Getting email off your Linux server with ssmtp and yandex

A quick note to self about configuration of servers with ssmtp and yandex mail service (any other would work too, of course). I keep forgetting how it is done and keep spending time looking about so here goes the summary.

Install ssmtp package, if missing, install also bsd-mailx.

Configuration for ssmtp goes into /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf # Provider SMTP server hostname and port
UseStartTLS=YES # Secure connection (SSL/TLS)
FromLineOverride=YES # Force the From: line # The name of this host # The host the mail appears to be coming from # Redirect mail for root@ to # Provider mail account
AuthPass=password # The password for the mail account

Note that it is not UseTLS anymore but UseStartTLS, otherwise you’ll get

May 25 18:47:18 example sSMTP[315]: Creating SSL connection to host
May 25 18:47:18 example sSMTP[315]: SSL connection using (null)
May 25 18:47:18 example sSMTP[315]: Cannot open

Now all of the accounts that send email must be mentioned in the /etc/ssmtp/revaliases file and be mapped to this existing account at the provider:

Now we have a working configuration but the password for the service is exposed in a world-readable config file. To fix that, we create a new group:

groupadd ssmtp

Change the ownership of both the config file and the sSMTP binary to this group:

chown :ssmtp /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf

chown :ssmtp /usr/sbin/ssmtp

Set the SGID bit for the binary so that others invoking it get the proper permissions:

chmod g+s /usr/sbin/ssmtp

And restrict the permissions of the config file:

chmod 640 /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf

Now everything should work like a charm… unless I forgot something again :)… -->

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Moving email from one IMAP server to another

Ah, the power of tools! What do you do when you want to move lots and lots of email between two IMAP servers? Sure, you could open them both in Thunderbird and drag-and-drop messages. It would simply take forever and you would be transmitting messages first to your computer and then back to another server. And Thunderbird has a bad habit of timing out. There is a better way.

Login to the server (or you can do it actually from client if transferring back and force is okay). Get mutt. Then open the source mailbox like this:

mutt -f imaps://

and wait for mutt to load the headers of the email. Once it is ready, select all messages by pressing T and entering ~A. Save the messages to your target server by pressing ;s (if you want to move the mail) or ;C (if you want a copy) and giving the destination IMAP server:


And watch the magic of UNIX tools unfold :)… -->

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