The (partial) text of a posting I just made. I post it here because I talk about Thunderbird and putty, but the concept applies well to any OS capable of running both an SSH client and an MUA.

First of all, none of this will apply directly if you don't use Thunderbird and putty on a Windows machine (or Thunderbird and an invocation of Terminal on a Mac). I use the same trick to be able to send email wirelessly from anywhere on campus, since I always forget which mail servers are allowed to be connected to after authentication.

This ought to work with any machine on which you have an interactive login available and which also has SMTP listening, at least locally.

Hrm. I see that student.cs does not have a local SMTP listener. Perhaps you do need to set up the two-part tunnel, as you described. Doh, sorry. There may not be an undergrad-environment machine fulfilling these requirements... I cheat, I'm staff so I have access to other machines. smile

Perhaps somebody else will post an undergrad machine that fulfils the requirements, I know very little about the undergrad environment since I'm not required to support it. The environments I do support (grad students & faculty) usually do have research group machines that have SMTP daemons listening.

Assuming you can find a suitable machine...

First thing is to configure putty. The only part that's at all interesting is Connection | SSH | Tunnels. Under the bit that says "Add a new forwarded port", put "25" under source port and "hostname:25" under destination port. You can use some other port number for the source if you like, but it makes things a bit easier in the next step if you don't. (You can also choose "Local ports accept connections from other hosts" if you run a LAN at home. Then only one machine needs to set up the tunnel, and the others can use it. I wouldn't recommend it if you don't entirely trust your roommates though, or if you have a wireless router that you haven't secured to the 9s. If you do have a wireless router, I'd recommend using some local port other than 25. I don't, but I'm reasonably certain that my Powerbook is the only machine that can ever see my base station. smile )

Configuring Thunderbird is easy. Tools | Account Settings, then Outgoing Server, "localhost" for Server name, and whatever port number you chose for the local listener (25, in my case).

Then before sending email, open up putty and connect away.

As I said, I use a similar trick on my Powerbook. Thunderbird gets set up the same way, and I just have an alias "mssh":

ssh -l mpatters -L9025:uwaterloohost:25 uwaterloohost

For 9025, substitute whatever local port number you choose to use.

Note that OS X's ssh client (and probably any OpenSSH client) will complain if you try to open multiple SSH tunnels like this (ie, you minimise Terminal, forget it's there, then open up another and type mssh, not that I've ever done that myself...) I can't speak for other Windows SSH clients either, but putty doesn't seem to mind.

-- MikePatterson - 06 Oct 2004

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Topic revision: r3 - 2006-02-08 - IsaacMorland
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