Accessing HEP email

Receiving Email

HEP provides access to email in three main ways, with a separate email client via IMAP, via webmail in a browser and directly from a Linux shell with Pine.


Point your browser to

Log in with your normal HEP linux username/password.

You can read and send emails, as well as mark, delete and organise folders. Access can be a little slow for large mail folders.

Currently our main dedicated webmail service is provided with Roundcube. This is a full featured webmail service. If you are using it on a mobile device you should use the Elastic skin. This can be enabled in the Settings>User Interface configuration tab.

We also offer an alternative webmail service as part of our WISP service. Log in to WISP at Log in with your normal HEP linux username/password.

Click on the envelope icon on the top tool bar, you should be automatically logged in to your HEP email account. In the user drop-down menu Mobile and Desktop interfaces can be selected. Other email accounts can also be added here.

Addressbook/contacts can be exported from one client and imported into another using VCard format files.


Log on to a HEP linux system (eg and from a command line run
  • pine
You should be asked for your username and password, this is your normal HEP linux username/password.

Email clients

A dedicated email client can be easier and faster than using webmail if you use HEP email regularly. There are many clients available, such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail or Inky. As long as they support IMAP they should be ok with our email servers.


Nearly all modern email clients should support IMAP. HEP provide access to IMAP (port 143, with TLS if your client supports it) and IMAPS (SSL encrypted, port 993 if your client supports it). Use TLS if possible, particularly off site. You may need to tell your client to accept all certificates if it complains the certificate is not trusted.

The server name is and the protocol should be IMAP. The authentication type should be plaintext/normal. Your login should be your normal HEP linux username/password.

Sending Email

On the HEP wired network you should be able to use as your SMTP relay without any login.

From off site you can either use your own ISP's SMTP relay or use the University relay at, on port 465 using SSL/TLS. You will need to enter your CSD username/password.

On the Liverpool campus access to external SMTP relays (eg is blocked from the wired network or for Liverpool staff and students on EduRoam. You must use the University relay

Visitors using EduRoam and anyone on GuestNet can access external SMTP relays.

Maintaining Email folders

Email folders can very quickly grow to contain thousands of emails, totaling hundreds of megabytes in size. This places a large load on the email servers and can slow down accessing and searching messages. If possible try to move messages to separate folders eg a folder each for the people you email regularly, a folder each for every experiment you work on etc.

Once email folders become too large it can become difficult to work on them, particularly through the webmail system. Try using a dedicated email client (eg Thunderbird or pine) to tidy them up or contact helpdesk for assistance.


Your HEP email account has a quota of 10GB. This quota applies to your Inbox and any other mail folders. You can check this in the Webmail interface and some email clients (eg Thunderbird Inbox properties).

A high usage is nearly always caused by large email attachments. Check for large emails in clients or Webmail by sorting by size (eg in Webmail click on the Size column heading, Thunderbird may need the Size column adding by right clicking on an existing column and ticking 'Size'). Detach the attachments and save elsewhere or delete the email if it is no longer needed. Don't forget to check your Sent folder as well as Inbox and busy folders.

Please do not use email for regularly transferring large files. Using file sharing systems such as WISP, DatAnywhere, Dropbox etc are preferred.

Emails and folders can also be moved between accounts in some clients eg Thunderbird. Just drag the email or folder to the other account where you want it to go. Moving large emails or folders to eg your CSD account could free up space while retaining access to the emails.

Forwarding Email

You can forward your HEP emails to other addresses if you have an existing main email address. Edit your $HOME/.forward file to contain a comma separated list of addresses you wish your HEP address to be forward to eg,

By default system messages and general group announcements will be sent to your HEP address so please ensure they are forwarded to your main email address if you don't use your HEP one.

Out of Office Auto-reply

Users can set their HEP account to respond with out of office or on leave messages. This uses the vacation program.

Use ssh to log in to Run the vacation command with
  • vacation
You will be asked to edit the message that people will receive. Put in your reply and save it. The vacation message is now activated.

Individual email addresses will only receive one reply within 7 days, you can change this period by running vacation with (N is number of days between messages)
  • vacation -tN
To deactivate the vacation system you need to delete or edit your .forward file. See
  • man vacation
for full details. The vacation program does not affect your University of Liverpool/MWS email.
Topic revision: r16 - 01 Sep 2021, JohnBland
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