Thunderbird e-mail Configuration

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Configuring Thunderbird


Thunderbird is an open source, standards compliant e-mail client for use on Windows PCs, Linux PCs and Macs. it is free to download and use and will remain so; guaranteed by the fact it is GPL open source.

It is the recommended e-mail client for use with your MAG mailbox for a number of reasons.

Free as in both Free Speech and Free Beer

Recommending this program will not tie our members into any ongoing costs and this will remain the case. It does not search your hard drive for stuff to send back home, unlike some other "Free" applications and services.

Can act as client to all the relevant MAG Internet Services

The MAG Internet Services portfolio is not just e-mail. As of today there is a fully functional MAG email address lookup service to which Thunderbird can be connected. Going forward other services like a private chat service will be added and Thunderbird will be the primary client, with the services tested first on this package.

Hooking up Thunderbird


If you have only just downloaded Thunderbird, the first time you launch it, it will immediately ask you to set up an email account. It will do so by putting up a box requesting:

  • Full Name

This is your name as known to other humans. Do please use capital letters at the start of each name, it just looks better. Example: Fred Hill

  • E-Mail address

This is the primary mailbox e-mail address. You may well have several email addresses issued, including one or more variants of your fuill name (eg and role based email address (eg, but there is only one primary mail address, which will likely be your first initial and surname (eg

  • Password

This is the mailbox password you were sent.

Once these boxes have been filled in, the automation set up for members on the MAG Internet Services should work out all the rest of the configuration settings for you and create a fully functional account on Thunderbird with no further intervention.

If this doesn't happen, or the account looks fine, but doesn't work, please drop us a line at .. or if you have no other working email account, please contact central via the phone number on the MAG web site.

Manual Configuration

If you have an older version of Thunderbird or you wish to use another mail program entirely, then the automation will not work. These are the parameters you will need:

  Reading Mail
  Protocol: IMAP
  Security: SSL/TLS
  Name: Fred Hill
  Port: 993
  Username: fhill
  Password: <your mailbox password>
  Sending Mail
  Protocol: SMTP
  Security: SSL/TLS
  Port: 465
  Username: fhill
  Password: <your mailbox password>

Please note that you should replace "Fred Hill" and "fhill" in the above with your full name and username respectively.

Address Book

All MAG mailboxes are listed in the MAG online address book. Unfortunately setting this up is not something that Thunderbird, or indeed any other mail program, automates. Please follow this procedure to get this done.

  • "Tools" -> "Address Book"

This will bring up the Address Book panel. From there do..

  • "File" -> "New" -> "LDAP Directory..."

This will bring up a configuration box into which you should enter the following values. NB It is strongly recommended that you use copy and paste for these arcane magic words, they need to be exactly as given to work. It is understood that they are a gert pile of gobbledy gook, but that's LDAP for you. Fear not, once you've done this, you won't need to worry about them again.

  Name: MAG
  Base DN: ou=People,dc=mag-uk,dc=org
  Port Number: 636
  Bind DN: uid=fhill,ou=people,dc=mag-uk,dc=org
  User Secure Connection (SSL): Tick

Please note that "fhill" should be replaced by your username in the above "Bind DN" box.

You can keep an offline copy and also test the settings by going to the "Offline" tab and hitting "Download Now"

You will be asked for your password. This is the same password as the one you use to access your MAG mailbox.

Password Safe

Thunderbird keeps any passwords that ask it to keep, in a password safe. However, it does not initially have a lock on the door. It is strongly recommended that you secure the password safe.

Go to "Edit" -> "Preferences"

"Security" -> "Passwords"

The select "Use Master Password".

This should then ask you for a password. it is strongly recommended that you use a decent, multi-word password (also known as a "passphrase") to secure your passwords. It will only be asked for when you launch Thunderbird and when you go to look at the passwords in the safe. It will prevent people from reading your passwords out of the password safe file on your hard drive, and the dfact that they are automatically entered as required when a remote service is accessed, will also prevent people from reading them over your shoulder.

--Meredith (talk) 14:41, 2 November 2015 (GMT)