[Pkg-exim4-users] test Fri, 17 Sep 2010 02:44:14 +1000

Antonis Kanouras antonis+gmane at metadosis.gr
Sat Sep 25 04:10:38 UTC 2010

Hello Robert,

first of all, please keep the list CCed on every email. The point of this is 
to serve as a reference for future users facing the same issues as you.

robstone at ... wrote:
> Hello Antonio,
> Everything worked fine on my laptop until Synaptic Package Manager decided
> all by itself to replace exim4 heavy with exim4 light. Evolution was
> upgraded also to version 2.30-2. After that, Evolution couldn't connect to
> the POP mail server. The exim4 log showed the connection being rejected.

Exim has nothing to do with POP3 (or IMAP4 for that matter); it can only 
speak the SMTP protocol.

> So, I tried using swaks to test out my mail connection, etc. and it worked
> fine. I could connect and send a message to another e-mail address that I
> have. So, if swaks can do plain authentication to my ISP, why can't exim??
> I just don't know whether the problem is within exim4 or Evolution. When
> Evolution starts it connects to the mail server. It asks me to enter my
> password, so I assume it is responding to a request for a password from
> the mail server.

Evolution is not connecting to the Exim server at that point, unless it's 
trying to send some email that was left undelivered in its outbound email 

> I.e., it is half way through the authentication process.
> It must have sent at least a ehlo and received a response. After I enter
> my password there is a smidgin of traffic and then it says "Unable to
> authenticate to SMTP server. Bad authentication response from server". The
> dialog box stays open for the entry of my password.

Please see RFC4954 for more details on SMTP authentication with SASL. 
Generally, it goes like this:

S> 220 mail.example.com ESMTP Exim 4.71 Sat, 25 Sep 2010 06:53:54 +0300
C> EHLO adsl-234-123-234-123.isp.com
S> 250-mail.example.com Hello adsl-234-123-234-123.isp.com
S> 250-SIZE 52428800
S> 250 HELP
C> AUTH <method> ...
S> 334 ...
C> ...

...and so on.

> I'm thinking of replacing exim4 light with exim4 heavy, but can't see that
> as being the solution.

Something else is probably happening whenever you reinstall Exim, regardless 
of the version. Both Exim versions can do inbound and outbound SMTP 
authentication, either with SASL, or by using certificates.

> Any suggestions you have will be welcome.

Generally speaking, when it comes to email, there are two kinds of protocols 
used: SMTP, which is used when a MUA (such as Evolution) or an MTA (such as 
Exim/Postfix/etc.) tries to *send* an email *to another MTA*, and POP3/IMAP4 
which is used by an MUA when trying to retrieve emails that are already 
stored on another server. As I mentioned earlier, Exim cannot speak 
POP3/IMAP4, that is a job for programs like Dovecot/Courier/Cyrus.

I need some more details on your setup before I'm able to further assist 
you, like:

- What are you trying to achieve by using Exim? Assuming this is a single 
user setup, the simplest thing to do would be configuring Evolution to speak 
to your ISP's SMTP and POP3 servers directly.
- Which servers is Evolution configured to speak to at the moment.

As you can see, we're shooting at the dark without this information.

> Regards,
> Robert


PS: Sorry for my English, it should be apparent by now that it isn't my 
mother tongue.

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