Migration Mail Services

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We will replace the current mail services with a new implementation. Major differences between the old and the new system will be (apart from a better performance and more quota):

  • Mails will be delivered on folders stored in a database on the imap server and not in the home directory anymore.
  • The same applies for the mail related configuration files for vacation messages, mail forwarding and mail delivery filters.
  • The current webmail Squirrelmail will be replaced by a new more advanced one (Horde).
  • The SURFnet mail filter will be activated to filter all incoming mails for the nikhef.nl domain. Users can define their own specific filtering rules (e.g. for SPAM) via a web interface.


Migrating to the new mail service has to be performed in two steps:

  • Step 1: Migrate to the new IMAP server.
  • Step 2: Connect to the new mail server (including SURFnet filter).

A pilot with a limited number of users has started December 1st. The mass migration will be done in January 2010.

About authentication.

Parallel with the migration to a new mail server, we will introduce a new authentication service. In this context the following information is relevant. Mid December we have copied the Linux/Windows accounts (name/password) to the new LDAP authentication service. The new mail services use the new authentication scheme. Others. like Linux and Windows login and much more will follow, in the end we will have a single sign on for everything.

We have made a web page available where you can change your new (single sign on) password.

Be aware: In case you have modified your password since we have copied it December 15, you have to use your old password stored in LDAP to login to the new mail service.

Step 1: Migrate to the new IMAP server.

Your mail is stored in folders on a central server. The IMAP protocol is used by your e-mail client (like Webmail, Thunderbird, Outlook, Pine, etc) to access the folders. The name of the server providing the protocol is imap.nikhef.nl.

The current imap server will be replaced by a new one. The name of this new server is imaps.nikhef.nl.

Your mail folders will be copied from your home directory (Linux) or My Documents (Windows) to the new imap server:

  • The quota per mail account for Nikhef employees is at least 5 GB.
  • The mails are stored in a more efficient manner compared to the old system, resulting in a better performance.
  • Normal access to the mail does not change, you can keep on using your favourite mail client.
  • However, direct access to the mail files is not possible anymore (e..g unix commands like grep 'string' mbox).

How to migrate?

Wait until CT will do the migration for you.

CT sysadmin has planned to migrate all users in January - final date not set yet, it will be announced.

Do it yourself.

January 20th: migration has started, it is not recommended anymore to do the mail migration yourself, this will confuse our automatic scripts.

However you, we advise you have a look at BASIC FACTS, to learn that configuring your spam filter and forwarding (if any) should be done before mail migration.

(obsolete information)

Step 2: Connect to the new mail server

  • Date will be announced.
  • Differences with current filtering will be documented.

The webmail client Horde.

We have selected Horde as webmail client for the Nikhef web site as alternative for the currently supported Squirrelmail. Here is the link to the Horde webmail. You can login with your Nikhef account name and password. It is advised to select 'Dynamic mode'.

Horde has many options which can be configured. We have defined a default set, which of course you can modify yourself if you like.

Note: for now we do not support other functionality of Horde, like the calender function, but you can try these yourself.


We will use the external mail filter provided by SURFnet to filter all incoming mail for the nikhef.nl domain.

Here you can find information about the SURFmailfilter.

Mail lists.

The 'old-style' mail lists will not be supported anymore. Instead mail lists will be made available as Mailman lists. Click here for an overview of all Mailman lists at Nikhef


Click here for the mail FAQ pages.