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Electronic mail

Description of the Service

The Facultad de Informática provides a widely distributed and much used electronic mail service.  This system is based on the SMTP protocol with mailbox access via POP3 or IMAP.

The mail system is distributed, i.e. there is no one server or servers.  Each department or laboratory has one or more systems capable of receiving or sending mail.

Each of these systems can support a series of user agents working in client-server mode.  In this case, POP3 and IMAP4 are the read mode client protocols.

The Computer Centre has developed a series of templates for sendmail configuration files of the Unix systems most commonly used at the Facultad de Informática. This way, users wanting to set up a system to manage their mail just have to enter the specific system information into one of these templates. These templates are accessible via FTP at the Facultad de Informática's server.

The electronic mail model is designed to assure that messages will be received but none will be sent if the sendmail configuration is incorrect.

Pre-compiled versions of the Postfix software commonly used at the Facultad de Informática that have been properly configured for the mail model in use are available at the FTP server, as is a basic headers_check configuration.

E-mail Address Registration

The biggest problem concerning e-mail today is SPAM. A sender's address is often forged and, if the e-mails are accepted for delivery and the receiver is then found not to exist, they have to be returned to the user who was the victim of the forgery. This counts as SPAM too, because the receiver has not requested these e-mails.

This problem has led to Facultad de Informática incoming mail servers being reported and blacklisted. As a result, the later delivery of other outgoing e-mails will possibly be denied.

To tackle this problem at the root, e-mail accounts for any Facultad de Informática subdomains have to be previously reported if they are ro receive e-mails from outside of the Facultad de Informática. Otherwise, they will be rejected by the incoming mail servers. Use this form to register e-mail accounts for subdomains from the Intranet.

Incoming/outgoing server SMTP Security

Even though the electronic mail model is distributed, mail is exchanged between the Facultad de Informática and the remainder of the Internet through a system that acts like a firewall and is capable of forwarding messages to the right receivers. This exchange system has a Postfix-based MTA, and also uses virus and SPAM content filters based on AMAVIS, ClamAV, SpamAssassin and DSPAM.

In provision for possible failures of any of the incoming/outgoing mail servers, the system is actually composed of two machines, designed to guarantee an uninterrupted service.

Mailbox Servers

The Computer Centre also manages two central mailbox servers: one for staff and another for students.

All members of the Facultad de Informática’s staff are entitled to an electronic mail address in the staff server (mail.fi.upm.es). The e-mail address format is XXXX@fi.upm.es. Interns and research project staff are also given an address subject to application and approval by the respective department.

Addresses like ENROLMENTNO.@alumnos.fi.upm.es are created automatically in the student server (alumnos.fi.upm.es) for all students enrolled at the Facultad de Informática. This address will be unchanged for as long as the account holder is a Facultad de Informática student. If they like, students can reroute mail to other external addresses.

With the aim of keeping disk occupation at acceptable levels, profile-based quotas have been set for both servers.

The addresses allocated in these servers, or their aliases, are institutional addresses of the Facultad de Informática and can be used to serve notices from the School's management or academic notifications for students.

External mailbox access via POP3 or IMAP protocols is possible on both servers. On security grounds, the SMTP protocol is cut off from the outside world at the UPM's central router.  For this reason, the mail program is not configured to use either of above servers directly as outgoing mail servers. You will either have to modify the mail program configuration or connect via a VPN first.

Webmail Access

Webmail access is based on the Horde Groupware Webmail Edition platform, which is developed in PHP. HORDE provides connection via POP3 or IMAP4 to any Facultad de Informática server in either ordinary or encrypted (SSL/TLS) format. In this case, you have to enter the server name, user name and password. This will automatically display the staff mail system name (click on the links on this page to automatically display the selected server). Apart from providing mail access, this platform also offers address book, calendar, note-taking and sieve-based mail filtering services that will be run on the server.

Address Space

Apart from the above firewall services, the incoming mail systems use the LDAP directory information for the "fi.upm.es" domain. This way, any Facultad de Informática user is given a name@fi.upm.es address and can receive mail at the system of his or her choice.

There is only one address space for students, i.e. the @alumnos.fi.upm.es domain, which is also stored in the LDAP directory. Users will always be identified by their user code or enrolment number.

Computer Centre