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Setting up your personal email account

All your emails at Example orga is accessed from your user account at mail.example.org

As a user at Example orga, you can use your [[account]] to send and receive emails.

All emails you receive will end in your account at mail.example.org. You can access them using either a web browser or a dedicated email application.

Special strings

NB! This documentation includes the following special strings used e.g. when generating a documentation website:

organisation: Example orga mailhost: mail.example.org domain: example.org

contact_sysadmins: contact sysadmins


Your account name is used as your default email address - i.e. if your account is janedoe then you have the email address janedoe@example.org.

You can have additional addresses. Please contact sysadmins if you need that.

All emails sent to you will be received at your personal account, no matter which of your email addresses was used.


You can access your emails via a web browser - also called a webmail webapp - at the website https://mail.example.org/.

Using webmail is simpler since you only need to know its web address, but can be less secure and less efficient than using a real email application.


You can access your emails via a dedication application installed on your system.

Using a "real" email application requires a bit of setup, but works faster and more reliable. It is also less of a burden on the server.

If you have a computer of your own, please consider using a "real" email application in favor of webmail.

  1. Download Mozilla Thunderbird

    (!) Other email programs work too, but Mozilla Thunderbird is considered most reliable, while still both userfriendly and free.

  2. Create an "imap" account

    (!) The alternative, pop3 (suggested by default in many applications), is less flexible - e.g. does not work well concurrently with webmail access to your emails.

  3. Use your provided username and mail.example.org as both incoming and outgoing server

  4. Enable encryption for incoming mail (imap or pop3):

    • Enable "TLS" (also called "SSL" or "secure connection")
  5. Enable encryption for outgoing mail (smtp):

    1. Enable "TLS" (also called "SSL" or "secure connection")
    2. Change port number from the standard 25 to 465 (Mozilla Thunderbird does this automatically)
    3. Enable authentication, using same username and password as for your incoming mail

    /!\ Avoid "secure passwords") - it does not work together with TLS.

Many email applications help you setting up your account using a "wizard". Unfortunately security setup is often left out from such routines.
If you are guided by a wizard, you therefore afterwards need to manually check that the configuration produced match the above instructions.

/!\ Some applications stash away security options (TLS, password etc.) below "advanced settings" or similar.

Special quirks with Apple Mail

The default setting for some versions of Apple Mail is to leave a copy of all your emails on the server, even when deleted in the application.

If you use Apple Mail, you need to avoid filling up your [[allowed disk space|quota/intro]] by changing that behaviour:

  1. Open "Mail"
  2. Go to Preferences > Accounts > Advanced
  3. Check "remove copy from server after retrieving a message"

External links

The help texts at riseup.net is generally good, as their system works much like this. Just remember to use mail.example.org whenever "mail.riseup.net" is mentioned.