BPQ Home   MailChat Home

The G8BPQ Mail and Chat Server eMail gateway.


WARNING This feature my be illegal in some administrations. Make sure your authorities permit forwarding mail from the Amateur Service before enabling it

The Internet Mail gateway allows local users to send messages to Internet emal addresses, and get replies from those massages

There are two options for providing this feature. Yu can either register a domain name for it (or use one you already have), or you can use a public email system that supports user aliases. One that I have found to work well is Gmail (or GoogleMail in the UK and some other countries).

Of the options, using you own domain makes the email addresses a bit more obvious to the user (mail is sent to callsign@yourdomain.com, with Gmail it is something like BBSCall+UserCall@Gmail.com), but requires its own Domain. Gmail is a bit more difficult to configure, as you need to install an additional package, but doesn't need you to register a domain with a company that provides mail redirection.


Private Domain.

The system relies on having an email domain which supports forwarding of all email addresses to a fixed mailbox, and a mailbox on your ISP's mail system to forward the messages to. For example, I could register domain mycall.org.uk, and have any mail sent to anyone@mycall.org.uk forwarded to bbsmailbox@myisp.com.


Gmail has a rather neat feature where you can add a + sign and a arbitrary string after the email address, and the mail will still be delivered. For exmaple if my address was mycall@googlemail.com, I could send mail to


and it would be delivered to my mailbox. I can them colleect the messages, and direct them to user yourcall on the BBS. There is one minor snag - Gmail requires an encrypted SSL link to its mail servers. Fortuneately there is a free program called stunnel which makes it simple to add SSL to any connection. So, to set up the gateway using Gmail:

Create an account on GMail - Names have to be at least 6 chars. I suggest you have something like your call + bbs, so someone receiving a message will be aware it is not from a normal email account - eg g8bpqBBS@Gmail.com.

Install Stunnel from Stunnel Download Page. The page says you need to download the OpenSSL libraries, but when I downloaded it they were included.

Configure Stunnel. My Config file is

; Some performance tunings
socket = l:TCP_NODELAY=1
socket = r:TCP_NODELAY=1

; Some debugging stuff useful for troubleshooting
debug = 7
output = stunnel.log

; Use it for client mode
client = yes

; Service-level configuration

accept = 7301
connect = pop.gmail.com:995

accept = 7302
connect = smtp.gmail.com:465

You may not need the debug line.
Note I am using ports 7301 and 7302 - If you use these for anything else, you will need to change them.

Start Stunnel. It can run as a service or application.

You can test by telneting to localhost 7301 and 7302. You should get a welcome prompt from the Gamil server.

Configure MailChat ISP Params as shown below.


Note that there is a flag in the user record that enables use of the gateway.
To send a message to an internet mail address, simply add smtp: to the addreess in the Send connamd. eg
sp smtp:user@isp.com
The message is sent with a replyto: header that will direct any reply back to the originator, so the recipient can easily reply to your message.

A call by be followed by bbs address, if the message isn't destined for a user on the bbs running the gateway. But as you can't have two @ signs in an address, @BBS is replaced by |BBS, for example

mycall+yourcall!rembbs.gbr.eu@googlemail.com  if uing gmail, or

yourcall!rembbs.gbr.eu@mycall.co.uk if using your own mail server.

If this isn't specified, then the address will be looked up in either HOMEBBS or WP