Email authentication

Q I am trying to use email with Ubuntu 8.04 without success. My service provider is tiscali.co.uk and I have no problem using Outlook Express with Windows XP. I've tried using Evolution, Thunderbird and Opera email without success. I see an error message: 'The server responded:[AUTH] invalid user or password'. I've tried connecting via a USB SpeedTouch 330 modem and a D-Link DSL-320T modem. I understand there may be a problem with Ubuntu 8.04 when trying to connect via a '.co.uk' provider. Can you help?

A There's no reason why Ubuntu would not connect to a UK domain, or any other. The first step of connecting to any domain is to resolve that domain name to an IP address, which is clearly happening, or you would get a different error. Your mail program is definitely connecting to your ISP's mail server, because the error message you quote was received from the mail server. The problem is simply one of settings. When you connect to a mail server, you have to authenticate yourself with your username and password and this is being rejected by the server. The fact that three different programs generate the same error leads to the conclusion that the details you're giving are incorrect. For Tiscali, your username is your full email address (not just the part before the @ as with some providers).

The servers to use are pop.tiscali.co.uk for incoming and smtp.tiscali.co.uk for outgoing mail. You can check all of these details by looking at the account settings you currently use in Outlook. The one thing you cannot read from Outlook is your password; you must type this exactly as set up with your ISP, remembering that it's case-sensitive. Tiscali has some useful information on how to set up Thunderbird to work with its service at http://tinyurl.com/tiscalimail. This uses the Windows version of Thunderbird, but the steps are exactly the same, except that Account Settings in the first step is under the Edit menu on the latest Linux version of Thunderbird.

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