The PhoneBoy Blog


Simplifying Telecom, Mobile Phones, Gadgets, and More!

1&1 and OpenWebMail

One thing I absolutely hate about 1&1 as a webhost is that their provided webmail application sucks ass. So for my wife and other members of my family, I have installed Open WebMail, which is actually not a bad webmail program. The reasons I originally chose it was because it was one of the few apps that would work with POP only both for authentication and for fetching mail.

Unfortunately, one of the other thing about 1&1 is that they use cryptic account names for everything related to your server. The server name itself, your login to said server, and your POP accounts. Since I wanted to make this a bit easier for my family, I had to hack Open WebMail a little. At first I had modified auth_pop3.pl to basically translate a user friendly name to the cryptic 1&1 usernames. Recently, that all broke because 1&1 made some changes to their POP server.

It turned out I should have modified openwebmail.pl itself, which would translate the name right as it comes into the system before “other components” see and use that name. In the login function, after the loginname is pulled from the environment, I do a translation step like so:

if ($loginname eq “dwelch”) {
$loginname = “m12345678-1″;
} elsif ($loginname eq “alisa”) {
$loginname = “m12345678-2″;
} elsif ($loginname eq “jaden”) {
$loginname = “m12345678-3″;
}

That got me past one hurdle. Apparently, 1&1′s POP server also doesn’t like the “auth login” that Open WebMail likes to do. That meant commenting out some lines in auth_pop3.pl.

FInally, when I upgraded to 2.51 recently, one of the required modules, MIME::Base64, required a newer version of the module than was installed on the server. That meant adding a “use lib qw(/whatever/path);” somewhere in the .pl files that actually use Base64 stuff.

While I typically go through a somewhat painful upgrade process, it’s mostly because I have to hack the code to make it work on 1&1′s servers. Generally speaking, I don’t have too many problems with Open WebMail. My wife and in-laws use it and they like it. Personally, I use gmail. :)


C-List #Cybersecurity Celebrity, Podcaster, #noagenda Producer, Frequenter of shiny metal tubes, Expressor of personal opinions, and of course, a coffee achiever.