Thunderbird Setup


Note: we now have a signed certificate so you will no longer see the "Secure Connection Failed" warning if you connect via Webmail (to Instead, when you hover on the lock icon to the left of the URL bar (if using Firefox), you should see a blue box surrounding the icon like so:


"Thunderbird" is one of the supported mail clients recommended by the Department of Mathematics at the University of Toronto (the other one is "Pine"). Thunderbird is free and available for various platforms. It can be downloaded from It is already installed on coxeter, but you may install it on your personal computer if you so wish. Below are the generic instructions which will allow you to retrieve your email securely from the Mathematics mail server. Note that sending email through our server is only allowed if you can use the message submission port 587 to send email. This is normally allowed by most ISPs, but there may be some that block that port in which case you will have to use the SMTP server that they provide (you can also use Webmail from any browser to send email via our server, although the Webmail interface is not as refined as others). Please read this tutorial in its entirety before proceeding. 

If you need help you can contact Of course, providing an email address to help setting up an email account may result in a catch-22 situation, and hence if it's not possible to email from another account (or Webmail) you can phone for help at 416-978-7893.

Configuring Thunderbird


We assume that you are either logged into coxeter or that you have already successfully installed Thunderbird on your computer. If on coxeter, you can run Thunderbird by selecting it from the menu bar near the bottom left of your screen. If you have logged into your own machine running X and then gone to coxeter (with ssh -Y or slogin -Y) you can run the command

(thunderbird &)

in your coxeter window. Although running applications locally is usually better the thunderbird on coxeter will be the version that is supported by the department.

On other operating systems you may have to click (or double-click) whatever icon the Thunderbird installer created.


The first time you run Thunderbird you will see the following screen. Just click "Skip this and use my existing email":


For this part we assume that the user's full name is "Jane Doe", and that her login name on coxeter is "jane" (with corresponding email address ""). Substitute your own full name, login name, and email address when prompted in the following screen. Note that you should use "" instead of "", but this can be changed later in the account settings. For security reasons we do not recommend remembering the password:


Thunderbird should automatically detect the connection setup as so:

This will use our server for both incoming and outgoing email. You should verify that the information matches the screen below by clicking on "Manual config":

You can change the outgoing server at this point if you would like to use your ISP's SMTP server instead. If you are not on our network and your ISP does not allow outgoing access to port 587 then you will have to ask your ISP (e.g. Rogers or Bell Canada) to provide you with the proper SMTP server information. Alternatively, you may read and send email using Webmail. Click on "Done" to finish. You can now start reading and sending email (note that you will be asked for your coxeter password whenever you read or send email after starting a new Thunderbird session).

STEP 5 (Optional)

If you'd like to change the email address that people see when they read an email you sent, click on the top-right menu and navigate to "Preferences -> Account Settings":

From there it's possible to change the identity's "Email Address" to be "" instead of "":

Congratulations!  You are now done!

Questions? Email