Cygwin provides a Linux-like environment on computers running Windows. It is quite pleasant; one can almost feel that one is using Linux with a very Windows-like window manager. Plus, you can run Windows executables, even from the bash command line.
I used to maintain the sSMTP package for Cygwin. sSMTP is an extremely simple sendmail replacement, which forwards messages to a mailhub (e.g. your ISP's outgoing mail server), and does nothing else.
The upstream source for sSMTP is here.
I suggest the following packages for offline mail reading and composing:
fetchmailwill call it to put mail in your mailbox (
I also use the following scripts:
To download your mail you'll use
fetchmail. You'll need
.fetchmailrc file in your home directory.
Here's mine (almost):
poll mail.math.berkeley.edu with proto AUTO user 'schneck' there is 'schneck' here password "not_my_real_password" ssl mda '/usr/bin/procmail -f %F -d %T'
You should find this easy to customize. Replace
mail.math.berkeley.edu with your own incoming mail
schneck with your
username on the mailserver and the Cywin machine, respectively;
not_my_real_password with your real password on
the mailserver; and
potentially remove the
ssl line. You might
POP3 or some other protocol; see the fetchmail man page
Now to fetch the mail just call
That's it! One potential improvement is to use something like
fetchmail --limit 50000; fetchmail
This will pull in small messages first, which can be nice on slow connections; you can respond to the small messages while all the messages with attachments are still downloading.
ssmtp-config to set up the configuration file
for ssmtp; the options should be well-explained. Then configure
pine to queue outgoing mail, using my script above,
Now when you send a message with
pine it will be stored in
/var/spool/out.going/. Just run the script
outmail periodically to send out those messages
ssmtp. That's it!
This section is under construction.
I use the newsreader
slrn, which comes with an offline
slrnpull. Currently this is not an
officially maintained Cygwin package, but
Gerrit P Hasse has put up some downloads
You'll also need the S-Lang package and the UUDeview package
from the same page. (Also, the openssl and libiconv official
Here's a sample
/var/spool/news/slrnpull/slrnpull.conf. The 0 means
all available articles are retrieved; the 14 means the number of days
before articles expire; and every other line is a newsgroup to
default 0 14 rec.games.roguelike.nethack alt.buddha.short.fat.guy comp.text.tex
The following lines should be in
.slrnrc in your
set server_object "spool" set post_object "slrnpull" set spool_inn_root "/var/spool/news/slrnpull" set spool_root "/var/spool/news/slrnpull/news" set spool_nov_root "/var/spool/news/slrnpull/news"
Now just run
slrnpull periodically, to retrieve
and post articles. You should also run
slrnpull --expire even more periodically.
Personally, I use the following little script, which I call
netflux; I run it as soon as I connect, and right before
I disconnect, and often many times in between.
outmail & (fetchmail --limit 50000; fetchmail) & slrnpull & wait
Last updated 2005-12-05.Robert R Schneck / <email@example.com>