Using FastMail with Gnus

Note: If you already know how to set up your client, and you already understand the information below, see this help page for the server information you need to set up your e-mail client. The Troubleshooting Issues section at the bottom of this page may be helpful if you have problems.

In order to use Gnus with FastMail, you'll need to enter the following information:

  • username - When you signed up for FastMail, you chose a username which is also your e-mail address. You must use the full username, including the name and the domain part, which is the part after the '@' symbol. For example, a user named John Doe might have chosen a username of "". Make sure that you specify your username in lowercase only.
  • password - When you signed up for FastMail, you chose a password to go along with your username. You will need the password to access your account. The password also keeps others from being able to access your e-mail. Your password is case sensitive, so be sure that you type it in correctly. "PASS123" is different to  "pass123". Often, users forget about the CapsLock button and mistype their password.
  • incoming mail server (IMAP or POP) - This is the server that you get your e-mail from. Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) and Post Office Protocol (POP) are retrieval methods used to move e-mail messages from the server to your e-mail client so that you can read your messages. POP access is not available for all service levels, please check the pricing table for details. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is required for your protection as well. SSL keeps people from reading your e-mail as it is transmitted between the e-mail server and your computer.
  • outgoing mail server (SMTP) - This is the server that sends your e-mail. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is the method that your client uses to move e-mail messages from your client to the server so that it can send your messages. The FastMail SMTP server is not available for all service levels, please check the pricing table for details. If your service level does not allow use of the FastMail SMTP server, you must use the SMTP server provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

    The FastMail SMTP server requires SMTP Authentication. This keeps people who are not users of the FastMail service from using the SMTP server to send spam messages on the Internet. SSL is required for the FastMail SMTP server. If you don't use the FastMail SMTP server, you may have different options or requirements. You will need to get that information from your ISP.

Many thanks to Marijn Ros for providing this information.

Incoming/Outgoing Server Setup

Gnus is a news-reader for (X)emacs. It can handle a lot of news-sources, including IMAP. This manual describes how to use the INBOX-folder from FastMail through imaps (ssl-secured imap). It does not descibe how to send outgoing mail through the FastMail mail-server, how to use other folders, how to split mail or to move mail automatically. Of course it also doesn't descibe how to read your mail with Gnus. Those things can all be found in the info-pages.

Setup is easy, once you know what to do:

  1. On the command prompt, go to your home directory and edit your .gnus with your favorite editor (emacs, presumably) to include
    (setq gnus-select-method '(nnimap "" (nnimap-stream ssl) (nnimap-expunge-on-close ask)))

  2. Make sure you have a file .authinfo only readable by you with
    touch .authinfo;chmod 600 .authinfo

  3. Edit your .authinfo file to include (with your own username and password):
    machine login password yourpassword

Now, start emacs and gnus (M-x gnus). Subscribe to your inbox group by typing U and then<return>.

Learning more about IMAP

IMAP is a powerful protocol that allows you keep to your email synchronised, whether you're at home, at work, at a friends place or an internet cafe. You don't have to worry about what computer the email is on, because all the email is kept on the server and each client sees the same 'view' of the email. See this FAQ page to learn more about IMAP

Troubleshooting Issues

There are currently no known troubleshooting issues with this client.

Last modified on: Wed May 14 12:00:00 UTC 2003