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Using SCS Webmail

SCS maintains a "Webmail" service that offers easy access to your IMAP account. This interface provides a simple and secure way to read your email from untrusted hosts or hosts without an IMAP client.

The SCS Webmail system incorporates a few new and useful features:

  • The ability to mark mailboxes for auto-expiration of messages after a specified number of days
  • Integration of the Websieve filter-script editor

Logging in to SCS Webmail

WebISO login The SCS Webmail server, http://webmail.cs.cmu.edu/, is protected by CMU's WebISO authentication service. To support Kerberos instances for Webmail authentication, SCS Computing Facilities has created an SCS instance of WebISO. This arrangement provides the same functionality as, but is separate from the more familiar Andrew WebISO run by campus Computing Services.

If you do not hold current WebISO authentication credentials when you access the Webmail system, you will automatically be redirected to the SCS WebISO server.

Connecting from a Trusted Host

If you are accessing SCS Webmail from a trusted host (your desktop workstation, for example) you can login to WebISO with your standard Kerberos username and password.

Connecting from an Untrusted Host

Untrusted Host If you are accessing SCS Webmail from an untrusted host (a Web kiosk, a cluster machine, or other public host, for example), it is highly recommended that you use your Kerberos /mail instance to log in to WebISO. Select the "/mail" radio button in the "Instance" field of the WebISO login page and enter your /mail instance password in the "Password" field.

If you do not have a /mail instance, you can create one using the SCS Kerberos Instance Management application.

New Features

Message auto-expiration

The IMAP server now offers users the ability to configure individual mailboxes to remove messages automatically after a specified period. Messages in each mailbox with an expiration setting will be deleted when their age exceeds the expiration limit. The SCS Webmail system includes an interface for managing these settings.

Caveats:

  • Even unread messages will be deleted once they are older than the expiration date. Do not set expirations on infrequently-checked mailboxes that are likely to contain unread messages for extended periods.
  • The server uses the "Date:" header determine message age. Messages with a "Date:" header in the future will not be deleted until after the bogus date plus the expiration time passes. Conversely, messages with an incorrect "Date:" header in the past may be deleted sooner than expected. Since most messages with wildly incorrect "Date:" headers tend to be spam, this mechanism should not cause a problem for most users.
  • The interface deliberately prevents you from setting an expiration period on your "INBOX." If you have a specific need for that arrangement (for example, you regularly file all mail into to subfolders and your "INBOX" contains only unimportant or unwanted mail), please contact the SCS HelpDesk, <help+@cs.cmu.edu> or x8-4231. Because of the chance that you may unexpectedly be away from your email for a long period of time, we don't advise this practice and will enable it only at your own risk.

Set new exp The expiration options interface is available via the Webmail menubar's "Options" link. From there, choose the "Message Expiration Options" item.

The lower, "Current Expiration Settings" window lists mail folders for which you currently have expirations set. The default is no expiration, so this window will initially be empty. To set or reset an expiration, select the mailbox folder from the dropdown menu in the upper "Set New Expiration" window, enter a value (default 30 days) in the "Expire after" field, and click "Set."

A status message will confirm that the expiration has been set on the mailbox.

Confirm rm To remove an expiration from a mailbox, click the "Remove" button in the lower table next to the expiration setting you wish to remove.

Again, a status message will confirm that the expiration setting has been removed.

Websieve Editor

SCS Webmail service now incorporates the "Websieve" filter-script editor, also available separately. From the Webmail interface, click the "Filters" link in the menu bar at page top, and the Websieve editor will pop open in a new browser window (IE) or tab (Firefox).

Note that, in its current version, the "Filters" page will show the "Enable Spam Filtering" box unchecked, even if you have activated that option. Confirm your actual setting by proceeding to the "Advanced Mail Filtering" page.

Additional Resources

See the Sieve in the Corvid Environment page for further detail on this system.

The following links will open in a new browser window:

SquirrelMail Webmail client
Home page for the standards-based package on which SCS Webmail is based
Kerberos Instance Manager
Using the SCS interface for managing Kerberos instances