by cameron
(Transferred from the wiki by Peter)


Have you ever wanted to get your web based Hotmail in Linux without using a browser? Well, now you can. Here's a fairly simple way to make Kmail, Evolution, and others work with Hotmail just like Outlook Express does.

Getting the software

First the software:
You'll need to get HTTPMail from As of April 5, 2002 the newest version is 0.3, and can be found here:
HTTPMail (the perl version) needs XMLPath, which should be included with most distros. If you don't have it installed, check the CDs for your distro or do a google search.

Unpack the archive

Now, the only part of the unpacked tarball we will use are these:
.../windows-1252.enc .../windows-1252.xml and the contents (files and folders) of .../perl
I suggest you make a separate place for these (like ~/.hotmail)
If you do, you should, in .hotmail, have windows-1252.enc, windows-1252.xml,,, httpmailrc, README, and a directory called Mail.


Now, open up the httpmailrc in a text editor and see what it says. It is pretty self-explantory. If you want to download mail, enter your hotmail address at "user=" and your password at "passwd=". For the save file, I used .httpmail.mbox, so it looks like "savefile=/home/user/.httpmail.mbox" If you want to get all the mail (new and read) at Hotmail, set "onlynew=no" and if you want to delete it when you download it, set "leave=no".
Next we need to put httpmailrc where they want it. Copy it to ~/.httpmailrc (I like these things to be hidden). Now you've got the perl program setup, so let's automate it.
To make the perl program check Hotmail, cron is the easiest way I know to do it. Make a new file (anywhere) called newcron (for example). That file should look like this (and you must use the asterices, AND the space between each one):
*/5 * * * * /home/user/.gethotmail
Now, save that and at the command prompt run "cron newcron". That adds the command to cron. If you don't want it to check every five minutes (*/5) you can change that to every ten (*/10) and so on. Now we have one more step.
Make a file in your home directory called ".gethotmail"...notice that in the cron file? .gethotmail should look like this:
#! /bin/bash
cd /home/user/.hotmail/
Make that script executable (chmod +x .gethotmail) and that's it. Now your computer is all set up to download email from Hotmail and story it locally in an mbox file. All that's left is to set your mail client to do that. Here are two examples.
Kmail: Settings -> Configure Kmail click Network fill in your ISPs information for SMTP (you can't do this, as far as I know, with Hotmail) under "Incoming Mail" click Add choose "Local Mailbox" and OK for "Location" put /home/user/.httpmail.mbox Check "Enable interval mail checking" and set the time to whatever you like
Now you have Hotmail access with Kmail!
Evolution: Tool -> Mail Settings click Add enter the information you want in the first wizard screen set "Server Type" to "Local delivery" set "Path" to /home/user/.httpmail.mbox enter the information for your ISPs SMTP server name the account


Now you have Hotmail access with Evolution!
The key part is up to and including the bash script. Everything after that can be set for which ever email client you like the best.

  • file names (newcron, .gethotmail, and .httpmail.mbox) and the directory .hotmail are all the ones that I use, you may use whatever name you want, just if you change it in one instance, change it in all), the directory /home/user should obviously be changed to YOUR home directory