r6805 - in trunk/BOOK: . basicnet/mailnews introduction/welcome

Dan Nicholson dbn.lists at gmail.com
Wed Jun 13 07:08:10 PDT 2007

On 6/13/07, Alexander E. Patrakov <patrakov at ums.usu.ru> wrote:
> Dan Nicholson wrote:
> > To be fair, the SMTP code has no additional dependencies. The SMTP
> > auth code requires one additional dependency, cyrus-sasl. And that's
> > no different than if you want to use POP or IMAP with authentication.
> > So, for me, it added no dependencies.
> > Keep in mind that the --enable-pop and --enable-imap options have been
> > in the book for months and it didn't bother anyone that sasl wasn't
> > explained, even though it's the exact same issue as SMTP auth.
> Where have you seen POP or IMAP without authentication??? It _is_ different.
> E.g., without installing Cyrus SASL, I can read my ums.usu.ru mail from home
> via IMAP-over-SSL, but can't send anything via SMTP-over-SSL. ums.usu.ru
> runs Courier MTA and requires authentication for both IMAP and SMTP.

Because most IMAP and POP servers do plaintext authentication, which
doesn't require sasl. However, most SMTP servers do something like
CRAM-MD5 authentication (or NTLM on Exchange), which does require
sasl. But it's perfectly valid to use a stronger mechanism for IMAP or
a weaker one for SMTP. But in general, it was too strict to say that
sasl is required for IMAP authentication.

Try running mutt with debugging and it should tell you what type of
authenticators are used in each case.


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