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11.9 Configuring a Linux Mail Client

Having installed configured and started the Postfix system it is now time to set up a mail client so that you can send and receive email messages. 

For this example we are going to use the Evolution email client as the example. Evolution is a powerful email client that is styled to a large extent on the Microsoft Outlook tool.

When you first start up Evolution (which can be run from  the command-line or from the GNOME Desktop menu) for the first time you will be presented with a set up wizard that will take you through the configuration process. 

The Identity screen will ask for information about your email account. You will need to provide the following information:

  • Your full name (what gets displayed in the “From” field of the email client of any person who receives email from you.
  • Your email address. Typically you will use domain that was set up in the main.cf file. For example [email protected].

Once you have filled in these fields click “Next” to proceed to the next stage of configuration which is where we tell Evolution how to pick up received mail. The default configuration for Postfix is to place email in a /var/spool/mail/<login id>. For example if your log in ID on the system is john your email will be placed in a file called /var/spool/mail/john. 

On the Evolution “Receive Mail” screen, therefore, we need to change the “Server Type” to “Standard UNIX mbox spool or directory”. The wizard should then fill in the correct location of the mailbox for your account.

The final step is to tell the Evolution mail client how to send mail. Press “Forward” on the “Receive Mail” screen to move to the “Sending Mail” setup screen. On this screen change the “Server Type” to SMTP and set the “Host” field to the same setting used for the myhostname option in the /etc/postfix/main.cf file.
 
All being well you should now be able to send and receive mail. If you encounter any problems check the mail log file on your system as described earlier and you should be able to perform an internet search for the error message to find many places where the solution is described.

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