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CGL E-mail Client Guide



In order to provide secure e-mail access and to conform to UCSF campus policy, we folowing the recommendations given in RFC: Prohibiting Unencrypted Electronic Mail Protocols.


For security reasons, we would rather you not share your password with any outside service, even a trusted service like gmail.com, so we have added web browser access to your cgl.ucsf.edu e-mail account at https://mail.cgl.ucsf.edu/. This provides a convenient way to read e-mail when you are traveling, and some users may even prefer using the web browser interface for everyday use.

Local E-mail Clients

For the diehards, classic UNIX text-based e-mail clients are still available, like mail, but you have to remotely login to plato.cgl.ucsf.edu first. Other text-window e-mail clients, like alpine (the pine replacement) and mutt, are available as well.

Remote E-mail Clients

We expect that the most common method of accessing of cgl.ucsf.edu e-mail will be via a remote computer running an e-mail client, e.g. Thunderbird or Apple Mail. Many other e-mail clients should work too.

There are two different protocols for reading e-mail that all remote e-mail clients implement, IMAP and POP. IMAP has several advantages over the older POP protocol, including the ability to have multiple clients simultaneouly connected to the same account — so you can leave your e-mail client running at work and then update it (read e-mail, delete spam, etc.) from home or on the road.

Remote Client Configuration Settings

Reading (Incoming) e-mail

Server plato.cgl.ucsf.edu
Encryption SSL
Protocol IMAP or POP†
IMAP port 993
POP port 995
IMAP server
empty (implicitly ~/Mail)
† We recommend using the IMAP protocol (see above).
The biggest change is the IMAP server directory for previous IMAP users.

Sending (Outgoing) e-mail

SMTP Server plato.cgl.ucsf.edu
Connection port 587‡
Encryption TLS
Authentication password (if using CGL's Single Sign-On,
use secure authentication)
‡ Port 587 is required for connections from outside UCSF and is now required within UCSF as well.
Disappearing E-mail
It is extremely important that all @cgl.ucsf.edu e-mails originate from a CGL mail server, e.g.,plato.cgl.ucsf.edu, otherwise, your e-mail may disappear. This is because cgl.ucsf.edu and other computers can easily check if the e-mail originates from a CGL mail server, and reject the e-mail if it doesn't. cgl.ucsf.edu always checks and will reject any unauthorized e-mails (e.g., an e-mail bounce). Other computers optionally check, and if they reject the e-mail for that or any other reason, cgl.ucsf.edu will reject the bounce, and you'll never know that your e-mail was never delivered.

Remote Client Setup Notes

For other e-mail clients, use the configuration settings given above.

Need help?

Send e-mail to mail-help@cgl.ucsf.edu or call Greg at 476-8292.