SCS Email Plans - 2021

We have been discussing for some time now the elimination of CS Mail services. What exactly that will look like and how we will replace some of those existing services is still to be fully determine. Here we will document the issues and create a plan.


Sometime around 2012 CSACF Management discussed moving away from CS mail as our service to clients and move to the campus "Connect" system using Microsoft Exchange. There was a desire to have more centralized email ad to reduce the amount of effort CS IT staff needed to spend to keep a modern email service up-to-date.

Services currently provided by our CS mail servers

  • receive mail sent to
    • this includes a large number of "aliases" and "mailing lists", "spam-assasin" and "procmail" services
  • allow users to store and read email on CS general-use machines
    • imap and direct access
  • send out mail from users on our linux.cs and linux.student.cs servers (and other general CS servers)
  • process system log messages for use by internal systems
  • run CGI programs for particular software services, eg:
    • ST (Service Tracker)
    • Inventory?
    • User's own web scripts in public_html

Existing relevant RT/ST items

Master RT for this project:

Other relevant tickets:

Suggested future plans

What do we want to provide into the future?
  • no more handling email@cs
  • no more handling email@student.cs
  • system email would be switched to a private email service with on-campus access only
  • redirect all @cs email to (IST handle MX for @cs and @student.cs as well )
  • system email server setup for internal purposes only (no off-campus access)

Proposed email plan for Director and Exec

Executive Summary

CSCF proposes shutting down the current mail.cs and mail.student.cs mail services and move handling of all email to IST. We are seeking CS Exec approval to proceed. The proposed timeline is to have that completed by July 2021.


Several years ago there was a move to centralize email services to those provided by IST. We have worked to move the majority of CS users off of the mail services provided by CSCF and moved those to the campus email service. However, there are a number of lingering issues we need to address so we propose the following plans and look to CS Exec to support these moves. Continuing to provide the existing service requires spending time supporting that service, whereas that time could be better spent supporting other services.

Since then, we have also migrated all of the School's mailing lists from using the CS mail service to the campus mailing list server. See:

Current state

We currently accept all mail destined for and We then process those according to rules on our servers. We handle a large number of mail aliases and mailing lists. This requires configuring our systems to handle spam, hacking, anti-virus, denial-of-service and many other issues.

We also use our mail server to handle in-house system mail for services such as logging system information and in-house software tools.

Proposed plan

We propose that we, in CSCF, no longer handle email directed to or but instead have IST handle all email directed to those addresses. For users whose userid@cs matches their WatIam userid, their mail will be handled as if it was sent to Therefore, email sent to would continue to work.

Any remaining users who currently read or process their mail on CS servers would need to migrate to reading their email or setting processing rules using campus-provided tools.

Any remaining mailing lists would need to be migrated to or other mailing list services.

We would setup a separate server to handle in-house system needs. It would not allow any incoming mail from off-campus, thus greatly simplifying setup and maintenance.

Transition plan

  1. Get approval from CS Exec to proceed (April 2021)
  2. Meet with IST to discuss handling of @cs mail services (April 2021)
  3. Announcement to scs-everybody that this will be happening with a July date for the transition (April 2021)
  4. assist users with migrating/reading email on central mail services (April to June 2021)
  5. switch MX record for @student.cs to IST mail services (May 1, 2021)
  6. Process @cs aliases (April to June 2021)
    • move functionality to
    • move list to
    • decommission aliases, including all of the username variants ( >8 characters)
  7. create a separate CSCF internal-only system mail service (April/May 2021)
  8. migrate all CSCF-managed host system mail to use the CSCF system mail service (May/June 2021)
  9. switch MX record for @cs to IST mail services (July 2021)


2021-09-14 meeting

1) Where we are at right now - engaged IST on potential MX switchover - migration of mailing lists - no recent update to clients about the change date (last announced date was July or August) - no interaction with IST for automated tool for mailing (for generic sending) - user documentation - telling people how to change their clients - any documentation? - sending the current list of CS users (ie: those that would continue to accept user@cs) New users would not allow for user@cs - one step could be that IST forwards any unrecognized userids@cs to a CSCF mail server 2) MX switch date Sept 22 or 28th 3) SMTP are we keeping it for now, or turning off on that same date? - sending mail messages from linux.cs using mutt or sendmail - may be customized for each individual person - messages sent from a web page based on a click action - cron jobs on linux.student.cs in someone's account - Adrian: IST has not yet blocked smtp to outside servers (including for Microsoft Exchange) - could configure CS hosts to simply allow the host to try to connect directly to the external host (using postfix) - we had restricted the source to a single CS mail server - Domain? or or - emails previously appeared to come from - most teaching accounts have a WatIam account with a Connect account - therefore should probably be seen to come from - - can that be used? - Adrian: IST probably not want large numbers of users to use it

Proposed plan: 1) Have IST change the MX to accept @cs emails 2) Have CSCF change our hosts to allow outgoing email and re-writing the from address to 3) understand that IST could shut down outgoing mail connections which would stop #2 from working 4) push the date out to October 20

Web pages that should be reviewed:

" "

-- Dave Gawley - 2021-01-05

Missing mail filtering and apps to email plus email to apps gateways however here's a reference to a starting point for outlining email service setup:

-- Dave Gawley - 2021-01-06

maybe should have noted that filtering can happen at three layers: 1.) Headers 2.) Content 3.) Attachments and involves, white and black lists, spam rating and virus checking.

-- Dave Gawley - 2021-01-06

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Topic revision: r11 - 2021-09-14 - LawrenceFolland
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