Thunderbird 2.x for Macintosh (old)

Summary: This document provides specific instructions on how to configure Thunderbird for use with UW email, directory, and news services. These examples were done with Thunderbird version 1.5.

Installing Thunderbird

Thunderbird is available for free download.

Thunderbird Under OS 8-9

Thunderbird requires Mac OS X. There is no version (nor will there be) for Mac OS 8-9.

Configuring Thunderbird for Use With UW Email and News

After you have successfully installed Thunderbird, you need to take the steps below to configure Thunderbird to read or send email, or to access network news.

To configure Thunderbird for Use With UW Email and News:

Be sure your computer has an active Internet connection. If your computer uses a modem to dial in and establish a PPP connection (e.g., using "Internet Connect"), be sure to dial in BEFORE you run Thunderbird.

Creating Your UW Account in Thunderbird

Run Thunderbird and select Mail & Newsgroups from the Window menu. If you have NO accounts currently defined, Thunderbird might automatically bring up the "add account" wizard, but, if not, click an existing account, then under Accounts, click Create a new account. (You can also use Mail & Newsgroups Account Settings under the Edit menu then Add Account.)

Any method you use should bring you to a page similar to the one pictured below. Use this "wizard" to start setting up your account. Note: There will be more steps for you to take later, because the wizard does NOT give you access to all the options

tbmac_wizard1

  1. StepsActions
  2. Select Email account, then click Continue to go the next page, pictured below.

    tbmac_wizard2

  3. For Your Name, enter your full name.
  4. For Email Address, enter your "@u.washington.edu" email address (that is, YOUR UW NetID plus "@u.washington.edu").
  5. Continue to the next page, pictured below.

    tbmac_wizard3

  6. Select IMAP.
  7. For Incoming Server, enter your IMAP server as your_uwnetid.deskmail.washington.edu where your_uwnetid is replaced by YOUR real UW NetID.
  8. For Outgoing Server, enter "smtp.washington.edu", unless you are using a non-UW Internet connection and wish to use the SMTP server provided by your ISP.
  9. Continue to the next page, pictured below.

    tbmac_wizard3

  10. For both Incoming and Outgoing User Name, enter your UW NetID.
  11. Continue to the next page.
  12. This page asks only for a local Account Name (what Thunderbird will use to label the account WITHIN Thunderbird), you can use anything you like (e.g., "My UW email").
  13. Continue to the last page.
  14. Click Done.

    HOWEVER you are NOT finished with the account (yet).

  15. Click your (new) UW email account in the left column of the Thunderbird Mail window, then click View settings for this account (under Accounts), to bring up a page similar to the one pictured below.

    tbmac_setup1

  16. Click Server Settings under your account to bring up a page similar to the one pictured below.

    tbmac_setup2

  17. Select the option to Use secure connection (SSL).
  18. Select the option to Check for new messages at startup.
  19. Turn OFF (deselect) the option to Check for new messages every (some number of) minutes.
  20. To have Thunderbird use the same Delete/Expunge behavior as Alpine, under Server Settings, select Mark It as deleted from the pop-up list next to When I delete a message, and also select Clean up ("Expunge") Inbox on Exit.
  21. Click Advanced... to bring up a page similar to the one pictured below.

    tbmac_setup3

  22. For the IMAP server directory, enter "mail".
  23. Turn OFF (deselect) the option to show only subscribed folders (at least for now, after you've "subscribed" to some you may want it back on).
  24. Select the option that the server supports sub-folders.
  25. Select the option to use IDLE.
  26. Leave the boxes next to ALL the "namespaces" empty (blank) and turn OFF (deselect) the option to Allow server to override these namespaces. Warning: Failure to do this can result in lost data!
  27. Click OK to close this window (you return to the Server Settings).
  28. Click Outgoing Server (SMTP) under your account to bring up a page similar to the one pictured below.

    tbmac_setup4

  29. Click Add to bring up a page similar to the one pictured below.

    tbmac_setup5

  30. For Server name, enter "smtp.washington.edu".
  31. For Port, enter "587".
  32. Select the option to Use name and password.
  33. For User name, enter your UW NetID.
  34. Select the option to use TLS, if available.
  35. Click OK to close the account settings window.

Thunderbird is now MINIMALLY configured and should be able to read your UW email, find folders you've created in Alpine, and send mail.

Reading Your UW Email in Thunderbird

Click Inbox under your UW email account in the left column of the Thunderbird Mail window.

At this point enough of the configuration should be done to let Thunderbird find your Inbox and folders (if any) on the UW email server. When you've closed the account configuration panel, you should see a new "UW" account in the column to the left of the messages window. Click the INBOX under that to open your UW email inbox (you should be prompted for a password). Your UW email folders will appear. This may take some time, especially if you have a large inbox, lots of folders, and/or a slow connection. The list of messages in your Inbox appears in the right pane, it should look something like the picture below.

tbmac_mailworking

Optional Configuration Information

Configuring Thunderbird and Alpine to Share Folders

By setting the Account Prefix Path to mail you've already got Thunderbird and Alpine (Web Alpine, etc.) looking at the same starting place for folders. You should probably also configure Thunderbird so that it uses the same folder Alpine does for copies of sent mail.

To configure Thunderbird and Alpine to Share Folders:

Note: Perform this configuration ONLY AFTER getting the basic Thunderbird configuration above done and seeing a list of your UW email folders from within Thunderbird.

  1. If it isn't already running, run Thunderbird (be sure you have an active Internet connection first...).
  2. Click your UW email account in the left column of the Thunderbird Mail window, then click View settings for this account (under Accounts).
  3. Click Copies and Folders under your account to bring up a page similar to the one pictured below.

    tbmac_sent-mail

  4. Under When sending messages, automatically: select Place a copy in, then select Other, and (from the pop-up list next to that) select your sent-mail folder on your UW email account.
  5. Click OK.

Note: Thunderbird and Alpine(s) cannot usefully keep a shared "Drafts" folder, so you can put the Thunderbird Drafts wherever you like. The default ("Drafts" on your UW email account) is fine, and makes the Drafts folder available to different Thunderbird sessions.

Configuring Thunderbird to Use the UW Directory (LDAP)

To configure Thunderbird to Use the UW Directory (LDAP):

  1. If it isn't already running, run Thunderbird (be sure you have an active Internet connection first).
  2. From Window, select Mail & Newsgroups.
  3. Click your UW email account (ABOVE the inbox for this account) in the left column of the Thunderbird Mail window, then click View settings for this account (under Accounts).
  4. Click Composition and Addressing under your account to bring up a page similar to the one pictured below.

    tbmac_LDAP1

  5. Turn OFF (deselect) the option to Compose messages in HTML (only send using HTML when you have confirmed with your recipient that this is acceptable).
  6. Under When looking up addresses, select Use a different LDAP server, then click Edit Directories to bring up a page similar to the one pictured below.

    tbmac_LDAP2

  7. Click Add to bring up a page similar to the one pictured below.

    tbmac_LDAP3

  8. For Name, enter any label you prefer (e.g., "UW Directory").
  9. For Hostname, enter directory.washington.edu
  10. For BaseDN, enter o=University of Washington, c=US
  11. Click OK (to close the "add directory" window).
  12. Click OK (to close the "edit directories" window).
  13. Optionally, you can now select the UW directory from the pop-up list next to "Use a different LDAP server".
  14. Click OK (to close the "Accounts settings" window).

Now that the UW LDAP directory is defined in Thunderbird there are several ways to use it. Here's one way:

  1. From Window, select Address Book.
  2. In the Address Book window, click Search Addresses (under the Edit menu), to bring up a page similar to the one pictured below.

    tbmac_LDAP4

  3. In the top/left corner be sure you have the UW Directory selected in the pop-up list under Search in.
  4. Customize the search as desired (if needed) and enter the text to be searched for in the text box. Click Search to conduct the search. Results are returned in a list in the bottom pane. Select the desired entry and click Compose to compose a message to that address.

Converting Your Alpine Address Book

There is currently no single easy and reliable method to convert Alpine address books to Thunderbird.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why am I getting warnings about Kerberos?
    Kerberos is a authentication system used by some programs. If you do not have any programs using Kerberos, Thunderbird may give you warnings when you send email even though Kerberos is not needed for Thunderbird to work. If you get these warnings, do the following:
    • Pull down the Thunderbird menu and click Preferences. A settings window will appear.
    • Click the Advanced icon in the top of the Preferences window and then click the General tab.
    • In the bottom right, click the Config Editor button.
    • Do the following:
      1. In the Filter box at the top, enter "trySecAuth". A line beginning with "mail.smtpserver.default.trySecAuth" will display. The value in the right column is probably set to "true".
      2. Double-click the row to set it to false.

Last modified: January 21, 2014