The Ohio State University
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Email in ECE

User Accounts System Details

Email Addresses

ECE email addresses are based on the login name a user has for accessing the ECE Unix and Windows AD systems. Thus, for any given account, the official email address is:

Aliases and Lists

Certain accounts have pre-created aliases. As an example, most faculty have automatically assigned.

A user can check to see what aliases exist for his or her own account by opening Zimbra and opening "Preferences". Here can be found an "Accounts" tab. On that page there is a place where users can select the name that appears in the "From" field of email messages (note, this should always be your full name and should always be either an address at (never or your The pull down menu will show all the valid aliases tied to the account.

Other aliases may be created at the request of faculty and staff.

ECE maintains a mail list server which allows users to manage their own lists. If interested in having a list created, please send email to

Faculty, Staff and Research Scientists

All faculty, staff and research scientists have accounts on the ECE mail server.

Disk quotas for Faculty accounts are 4GB and all other accounts are 2GB.

This storage limit includes the incoming mail spool and any data kept on the mail server (IMAP). This is a hard quota and may not be exceeded. An automatic warning will be issued when 90% of the quota has been consumed, but it should be noted that it only takes a handful of messages with large attachments to fill that last 10%. The Zimbra web interface (assuming that default "ajax" version of the interface) shows a user's quota in a bar graph form just under the user's full name at the top left of the browser window. Hovering the mouse over this bar will reveal detailed information.


ECE grad students who had ECE computing accoutns created before September 2010, have a local email account with a quota of 200MB.

All recently created graduate student accounts, ECE undergraduate accounts and non-ECE student accounts have their email forwarded from to

Other Accounts

Special email accounts may be requested by faculty and staff. Persons who might qualify for special accounts include: visiting scholars, undergraduate students working on a faculty member's research project, and part-time departmental staff. If you wish to request the creation of such an account, please send email to site.

Special accounts will have the same IMAP/HTTP access as other accounts, but quotas will be set to 100MB.

Email Passwords

ECE email accounts now authenticate against the ECE Active Directory. Thus whatever password you use to log into an ECE machine is the same you would use for your email.


IMAP is the "Internet Message Access Protocol" and is used to interact with the email stored on the mail server. IMAP can be used by Pine/Alpine and Outlook. It is also the underlying technology behind the Zimbra interface.

The ECE IMAP server is:


SMTP is the "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol" and is used for sending email messages.

The ECE SMTP server is:

A note on open relays: by University policy open relays are forbidden. Users wishing to use the ECE SMTP server from outside the ECE network must use the Secure and/or Authenticated SMTP option for their mail client.

Zimbra (webmail)

The ECE webmail interface is Zimbra, the product native to our mail server. It can be reached here:
but it should be noted that this will redirect you to this site:
This is the same server, just a different designation. The webmail address is maintained for ease of memory.

Zimbra is the preferred email interface for all ECE users. It is considered very easy to use. It is a direct connect to the mail store and so is much quicker/more responsive than most mail clients that use either IMAP or the direct connect (currently being tested by a few users... it may or may not be made available to the Outlook community at a later date). It is the only means of access for mail options and such things as vacation messages and mail forwarding. And it has the advantage of being platform agnostic (it works under Windows, Linux, MacOS, and any other OS that can provide a modern web browser).

It is highly recommended that all users try Zimbra for a reasonable period of time before selecting another mail client.


Outlook is the officially supported PC-based mail reader within the Department. This documents is written using Outlook 2003. Other versions may behave differently. If you find this section to be incompatible with a newer version of Outlook, please send email to site, and we'll look into updating it.

To use the IMAP capabilities of Outlook:

  1. Select the "E-mail Accounts" option on the "Tools" pull-down menu.
  2. In the "E-Mail Accounts" window that appears, select the "Add a new e-mail account" button and then hit the "Next" button.
  3. Under the "Server Type" window, select "IMAP".
  4. In the "Internet E-Mail Settings (IMAP)" Window enter the follwing information:
    User Information
    Your Name:Your name as you would have it appear in outgoing email. Within ECE this must be your real, full name.
    E-mail Address:Your address.
    Server Information
    Incoming mail server (IMAP):
    Outgoing mail server (SMTP):
    Logon Information
    User Name: Your ECE username.
    Password: Your ECE password.
    Checkbox: Remember password. Do not check this box.
    Checkbox: Log on using Secure Password Authentication. Do not check this box.
  5. Now hit the "More Settings..." button.
  6. In the new window select the "Outgoing Server" tab and select the "My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication". It is OK to leave the "Use same settings as my incoming mail server" box checked.
  7. In the same window select the "Advanced" tab and check the box for "This server requires and encrypted connection (SSL)". The port number above it should automatically change to "993".
  8. Next in the same "Advanced" tab, check the box that says "This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)". NOTE BENE: Under Outlook 2007 you would select "TLS".
  9. Hit "Next" and then "Finish" in the respective windows to conclude mail setup.

Outlook Options:

From the "Tools" pull-down menu, select "Options". A window will pop up with 6 tabs and many subsystem tools. The following are the recommended/required settings for the ECE Department:

Mail DeliveryCheck for new messages ever XX minutesRequirements: Do not set to less than 5 minutes
Mail FormatSend in this message format:HIGHLY Recommended: Plain Text

From the Outlook primary window, there are other options that should be set. The following are the recommended/required settings for the ECE Department:


Your system is now configured to use Outlook as an IMAP mail client.


Note: alpine is the "new" version of "pine". Starting with the newest version of RHEL, we will have to install this new version. It has so far been fully compatible with our existing configuration documentation for pine. If you find this to no longer be the case, please report it to site.

Edit your ~/.pinerc file as follows. Be very careful to include brackets and parenthesis exactly as show. Note: while your browser may show line-breaks, especially in the "Examples" column, there should be none in your configuration file.

VariableValueExamples (substitute your own username)
NOTE BENE: some of these lines are long, but whatever your browser may show there should be NO LINE BREAKS in these lines when placed in your .pinerc file
personal-nameYour namepersonal-name=Vincent V. Juodvalkis
user-domainYour Email
smtp-serverYour out-bound (SMTP) server
inbox-pathThe default location for your incoming mail.inbox-path={}INBOX
default-fccYour file-carbon-copy destinationdefault-fcc={}INBOX/sent-mail
incoming-foldersYour list of incoming message foldersincoming-folders={}INBOX
folder-collectionsList of directories where saved-message folders may residefolder-collections="Home Directory" Mail/[*], "ECE - Global IMAP Folders" {}[*], "ECE - Personal IMAP Folders" {}INBOX/[*]
rsh-open-timeout"0" - disabling rsh in the ECE environmentrsh-open-timeout=0

If after making the changes you still have problems, please try initializing your .pinerc file by:

  1. Quitting any open pine processes
  2. Moving your .pinerc to .pinerc.old
  3. Restarting pine

This process will create a new .pinerc file. Make the above modifications to this new file and see if that now works. If you still have problems, contact site.

After you have pine correctly configured to use IMAP, you will find that it prompts you for your password each time you invoke it. This is your mail system password and is required for SMTP and IMAP access. There is no known way to save your password in pine.

You will also find that some of your mail has been relocated. If you configured your pinerc as directed above, you will find the mail that resides in ~/Mail on your HP account under the "Home Directory" listing of your Folder list.

Explore the "ECE Global IMAP Folders" and the "ECE Personal IMAP Folders" as you will. Right now there is not much there, but as the ECE system evolves, and as you populate your IMAP folders, more choices will become available.

(MAC) Mail

It is recognized that Mail is the new, default mail client for Macs. It is recommended that Mac users try the Zimbra interface first, but if a native Mac solution is desired, then Mail can be configured with the and server names. If additional assistance is needed, please contact site. If a larger group of users begin using this utility, more comprehensive documentation will be provided.

Forward and Vacation

Mail forwarding and the vacation style auto-responder are set as part of the configuration of the mail server via the Zimbra interface.

To forward your email:

  1. Log into the Zimbra web interface.
  2. Select the "Preferences" tab.
  3. Select the "Mail" tab.
  4. Under "Receiving Messages", the first option is to input an address to "When a message arrives: Forward a copy to:". Provide the mail address to which you want your mail forwarded.
  5. Next decide if you want to keep a copy of the email locally, or if you will rely upon the remote system for all mail storage and select or do not select the "Don't keep a local copy of messages" box as appropriate.
  6. At the top of the page, on the left, hit the "Save" icon for the settings to take effect.

Your mail begins forwarding immediately.

To setup the vacation/auto-responder facility:

  1. Log into the Zimbra web interface.
  2. Select the "Preferences" tab.
  3. Select the "Mail" tab.
  4. Under "Receiving Messages", select the "Send auto-reply message" box.
  5. Enter the message that you want users to receive.
  6. Enter the start and end date for the responder to function.
  7. At the top of the page, on the left, hit the "Save" icon for the settings to take effect.

Note Bene: It is a feature of the Zimbra system that only designated address will trigger the auto-reply. If you belong to a mail list, posts to that list will not trigger the auto-reply. In a similar fashion, if you have email forwarding to your ECE account, those addresses will also not trigger the auto-reply. This can be problematic for users who forward their email. If you are in this category, please drop a note to site before you enable the auto-responder.

SPAM Filtering

ECE utilizes a commercial anti-spam gateway. It generates a digest once per day of all messages that have been placed in a given addresses quarantine, so that the user of that address may scan the list for any false-positives. The quarantine is maintained for a limited time, so it is recommended that the digest be reviewed once per day, and at least once per week, lest the mail referenced in the digest be removed from the server before it can be released.


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