Backing up & restoring Thunderbird

imagesIMAP is the way to go as it makes your email your server administrator’s headache. However in case of POP email, You might end up losing a lot of data, if your computer needs to be formatted or your email moved to a new laptop. Here is how we migrate our mail data for either of the two situations.

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Common email error messages in Thunderbird

imagesEmail users often complain that their email is not working. However, the definition of ‘not working’ can vary from person to person and tells your email administrator nothing about the problem.

Often, it is possible for the user themselves to figure out what the problem is. That’s what error messages are for. When users see an error message, they think its something cryptic -and we can thank Microsoft for the gobbledegook  that their software spits out when it throws a tantrum. Continue reading…

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Changing default save format in Libreoffice & Openoffice

LibreOfficeIt would be a better world, at least at work if everyone switched over to free office suites. However, some things are just not possible, as you cannot control what a person chooses to use. The end result is chaos when people exchange documents. The fix is simple enough as the free office suites can and do open MS office documents although the formatting could be messed up a bit. So all the other party needs to do is to download one of the free open source office suites. However this too often does not work, and explaining it to each person who needs the “fix” is not the best way to keep your sanity. The closest way of “fixing” this is to save the document as doc, docx or xlsx or xls. Continue reading…

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Boot partition full on Ubuntu server?

For some weird reason, the /boot partition on Ubuntu servers fills up. This does not happen on Desktop versions of Ubuntu and I wonder why Canonical does not automatically remove old images as part of the update process even when the partition fills up close to 100%. This is the second time its happened on my servers.

Two things happen as a consequence of this:

  1. The obvious one.. you can’t install any more kernel images Continue reading…

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Moving from POP to IMAP in Thunderbird

imagesWe shifted our email server recently in more ways than one. It shifted physically from Delhi to Mussoorie to a dedicated server room, then we shifted to a brand new IBM server with a rated capacity of 16TB storage and we also moved from Zentyal 2x to 3.3.

Our users primarily operate from far flung and mostly rural areas where IT support is primarily based on a format & re-install basis often ending up with documents & email being lost for good. Keeping this in mind and the large storage space now available to us, moving from POP to IMAP was the right way to go. Another advantage of IMAP is that mails from another folder can be dragged and dropped to the IMAP folders and it will store itself on the server :-) Since we were using POP prior to IMAP, This is how we went about the move on Thunderbird. The procedure should be similar for any other email client. Continue reading…

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Configuring Thunderbird automatically for your email domain

autoConfiguring email on any email client for 300+ non technical users across the country can quickly turn into a nightmare. I remember the smug smile on my face when I first setup a DHCP server about 12 years ago and how relieved I was to assign unique IP addresses automatically to machines that joined our network either temporarily or permanently.

More recently as a charitable organisation, we switched to Thunderbird due to its cross platform support and its low cost ( free ;-) ) This has had me bending over backwards to figure out how to populate the server settings automatically in Thunderbird like it does when setting up Gmail. Continue reading…

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Setting up email in Thunderbird

imagesThis one is almost a no-brainer, however everything seems complicated over the phone. A few screen shots should make it easier for end users to be able to do the setup for themselves.

If your server administrator has setup an autoconfig script as outlined in this post, or you are using popular free email such as Gmail, you can follow this post to setup your email on Thunderbird.

Download and install Thunderbird from HERE

This is available for Windows, Linux and the Mac (It is pre-installed on Ubuntu Linux)
Continue reading…

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How to create a filter (rule) in Thunderbird

downloadCreating a rule (filter in Thunderbird) is a very useful feature of any email client. You can use it to automatically move email from a person to a folder under the Inbox or delete a particularly persistent spammer’s emails for good. Free email servers (community editions) don’t have many filtering tools, however they are able to mark possible spam by editing the subject line of the suspected email. This post outlines how you can filter and move an email by subject line. Of course the subject line should be consistent for the rule to work. Continue reading…

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Creating a bootable pen drive on Ubuntu using an iso

Abnormal people like me who like to fool around with distros would probably identify with me. Of late I’ve often been bugged while writing ISO’s to CD. Many times I’d find that it was impossible to get blank CD’s while I was traveling on assignment. Even if I did, the writers were often messed up (like the one on my Macbook) and I’d churn our coasters as each disk failed. In addition, some of the ISO’s exceed the 700Mb limit of commonly available CDR’s and I have no desire to increase my burden by lugging my own DVD writer and and blank CD’s and DVD’s with me. Continue reading…

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Setting up KVM on Ubuntu Server

Screenshot from 2013-12-23 09:04:59I’ve been toying with the idea of virtualization for a few years now. My first experience was of course with VMware player on Windows. It never worked properly for me on Ubuntu desktop. The next big leap came when we bought our IBM System x3650 M3 server which came with a limited version of VMware Esxi a bare metal hypervisor, however at that time to do anything enterprise ready, we would have needed to upgrade to a paid version. My goal working for a charitable organization was to not spend money -or rather spend as less of it as possible on software licences. Continue reading…

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