Accounts

Passwords edit

To reset your passwod go to https://newpassword.cs.mcgill.ca/

Passwords are synchronized between Unix, Windows, and Mail. All passwords must be at least 8 characters long, and must contain at least one character from three of the following character sets:

  • lower case letter
  • upper case letter
  • number
  • symbol
  • Not a dictionary word

Changing

If you know your current password...

The first step is to log into mimi. (You can also use our servers willy and skinner for this)

ssh mimi.cs.mcgill.ca

Before going to the second step you can verify if your password is complex enough. Use single quotes around your password, to avoid shell interpretation.

checkpasswd your_new_password

If your password is good enough, use passwd to set it:

passwd

Anyone who has a username greater than 8 characters must pass his/her username to the command as an argument.

passwd your_username

If you don't know your current password...

you need to reset it here:  https://newpassword.cs.mcgill.ca/

Those who still have problems please come to the CS Help Desk in McConnell 209N with your McGill ID card and the systems staff will reset your password.

Mail edit

A Note to Safari Users

Safari users might not be able to login to the standard webmail interface. If you are having problems logging in please use Squirrel Mail.

It is a slightly older interface, with a simpler search feature, but otherwise all the other features should be there.

How to Read Mail

In general, the only information you need to know to configure any mail client (thunderbird, pine, eudora, the bar, outlook, outlook express, etc.) are the following:

SMTP

  • Server: mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Port: 465
  • Use SSL

Alternate SMTP

  • Server: mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Port: 587
  • Use TLS

IMAP

  • Server: mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Server Type: IMAP
  • Secure Connection Type: SSL
  • Do not use secure authentication

POP

  • Server:mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Mail Server Type: POP
  • Secure Connection Type: SSL
  • Do not use secure authentication

Please bear in mind that with POP, your mail is going to be downloaded to your computer. There are no backups if you use POP. Furthermore, with POP only your INBOX is visible, if you have folders on webmail, then you'll have to merge them with your INBOX.

How To Forward Mail

To START forwarding:

  • Log on to : http://mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Click on : Filters link at the top of the web page.
  • Click on : [Add a New Rule] Button
  • Select : All Messages
  • Click on : [Move on to step 2 >>] Button
  • Scroll to : Action Section
  • Select : Redirect to the following email address
  • Type in : "address@of.your.choosing"
  • Scroll Down to : Additional Actions
  • Select : STOP If this rule matches, do not check any rules after it
  • Click on : [Move on to step 4 >>] Button
  • Read over your rule and make sure that you have no typos
  • Click on : [Finished] Button
  • Click on : Arrow keys to make sure that this rule is run first
  • Click on : [Save Changes] Button

A Note on SPAM:

The above setup will not keep any mail here at CS but will redirect it to the address that you specify. Therefore, spam mail will be "tagged" as spam but will also be forwarded to your specified address.

If you do not like this, then you can decide to delete any spam before the redirection takes place by following these instructions:

  • Log on to : http://mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Click on : Filters link at the top of the web page.
  • Click on : [Edit Icon] button next to the default spam rule
  • Scroll to : Action Section
  • Select : Discard Silently
  • Click on : [Apply Changes] Button
  • Click on : Arrow keys to make sure that this rule is run first
  • Click on : [Save Changes] Button

To STOP forwarding:

  • Log on to : http://mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Click on : Filters link at the top of the web page.
  • Select : rule you want to delete
  • Click on : [Delete Selected] button
  • Click on : [Save Changes] Button

How To Setup Vacation Mail

To START vacation mail:

  • Log on to : http://mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Click on : Filters link at the top of the web page.
  • Click on : [Add a New Rule] Button
  • Select : All Messages
  • Click on : [Move on to step 2 >>] Button
  • Scroll to : Action Section
  • Select : "Vacation"
  • Your default email address should already be there
  • Add a comma separated list of any other e-mail addresses that you use for yourself
  • The default number of days that people are re-informed of your vacation status is 7
  • If you need, change the value to one of your liking
  • Type in : the message you want people to see when informed of your vacation
  • Scroll Down to : Additional Actions
  • Select : STOP If this rule matches, do not check any rules after it
  • Click on : [Move on to step 4 >>] Button
  • Read over your rule and make sure that you have no typos
  • Click on : [Finished] Button
  • Click on : Arrow keys to decide when you want this rule to be run
  • You probably want it to be run after the spam rule so that spammers are not informed of your vacation status
  • Click on : [Save Changes] Button

To STOP vacation mail:

  • Log on to : http://mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Click on : Filters link at the top of the web page.
  • Select vacation rule you want to delete
  • Click on : [Delete Selected] button
  • Click on : [Save Changes] Button

How To Check Mail Quota

The webmail system displays your mail quota when you login. Other methods will be available soon.

If you need more quota, please contact the Help Desk.

How To Delete Mail When Over Quota

To DELETE mail without it going to the Trash Folder:

  • Log on to : http://mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Click on : Options link at the top of the web page.
  • Click on : Folder Preferences link.
  • Scroll to : Special Folder Options
  • Click on : "INBOX.Trash"
  • Select : [Do Not Use Trash]
  • Click on : [Submit] Button at the bottom of the web page.
  • You will now be able to delete messages without the quota warning.
  • Once you have freed enough space you may want to re-enable the Trash Folder settings.

If you need more quota, please contact Help Desk.

Where is the spam?

So as not to delete your personal mail, any mail that is tagged as spam is placed in: INBOX.spam

You can access it on the following systems:

  • Webmail: Subscribe to it.
    • Log on to : http://mail.cs.mcgill.ca
    • Click on : Folders link at the top of the page
    • Scroll down to : the Section labeled : Unsubscribe/Subscribe
    • Select : INBOX.spam
    • Click on : the [Subscribe] Button
    • Scroll to : the top of the page
    • A Message : Subscribed successfully! : Should be displayed
    • Click on : refresh folder list link
    • The spam folder should now be seen in the column on the left
  • pine: It will be listed under your mailserver folders
  • mutt: It will be listed under your folders
  • other: Most email clients offer you a way to subscribe to your IMAP folders To know how the mail gets placed in this folder see: filtering

How to tune individual spam settings

To customize your spam settings, connect to http://mail.cs.mcgill.ca

  • Log on to : http://mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Click on : Options link at the top of the page
  • Click on : Spam Filter Configration link
  • Edit your personal Address List
  • Change any other General entry that you need.
  • Scroll down to : the bottom of the page
  • Click on : the [Update Settings] Button
  • Click on : your INBOX to return to your INBOX

How to help train our spam system

Move any untagged spam to the user.globalspam folder

  • Log on to : http://mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Click on : Folders link at the top of the page
  • In the Unsubscribe/Subscribe secction select user.globalspam
  • Click on: Subscribe
  • Click on: refresh folder list at the top of the page
  • Move any untagged spam to this folder

Copy any wrongly tagged messages to a folder called notspam

  • Log on to : http://mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Click on the wrongly tagged SPAM mail
  • In the header section click on Not Spam : this will create notspam (if it does not already exist) and copy that message into it
  • Mail older than 30 days in the notspam folder will be deleted.

How to filter incoming mail

Using the webmail system click on the Filters link.

  • Log on to : http://mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • Click on : Filters link at the top of the page
  • Click on : [Add a New Rule] Button
  • Select : Header Match : as the rule type
  • Click on : [Move on to step 2 >>] Button
  • Select the condition: Either AND or OR
  • Select the header(s) you want to match using the pull down menus
  • Type in : "what you are matching"
  • Click on : the [Move on to step 3 >>] Button
  • In the Action section decide what action you want taken
  • We will use the move action as an example here
  • Select : Move message into : as the action
  • Select : a new folder, named
  • Type in : "new folder name"
  • Leave : created as a subfolder of INBOX : as the default unless you want to have a sub sub folder
  • Scroll Down to : Additional Actions
  • Select : STOP If this rule matches, do not check any rules after it
  • Click on : [Move on to step 4 >>] Button
  • Read over your rule and make sure that you have no typos
  • Click on : [Finished] Button
  • Click on : Arrow keys to make sure that this rule is run in the order that you think it should be
  • Click on : [Save Changes] Button

    These rules are server side and are used to filter your incoming mail into specific folders or to reply with whatever message you have setup.

Using Fetchmail

Using this method is not secure especially if you are saving your password in a file.

  • If you are using fetchmail with a .forward file, the only changes are:
    • Your password is now your CS password
    • Your .forward will be moved to .forward_personal
    • Add authenticate password to your config file
    • Run as: fetchmail --ssl
  • Please only run fetchmail off our ftp server (wase)
  • For those who needed to use this for course accounts there is another option now available which entails the use of shared mailboxes
  • For those who used .forward to redirect their mail to procmail, this will no longer be necessary to do on wase,
    as the mail will be delivered with procmail. So you only need to use fetchmail with a .procmailrc file.
    See the procmail section below.

Using Procmail

Please note that procmail use will only be supported on the ftp server (wase).

You no longer need to have a .forward file to use procmail. When using fetchmail to download your mail, it will be delivered using procmail.

Currently the better option to filter your mail is with the Filters link on our webmail system.

See the filtering section above for more info.

Mutt and Pine config options

The following are ONLY needed by those who need to configure their own mutt and pine sessions.

The following should be set in your .muttrc file.

  • set imap_authenticators="login"
  • set folder={username@mail.cs.mcgill.ca/ssl}INBOX.
  • set spoolfile={username@mail.cs.mcgill.ca/ssl}INBOX
  • set hostname="cs.mcgill.ca"
  • set record=+Sent
  • set postponed=+Drafts
  • set certificate_file=~/mail-certificates

The following should be set in your .pinerc file.

  • user-domain=cs.mcgill.ca
  • smtp-server=mail.cs.mcgill.ca/novalidate-cert
  • inbox-path={mail.cs.mcgill.ca/ssl/novalidate-cert}inbox
  • folder-collections=local mail/[],mailserver {mail.cs.mcgill.ca/ssl/novalidate-cert}[inbox.*]
  • disable-these-authenticators=CRAM-MD5

Info for External or Firewalled users

When outside of CS or behind the CS firewall, for outgoing SMTP use: 

  • server: mail.cs.mcgill.ca
  • port: 465

Storage Quota edit

Every account is given a home directory on the filesystem to store the account owner's personal files. Filesystem disk quota, (or quota for short) is a prescribed limit to the amount of disk space that an account can use on a given filesystem. Accounts are limited to the amount of space that they can use so that disk space usage can be controlled.

The quota is the maximum amount of disk space that the system permits a given account to use. Reaching the quota can have nasty side effects: the system will not permit any operation that requires using additional disk space; attempting to edit files my corrupt them; and logging-in may fail (this problem is discussed below). The quota takes effect as soon as it is exceeded.

Display Quota Usage

A user can display her/his own filesystem disk usage and limits using the command quota. This usage is updated hourly. The command displays both usage and limits, as in the following example:

quota
TYPE        NAME       USED  QUOTA
POSIX User  abatko     767M    10G

To view your immediate and actual usage please use the following example:

du -sh
768M

Dropbox

Dropbox is installed on our lab wokstations; however, we do not have enough storage space for everyone's Dropbox data. If you are near your quota, Dropbox is likely to blame. Fortunately, Dropbox provides the Selective Sync feature which you can use to keep files on Dropbox's servers and not ours.

  1. Click on the Dropbox logo on the menu bar
  2. Select Preferences
  3. Go to the account tab
  4. Click on Selective Sync
  5. De-select all the files you don't need on the workstations
  6. Click OK to save your changes

Freeing Space

It is common that when attempting to login via a graphic console, the login process may momentarily display the graphical desktop environment, and then immediately be thrown back to the login prompt. This behaviour indicates that the account has approached too close to the hard quota for the windowing program to be able to write data to special files in the account's home directory - which is something that some windowing programs do as part of their operation. To resolve this problem it is necessary to login via the text console.

Simultaneously press Ctrl-Alt-F1 to switch from a graphic console to a text console. To switch to a graphic console from a text console simultaneously press Alt-F4. Note that the "Ctrl" key is not necessary when going from text to graphic console. If you can't find what you're looking for in either direction, there is no harm in cycling through all the function keys (F1-F12).

Once you're log in, regardless of whether it is via the graphic console or the text console, you will need to delete some files to return to below the soft quota limit. Commands to delete some directories and files are listed below:

  • rm -rf ~/.mozilla/*/*/Cache/*
  • rm -rf ~/.netscape/cache/*
  • rm -f ~/*core*
  • find ~ -name '*core*' -type f | xargs -i file {} | grep 'core file' | awk -F: '{print $1}' | xargs -i rm -f {}
  • rm -rf ~/.kde/share/cache/http/*

To find which files are the largest, run

du | sort -n

VPN edit

For Linux help please consult the PPTP Client document. The hostname for our VPN server is pptp.cs.mcgill.ca and it uses the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol.

Linux

IPsec/L2TP

Currently linux has no GUI client for ipsec over l2tp, the user will have to install packages and create config files manually for it to work.

This is mainly for linux (ubuntu/debian) clients, for Unix/FreeBSD clients, it should also work but it's not tested. If tested, please let us know.

  1. Install openswan package for ipsec, xl2tpd for l2tp and lastly the ppp package.
  2. Download the sample config files here (This can only be downloaded within the CS network )
  3. Add a connection entry in ipsec.conf as in the sample config file.
  4. Add the PSK to the ipsec.secrets file
  5. Configure xl2tpd.conf
  6. Add a pppd option file
  7. Add an entry to chap-secrets file
  8. Use the script provided to start/stop the connection. This script is very rudimentary, you are more than welcome to modify and submit to us your improved version.

Mac OS

PPTP

  1. Launch the Finder.
  2. Launch Internet Connect from the Applications folder located within the Finder window.
  3. Select VPN.
  4. Select pptp.
  5. Enter the server address as pptp.cs.mcgill.ca, your CS login and password
  6. Under Advanced tick send all traffic
  7. Apply your changes then click Connect
  8. At this point you should be connected to the school network.
  9. To disconnect your VPN session, click on Disconnect from the Internet Connect application.

IPsec/L2TP

  1. Launch the Finder.
  2. Launch Internet Connect from the Applications folder located within the Finder window.
  3. Select VPN.
  4. Click on File --> New VPN Connections
  5. Select L2TP over IPsec.
  6. Enter the server address as ipsec.cs.mcgill.ca, your CS login and password
  7. Under Configuration, select Edit Configurations
  8. Under Machine Authentication, enter the Pre-Shared Key (Only available within CS Network)
  9. At this point you should be able to connect to the school network
  10. To disconnect your VPN session, click on Disconnect from the Internet Connect application.

Windows

PPTP

  1. Go to the Control Panel and double click on the Network Connections icon.
  2. Double click on New Connection Wizard.
  3. Click the Next button.
  4. Select the Connect to the network at my workplace radio button and click the Next button.
  5. Select the Virtual Private Network connection radio button and click the Next button.
  6. Name the new VPN connection and click the Next button.
  7. Fill in pptp.cs.mcgill.ca as the hostname and click the Next button.
  8. Specify if this is for all users or not and click the Next button.
  9. Click the Finish button.
  10. On the VPN dialogue click the Properties button.
  11. Click the Networking tab.
  12. On the Type of VPN dropdown select PPTP VPN option and click the Ok button.

IPsec/L2TP

  1. Go to the Control Panel and double click on the Network Connections icon.
  2. Double click on New Connection Wizard.
  3. Click the Next button.
  4. Select the Connect to the network at my workplace radio button and click the Next button.
  5. Select the Virtual Private Network connection radio button and click the Next button.
  6. Name the new VPN connection and click the Next button.
  7. Fill in ipsec.cs.mcgill.ca as the hostname and click the Next button.
  8. Specify if this is for all users or not and click the Next button.
  9. Click the Finish button.
  10. On the VPN dialogue click the Properties button.
  11. Click the Security tab.
  12. Under Security options uncheck the Require data encryption (disconnect if none)
  13. Under Security options click on IPSec Settings, Check the box Use pre-shared key for authentication and enter the Pre-Shared Key
  14. Click the Ok button.

Expiry edit

Accounts of graduated students are closed on September 10th of each year.

This date provides graduated students time to determine whether they will be returning to the School of Computer Science to continue studies. If you do return please verify that your account will not be archived.

Notifications

Notification takes place about a month or more prior to account archival. It happens in two forms:

  • Your account will be locked (with an advisory message)
  • An email notfication will be sent to your CS account

Once you become aware that your account is locked, you will have to request for it to be unlocked. Both the advisory message (when you attempt to log into your shell account), and the email notification will clearly state the email address that you should send the request to.

Your account will be unlocked for a short period of time to allow you to backup any of the data you want to keep. Of course, you can be proactive and backup your data prior to the month before your account is due to be closed.

The notification will also make you aware of an e-mail forwarding option. Please check below for more details.

E-mail Forwarding

Both forms of notification (see above) will make you aware that we provide you with an e-mail forwarding mechanism that forwards incomming e-mail to another address of your choice.

To activate this feature, visit: http://myaccount.cs.mcgill.ca/. You can change your e-mail forwarding address anytime thereafter.

Please note that if you do not activate this feature before your account has expired, you will lose your e-mail address permanently.

Archival

Before archival takes place, you will be notified. Please see above for details about notification.

When your account is archived, it is completely removed, including your email, webspace, and home directory, along with any other accounts such as a windows account, or database account.

Restoration

Returning students may have their archived accounts restored upon request. This means that if your account has been closed and archived, and you are returning to SOCS to study you will still have to create a new account, but you can request to also have your old account restored. At that point your old account will be restored and placed within a subdirectory of your new account.