Configuring Pine to use Office 365

WARNING: The TSO Help Desk does not support pine. If you decide to try to use pine, you do so at your own risk. The information in this HowTo has been provided for your benefit and is untested and unsupported.


The information in this section is deprecated.  GT Zimbra has been retired.  The information below has been left in place in case it is of use for Office 365 or other pine users.  Office 365 settings are at the bottom of the page.

Users are not able to remote shell (ssh) into the Zimbra server, but one can ssh into another server to use pine. You will need to use an SSL-enabled version of pine. Currently, the only SSL-enabled version of pine available on TSO-managed systems is on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (RHEL4) systems. Most users have access to research group servers running RHEL4. If that is not the case, you can use tampere or mikkeli. Here are the basic settings you will need to configure SSL-enabled pine for Zimbra access:

  • Set your IMAP incoming email server to  Be sure you have enabled SSL.
  • Set your outgoing email to use
  • Use your GT credentials.

One of our users has graciously shared with us her tips for getting pine to work with the CoC Zimbra. These have not been tested with OIT Zimbra.  They are presented here exactly as provided and are untested. Please note the correct server names above. You may need to substitute them for servers shown below.

Subject: Using Pine with IMAP
Hi Guys,
For those of you who want shell access to email (Zimbra, Gmail .. ):
1) Find a machine with an TLS/SSL enabled version of pine
2) Set your SMTP server
3) Set your IMAP server
4) Setup List Collections for various servers
Pine provides a way to set this up in menus using (S)etup, (C)onfig/(L)ist-Collections but i will just list the changes you make directly to your .pinerc
*PLEASE NOTE: XXX is replaced with your user name
Step 1: Use any of the following CoC RedHat mahcines (thanks Randy)
The killerbee cluster: killerbee(1-4)
[See below for details on how to check any machine]
Step 2: Set your SMTP outgoing mail server in your .pinerc file
**[specifying the /tls option will cause problems, so don't use it]
Step 3: Set your IMAP incomming mail server in your .pinerc file

Inbox-Path={} INBOX
Step 4: Setup Access to Server mail folders in .pinerc

Folder-Collections=mail/[], Zimbra-folders {}[]

Step 5: IMAP with GMail

if you have IMAP enabled in GMail, you can set up a second inbox:


if you want to view other GMail folders, add this onto step 4,

GMail {}[]

Step 1 Details: Checking Pine for SSL Support
Enter the following command

pine -supported | more

You will get a stream of settings, but near the top will be:

Encryption: TLS and SSL


IMAP and SMTP settings for O365:

List of SMTP servers for sending mail. If blank: Unix Alpine uses sendmail.

Path of (local or remote) INBOX, e.g. ={}inbox # Normal Unix default is the local INBOX (usually /usr/spool/mail/$USER)


* While you can run Pine from your local machine, if you want to make use of your existing saved mail, you will have to mount your CoC file system using sshfs or nfs and point pine to that mount point. Pine can technically do this for you (I think) but I could not get it to work.

Error on Save:  Message Shrank

After the migration to Office 365, one of our users reported the following error:

"...when I try to save a message into a folder, I see the message, 'Message to save shrank! (msg # 11): Continue anyway ?' If I say 'Yes', then I see a message, 'There is possible data corruption. Please check the results.'"

The issue is discussed here.

To summarize, this is nothing to be concerned about, it's just that the mail server is sending the client incorrect information about the message size.

You can configure Pine to ignore these messages by doing the following:

  1. Go to Setup, then Config.
  2. In Advanced User Preferences, select Ignore Size Changes.