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Email at LNS

We recommend that people use MIT IS&T email services. MIT provides 7-day by 24-hour services for email, and currently supports each user with a file quota of 1 Gbyte. Any IMAP client can be used with MIT services, including Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, and many others.

E-mail programs supported by MIT

In addition LNS will supplement this with limited support for Mozilla Thunderbird

Advantages of MIT e-mail services

MIT is able to provide a level of service that LNS cannot. Some of the MIT email services are:
  • webmail.mit.edu

    MIT provides a web interface to its service which makes it possible for its users to access email from anywhere in the world with a web browser. See MIT's information page on Webmail.

  • Spam Filter

    The MIT servers support user-configurable spam screening. All incoming spam is dumped into a separate folder which a user can inspect.

  • Out-of-Office Notification

    MIT supports an Auto-Responder that allows you to set an automatic reply to be sent during an out of office absence.

  • Legal Services

    Any law-related issues, such any needs for archiving, that will affect email would be handled by MIT's email services and MIT's law department. LNS has no resources for this.

Migrating from LNS Mail Services

The LNS Computer Services will work with users to help them transition from the LNS mail server to the MIT servers. We will continue to maintain email forwarding from mitlns.mit.edu so that, for example, an address of the form smith@lns.mit.edu will remain valid indefinitely.

Below we show how to configure your mail if you want your address to be


Using MIT Mail Services

To use the MIT mail services, you will need an Athena account. These are available to MIT faculty, staff and students. Temporary employees and guests are also eligible, but require a sponsor. See the MIT page on getting an Athena account.

Once you have an Athena account, you have access to the MIT mail servers. You can confirm this by trying out MIT Webmail. To do this, follow the link http://webmail.mit.edu/. You will need to have your Athena username and password.

Once you have tested your MIT email, you are ready to choose and configure a mail client. If you would like help in choosing a client, see MIT's pages on "Choosing an Email Program at MIT". One good choice of an email program which is not listed on these pages is Mozilla Thunderbird. Although this is not officially supported by MIT yet, it has a lot to recommend it, especially if it is not loaded down with user selectable options.

When you have selected a mail client...

To do:

  • On any machines you login, to set your mail forwarding to username@mit.edu do as follows.
    • On Linux type
      echo username@mit.edu > /unix/username/.forward
    • On MIT Unix type
      chpobox -p
  • If you have been using the LNS mail server, login to mitlns.mit.edu, and use option (1) to set your forwarding address to username@mit.edu. Wait 15 minutes.
  • Configure your mail client:
  • Make sure your email header contains the right reply address. For example, in pine, type 'M' for Main Menu, then 'S' for Setup, then 'C' for Config, then search for customized-hdrs and use 'Change Value' to enter 'Reply-To: username@mit.edu'. Finally, type 'E' to Exit Config, and 'Y' to commit the change.


Using A Different Email Server

Suppose you are intending to receive mail at 'mail.state.edu'.

To do:

  • If you have been using the LNS mail server, login to mitlns.mit.edu, and use option (1) to set your forwarding address to username@mail.state.edu. Wait 15 minutes.
  • On any machines you login, to set your mail forwarding to username@mail.state.edu do as follows.
    • On Linux type
      echo username@mail.state.edu > /unix/username/.forward
    • On MIT Unix type
      chpobox -s username@mail.state.edu
  • Edit your ~/.signature file if you have one.
  • Make sure your email header contains the right reply address. For example, in pine, type 'M' for Main Menu, then 'S' for Setup, then 'C' for Config, then search for customized-hdrs and use 'Change Value' to enter 'Reply-To: username@mail.state.edu'. Finally, type 'E' to Exit Config, and 'Y' to commit the change.



David Woodruff
Last modified: March 20, 2007