Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Email service changes

In an effort to increase the quality of our offered services, the Board of Directors is phasing out email services. Over the next few months, a two-phase plan will give our members time to retrieve their data and transition to alternatives.

Note: Email virtual hosts for groups are not affected by Phase 2.

Phase 1: Forward-only

Effective Sunday, October 20

OCF currently supports a few ways to read mail received by
  1. Forwarding to another email address
  2. IMAP, POP (e.g., Thunderbird, Apple Mail)
  3. Web-based email interface (webmail)
  4. Command-line clients (e.g., mutt)
On October 20, OCF email service will become forward-only. OCF will no longer support the storage and access of mail on OCF servers (2-4).

If you do not already use forwarding, create a .forward file in your home directory (~/.forward) containing the email address to forward to. Otherwise an attempt will be made to use the email address from CalNet (if publicly listed) or provided when the account was originally requested.

After this date, email that is stored on OCF servers (including files in /var/mail, ~/Mail, ~/mail) will be deleted. If you need assistance migrating your stored email to another service, please visit staff hours.

Note: No email was deleted.

Phase 2: Email service discontinued

Effective date TBA

At a future date (yet to be determined), email service will become internal. We will cease to support email sent from a email address to an address from another domain (e.g., Similarly, we will reject mail from other domains sent to

There are two relevant exceptions to this policy:
  • Groups with email virtual hosts ( will not be affected
  • Forwarding of email sent from within the OCF

We arrived at this decision after much debate and deliberation. We found that the vast majority of current students forward their OCF email and do not send emails from this address. In addition, we face a significant spam email problem requiring constant policing of email sent and received on our mail server. Accordingly, we decided to focus our volunteer efforts on different services.

We welcome feedback in person during our weekly meetings on Thursdays at 8pm in the California Conference Room (across the lab).