E-Mail at the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences
UPDATE 2015: Now that all student e-mail accounts have been hosted on Office 365 for a while, the university plans on migrating all faculty and staff as well. Other departments have tested Office 365 out pretty well, and from 2015 forward all new E&PS faculty and staff will be receiving new e-mail accounts on Office 365 on the new email.wustl.edu server.
As for now, LEVEE remains as our ever popular e-mail server but no new people will receive active accounts on it. Most of the faculty and staff of the department use LEVEE as their mail server, but others use their own. We encourage everyone to consider switching to Office 365. If you are in the Remote Sensing Lab you should contact Lars Arvidson or Tom Stein about accounts there. All people can and will continue to have LEVEE mail addresses but they will all be forwarded elsewhere. Anyone can also have a personal e-mail alias created on LEVEE:
New Faculty, Staff, Graduate or Undergraduate Students: Click here to get an alias on LEVEE
Information for Current LEVEE Mail Users:
Using LEVEE mail you can access it a few different ways:
- Pine/Alpine : For true Unix/Linux stalwarts using pine or alpine is the way to go. You simply SSH to levee.wustl.edu and login with your username and password, and then you type pine. It has built in help and is actually very easy to use. Note that SSH access to LEVEE is open from anywhere on the Internet, but if you login more than 3 time it will block access from your location. Incidentally, if you need a good SSH client to connect to artsci or LEVEE securely, you can find one on our software page. MacOSX and Linux users should have OpenSSH built into their systems.
- Thunderbird/Eudora : For Windows/Mac clients we prefer people use Mozilla Thunderbird, which is not only free, but also very powerful and easy to use. We also used to recommend Eudora which was the most popular client folks used here previously, but it has been out of development and support for years. We have an easy link to download them from our freeware site for both Windows or Macintosh. The Mac Mail application also works well with our mail server. Just about any mail client that uses the POP3 protocol should work fine with LEVEE too. Brave people can use Outlook or Outlook Express as well, but we are not that fond of them and not as experienced as with Thunderbird, Mac Mail or Eudora, so use those memory hogging, security holes at your own risk. (See, we're still not biased!)
Note that using Thunderbird/Eudora/Mac Mail when you are off-campus may not always work since some locations limit remote access to mail services. One easy way for using these clients off-campus is to forward a copy of your mail to GMail and then point Thunderbird/Eudora to GMail's POP3 server. It sometimes works easier than trying to connect to LEVEE directly!
- WebMail : For web based e-mail there are a few options. The official university e-mail system is Office 365 which is a full featured web based application. Existing LEVEE users can use our simpler encrypted web based mail interface. Just make sure you set your browser to accept our open source SSL encryption certificate since we did not want to spend real money to buy a verified one. You can also just forward your mail to a GMail, Outlook.com, or Yahoo Mail account as well. You can also use a GMail account to access your LEVEE mail by going into "Settings" and picking the "Accounts" tab and selecting "Get mail from other accounts". We have LEVEE set to allow Google to grab mail from its POP3 server. One of the nice things about GMail is that it lets you send mail using an external address, so you can send mail as email@example.com right from your GMail account! Look here for my LEVEE via GMail remote access page.
- Mobile Device Mail App: You can read your mail on your iOS or Android mobile device using any standard e-mail app. You can use either the IMAP or POP3 protocols to receive mail from anywhere. Sending mail directly to levee from a mobile App is a bit more problematic. People have had the best luck simply using a GMail app and sending mail via a GMail account which has a forwarded copy of your levee mail. Let me know if you want that set up.
Spam Filtering - Clients. Thunderbird and the Mac Mail client both have a nice spam filter built-in which includes adaptive learning. Eudora isn't quite as good, but you can use this guide to help you set up some pretty good spam filtering on Eudora. Outlook supposedly has some spam filtering capabilities included as well, but unfortunately, it is still Outlook.
Spam Filtering - Levee: Levee has spam filtering using three separate filterings methods:
- The ArtSci Barracuda appliance first tags all the messages it thinks is spam as "*WU-SPAM*". We grab all those messages so they do not appear in anybody's inboxes but we do not automatically delete them.
- We then have procmail filters on LEVEE that further divert messages into specific mailboxes such as phishing spam, viruses, sexually explicit spam and so forth. We typically just let these grow all the time but we try to only keep about 1GB of filtered mail alive before time to start deleting the oldest ones. No one will really miss all those stock tips and special prices on Viagra and Cialis.
- We also have a local copy of spamassassin running on LEVEE to filter out spam by annoying spammers who bypass MX records and therefore send junk directly to LEVEE that misses the Barracuda. We collect lots and lots of spam!!!
Other things to note about the mail on LEVEE is that we are filtering out all windows executable files by default (i.e. all .EXE, .COM, .SCR, .PIF) that come in as attachments, and also small ZIP files which are usually worms. We are able to block out any problematic domains and addresses on a per user basis so let us know if you are getting spammed to death by anyone in particular.
And since we are talking about attachments... please refrain from sending giant attachments to people. E-mail was never meant as a means to send large files around. LEVEE is limited to 64MB message sizes, GMail's limit is 25MB and Office 365 also has a 25MB limit. A better solution is to use a file sharing service like SendSpace, YouSendIt, 4Shared, MediaFire or Wash U's own Box.net service. Or else post your file on a web server and just e-mail people your URL to download your file. That is much more efficient!
Also note that LEVEE actually has many different names, so you can give out a "vanity" address that resolves to LEVEE. The following will all currently work:
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com