Google and Pine

On November 14, 2011, staff and faculty CruzMail accounts moved to Google. This means that if you use a desktop email client will need to change the settings to point to Google. On the Linux timeshare,, some users still use programs such as pine, mail, sendmail to check their email. These tools will also need to be re-configured in order for you to read your email. Some divisions and departments (like the School of Engineering) may continue to provide their own email services independent of the move from CruzMail to Google. These changes only affect those who are using CruzMail on

A Summary of What Changed

On the Linux Timeshare, Learning Technologies officially supports pine (alpine) and sendmail for email communications. On November 14, 2011 at 12:01am, the central pine configuration file will be updated to point to Google's email servers instead of UCSC's. If you use pine, this change should be fairly transparent and you can go about checking and sending your email in the same fashion (unless you have edited your .pinerc file).

If you use mail, mailx, mutt or any other unsupported email system, you will need re-configure these settings yourself. Google has posted the POP3 and SMTP servers here, for your reference.

Since Google requires encrypted authenticated SMTP in order to send an email, sendmail will no longer work on after November 14th. If you use command line mail tools that rely on sendmail, you will need to find other tools, or talk to Google's servers directly using SMTP-AUTH. Pine users are not affected by this since pine already uses SMTP-AUTH.

What You Need To Do After November 14:

By default, POP should be enabled on Google's server, but it never hurts to check. You can enable POP (or check to see if it already enabled) by following these instructions. Afterwards, log in to and start up pine like you normally would. You should see pine connecting to Google's email server at the bottom of the screen:

HOST:  ENTER LOGIN NAME [username] :

You will need to enter your full email address,, in order to login. Your password will be your Blue password, just as it has always been.

The only other change is that you will be asked your username and password when sending a message, in addition to checking your email. This is a requirement on Google's part. Again, be sure to use your full email address when asked.

Other Questions

I use pine to check my mail and I don't want to deal with Google's web interface. Can I do that?

Yes. You will continue to be able to use the mail client of your choice, only the mail servers are changing and Google supports POP3 mail.

Can I use both pine and Google's web interface?

Yes. All new email will appear in both Google's web interface and in pine. However after you move a message to a different mailbox, you will not be able to see it in both clients. We recommend that you use either pine or the Google web interface, but not both.

What if I want to give up pine and switch to Google's web interface?

You are free to do so, but there is currently no supported way to move your old saved mail from pine to Google.

I use IMAP instead of POP. How do I setup pine to do IMAP?

Learning Technologies only supports POP3 use under pine. There are several guides online on how to accomplish this, but you are basically on your own.

I have a script that sends mail using mail/sendmail. After the migration, it no longer works. Why?

Google's servers only support SMTP-AUTH in order to send mail. You will need to adjust your script to use SMTP-AUTH and talk to Google's SMTP servers directly. Sending unauthenticated email from will no longer be possible after November 14th. This means programs like mail and sendmail to send email will no longer work.

One alternative is to use the mailx program, which does support SMTP-AUTH. You'll need to edit your .mailrc file and add the following lines:

set smtp-use-starttls
set smtp=smtp://
set smtp-auth=login
set smtp-auth-password=YourBluePassword

Then, you can send mail from the command line by piping it through mailx or typing it in by hand:

% echo "Rememeber to buy more milk" | mailx -s "Shopping List"

Since you have to store your password in plain text, it's a good idea to chmod 600 .mailrc in order to keep prying eyes out.

I'm a pine guru and would like to know exactly what you are changing in the primary pinerc file.

Certainly. I am replacing these two lines:


With these two lines:


That's it.

If you have any other questions, please contact the ITS Support Center.