, !SSLv3, TLSv1
      ## use of "may" option allows fallback to cleartext
      #smtp_tls_security_level = may
      smtp_tls_security_level = encrypt
      smtp_sasl_type = saslc
      # applies to msgs to be delivered off-site
      me@mypc.my.box  sdf_login@sdf.org
    (for security set ownership to root:wheel, permissions to 600)
      [mx.sdf.org]:submission  sdf_login.sdf.org:smtp_passwd
  • hash /etc/postfix/{generic,sasl_passwd}, then check and reload configs:

    % cd /etc/postfix/
    % sudo postmap generic sasl_passwd  # creates generic.db & sasl_passwd.db
    % sudo postfix check                # no output unless errors
    % sudo /etc/rc.d/postfix reload
  • test to verify everything is working correctly:
    % mailx sdf_login@sdf.org
      Subject: test
    % sudo tail -n10 /var/log/maillog | grep smtp        
      Apr 27 08:53:42 mypc postfix/smtp[13387]: A61631F1FDC: to=<sdf_login@sdf.org>, \  
      relay=mx.sdf.org[]:587, delay=3.9, delays=0.02/0/3.7/0.11, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent \
      (250 2.0.0 s3RFrfvZ010436 Message accepted for delivery)

    You should now be set up to use SDF's SMTP server. Enjoy!

    iPhone Mail Application

    This tutorial was written on iOS version 13.3. The exact prompts on other versions may vary.

    1. In Settings, scroll to Passwords & Accounts. Tap Add Account
    2. On the next screen, select Other, then Add Mail Account
    3. Fill in the details (examples below), then tap Next
      1. Name Joe Bleaux
      2. Email jbleaux@sdf.org
      3. Password your SDF password
      4. Description SDF Mail for Joe Bleaux (or whatever floats your boat)
    4. You will need to fill in pretty much all the details by hand.
      1. For Incoming Mail Server section:
        1. Hostname mx.sdf.org
        2. Username jbleaux
        3. Password your SDF password
      2. For Outgoing Mail Server (MetaARPA Users Only!)
        1. Hostname mx.sdf.org
        2. Username jbleaux.sdf.org@sdf.orgThis will be the URL you have set up if you have a custom one. If not, then model it after this example.
        3. Password your SDF password
    5. Click Save on the next screen.
    6. Select the account from the Passwords & Accounts screen. On the next screen, Tap Account (which will show your username (jbleaux@sdf.org)
    7. Scroll down and click Advanced.
    8. Under Incoming Settings, tap to enable Use SSL, and for Server Port, put 993.
    9. Tap SMTP (Under Outgoing Mail Server), to view outgoing mail options, then tap the Primary Server (should be mx.sdf.org. Change Authentication to MD5 Challenge-Response. Click Done at the top.
    10. Tap <Account at the top to go back, then tap Done.
    You should be sending and receiving your SDF mail on your iPhone!

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