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Cannot log in to private IMAP server

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I keep my personal mail archives on a private IMAP server running on the Linux workstation in my office.

I recently replaced my home desktop (Windows) computer. I moved my Thunderbird profile from my old computer to the new one, and then installed Thunderbird on the new one. Everything seemed to work fine at first: Thunderbird on the new computer came up looking identical to the old one, with all of the same folders. But Thunderbird on the new Windows computer will not log in to the private IMAP server. It keeps saying that it cannot log in and the password is probably wrong, even though Thunderbird on my laptop logs in to the same server just fine with the same password. The security certificate on the private server is self-generated, and a few times Thunderbird has asked me to confirm a security exception for the private server. I have always pushed the "confirm security exception" button, but it makes no difference.

I have tried creating a new profile, but when I create an account to talk to the private server, I get exactly the same login errors.

My "regular" accounts (Office 365 through work, gmail) all work fine on the new Windows computer.

I have tried SSH-ing to the server from the new Windows computer to the private server, and that works, with the same password.

This is really frustrating. Is there any way to figure out what is going wrong and address the issue?

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

A real certificate fixed the problem. Obtaining the certificate and installing it in the dovecot server was a an adventure for a neophyte, but I finally got it right and I'm back up and running. It was possible to get a certificate through my university's contract with a certificate authority, without incurring any additional charges.

It seems that security exceptions may not be working fully in Thunderbird 68, but having a real certificate is nicer all-around.

Funda le mpendulo ngokuhambisana nalesi sihloko 👍 0

All Replies (4)

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I just got into the private server using MailBird, without any difficulties. But MailBird seems pretty limited compared to TBird.

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Try using a real certificate. The days of self signed certificate are about over. You can not "trust" a certificate unless it is issued by a trusted certifying authority and there are suitable intermediate certificates.

You can disable check for certificate revocation in options > advanced > certificate and it might work for you, but that actually defeats the purpose of having SSL really.

You might also want to consider why you need encrypted communication on your private network. It is not as if anyone else is on it.

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I disabled the check "Query OCSP responder servers ... current validity of certificates" but that did not help.

My IT group are looking into how to generate a signed certificate through my university so I don't have to pay. I hope a properly signed certificate will solve the problem as you suggest.

Encryption is a good idea because the server is in my office but I access it from home (pretty much the only place I work these days). In the good old days I'd also access when traveling etc. We are a big university so I would also not consider our own network to be fully secure.

I was able to get into the server from both MailBird and eM client. Thunderbird seems especially picky.

 Thanks, Jonathan

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Isisombululo Esikhethiwe

A real certificate fixed the problem. Obtaining the certificate and installing it in the dovecot server was a an adventure for a neophyte, but I finally got it right and I'm back up and running. It was possible to get a certificate through my university's contract with a certificate authority, without incurring any additional charges.

It seems that security exceptions may not be working fully in Thunderbird 68, but having a real certificate is nicer all-around.

Helpful?

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