Linux setup notes – hostname to communicate with Windows computer

In Debian, the hostname is located in /etc/hostname. The name won’t show up on my router (linux firmware) until I’ve got the right hosts order:

# /etc/nsswitch.conf
hosts:          files dns wins

However, Windows doesn’t recognize the hostname since it uses NetBIOS, which means I need nmbd in sambapackage:

apt-get install samba

Install it and I can ping right away and use the SMB shares!

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Windows Live Mail (2012) IMAP Folder Setup – cPanel Email

My web hosting package comes with cPanel email, which comes with Calendar/Tasks (CalDAV) and Contact list (CardDAV) in one convenient package.

Default setup often causes a few user experience problem

  • Special storage folders not working (hint: path incorrect)
  • Sent email not saved in ‘Sent’ folder

Turns out that every ISP has their own IMAP folder structure. My ISP structured everything, from system special folders (Sent, Drafts, Trash, Spam) to user-defined folder, into subfolders under Inbox.

So the settings in Windows Live Mail should be:

I chose to assign a user-defined folder Archive in place of system folder Trash so I can reroute delete operation to archiving

DO NOT FORGET to set the root folder Inbox! Subfolders are internally accessed as Inbox.Sent, Inbox.Drafts, etc. Using DOT (.) as seperator! Do not use slash like Gmail. It doesn’t work!

If you specify the “Root folder path” and have the special folders relative to that, the Windows Live Mail client will show a flat layout (Just like the webmail client):

Alternatively, I tried entering the special folders’s full path individually one by one

but I’m pleased to see that doing so VISUALLY placed ALL folders (system or use-created) into a nice tree structure that follows its native structure!

Having a root folder “Inbox” implied a prefix “Inbox.” (with the dot at the end) to all special folders path. Again, slash do not work as it’s not Gmail. The separator is dot in cPanel.

Seems like the whether ‘Root folder path‘ is specified determines if the folders are flattened or have the native tree structure in Windows Live Mail’s display.

Special folders settings can be invalid, which the Windows Live Mail Client will quietly ignore them and operate in local storage folders instead.

How did I discovered it? I saw the tool-tip INBOX.sent when I hover over the ‘Sent’ folder in Horder WebMail.

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Windows Live Mail (2012) IMAP Folder Setup – Gmail

Many years ago, Gmail changed their folder structure so some of the IMAP settings tutorials are not correct anymore. Since Windows Live Mail (WLM) auto-configures Gmail, the special folders are automatically determined and they cannot be specified. Please leave Root folder path alone like this:

Gmail IMAP folder settings are automatically configured when established automatically in Windows Live Mail
Do NOT change the settings. If you do manual configuration, make sure you mirror these settings.

Basically Gmail decided with the exception of Inbox, which stays at root, all “System labels” goes under the subfolder [Gmail]. However user-created labels (simply called “Labels“) stay at root folder level. For example, I have a user folder called Save enabled for IMAP, the folder tree with the Gmail account looks like this:

Example of Gmail IMAP folder structure. Inbox and user-created labels stays on top.
ALL system labels go under the subfolder [Gmail]

Because you cannot specify where the Trash folder is, delete button really mean delete (to a recycle bin that’s purged in 30 days), not archive to a folder.

Also because Gmail is smart enough to save a copy in your [Gmail]/Sent Mail folder if you use their SMTP (out-going mail) server, the “Save copy of sent message in ‘Sent Items’ folder” setting on Windows Live Mail is irrelevant: you cannot choose not to save it.

And yes, I tried it checking this (for other non-Gmail accounts), and confirmed that Gmail is smart enough to save one copy (not one from the SMTP and one executed by the client).

So here’s a summary:

  • Gmail automatically configures and dictates IMAP’s special folders. You have no choice
  • No special folder choice means you cannot reroute ‘delete’ to mean archive/move
  • If you use Gmail’s SMTP server (likely), it will save a copy of outgoing mail to [Gmail]/Sent Mail folder. You cannot turn this off.
  • Save copy of sent message in the ‘Sent Items’ folder‘ is irrelevant if you use Gmail’s SMTP server. It will correctly save only one copy of the sent mail.

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