Alpine Setup
Written by Scott Ostrander   
Friday, 03 February 2006 06:23
Note: Pine is no longer being developed or supported by its creators. It is a dead program. The same team of developers have created a pine-like email and news reading program called "alpine" in an attempt to continue the pine legacy. Our latest interactive shell servers and desktop systems have alpine installed. Its functionality should be nearly identical to the old pine, with the exception that alpine does not support Maildir for accessing your email directly through the filesystem; you should be using IMAP with alpine instead.

Email in the School of Computing Facility- Setting up Alpine

This guide is meant only to show the steps needed to setup alpine for use with the School of Computing's secure IMAP server. This is not a general guide to the use of alpine. For more information, please consult the alpine man page, or visit alpine home page.

Using alpine with IMAP

There are many benefits to using alpine with IMAP. IMAP will greatly facilitate the use of multiple clients, as well as allow your client to be run on machines outside of the department (i.e.: your laptop, home machine, CADE lab, etc). alpine does have IMAP support built in, but there are a few configuration steps you need to do in order to get things to run. If you've run alpine before, you can edit the following settings in your .pinerc file (be sure to include the brackets):
# ...
# ...


Of course, please replace username with your SoC Facility username. You can also set these from within alpine itself, using the configuration menus. From alpine's Main Menu, go to Setup, from there to Config. The smtp-server setting is right near the top:

The inbox setting is a couple of lines below that (again, put your SoC Facility username where it says username, and be sure to include the brackets):


inbox-path = {}INBOX


and below that about 10 lines or so is the feature-list setting.

With the feature-list setting highlighted, scroll down to the Folder Preferences group, and set [X] enable-incoming-folders.

Exit the setup menu, saving your changes.

Test out your new settings by exiting alpine and restarting it. You should be prompted for a password, type in your facility password. alpine should then read in your mail via the IMAP server, and you're set to go.

Using IMAP folders with alpine

By default, alpine uses a directory called Mail in your home directory to store local copies of its folders. However, if you use alpine from other remote machines, or perhaps use other IMAP clients, then you will want to use folders through the IMAP server itself. To set this up, run alpine and then follow these instructions:
  1. Hit S to enter Setup
  2. Hit L to enter collectionLists
  3. Create a new entry by hitting A
  4. This will bring up a page listing the options for this collectionList. Please make sure the Server and and Path lines are set up like this, with your SoC Facility username in place of username (the Nickname can be whatever you want to call it, and the View can be left blank):

    Nickname : IMAP folders
    Server :
    Path : INBOX.
    View :

  5. Hit ^X to save, and then e to exit back to the main menu

When you are done with that, you should be able to go into the Folder List from the main menu, and see your created folder collection there. Any folders created in this IMAP folder collection will be stored via the IMAP server itself, so you will be able to access them through any IMAP client, be it local to the SoC or not.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 October 2008 00:06