Checking Hotmail with KMail/Gotmail

At our Belgian SuSE LUG, we have written a handy bilingual HOWTO (dutch version) about how you can check your Hotmail email in KMail with the help of Gotmail. We are following in the same trail as KDE enthusiast Siddhu Warrier by offering our article to dot.kde.org. We believe there is a need for task oriented HOWTOs and we will be translating and writing more of these guides in the near future (help us). Enjoy!


I tried to configure gotmail a couple of months ago and i wasn't that lucky... so i tried hotwayd (http://hotwayd.sourceforge.net/) and it simply rulez :) works great for me with kmail!

By aPT-DRiNK at Mon, 2003/06/23 - 5:00am

Please share your experiences with us ... I would be more than happy to translate it and do some proofreading

Seriously ... contact me if you want ...


By Fab at Mon, 2003/06/23 - 5:00am

The README file that comes with the package explains quite simply how to get the thing working... and also does the installation guide at http://hotwayd.sourceforge.net/install/#inetd

I can't explain it any better, is quite easy. Once you get it working, you have a local pop server running, so kmail asks for mail there... and voilá ;)

If you have any problems with the guide, maybe i can help you... just shout!! :P

By aPT-DRiNK at Mon, 2003/06/23 - 5:00am


I'm a new MAC user and i've been trying to get hotwayd running, but i honestly have no clue as to how to do it? (which type of file do i need? rpm? or something?)could you tell me what programs i need to use? and perhaps the simplest way to do it? or does someone have a .dmg of it? I used to use hotpopper for PC so I wanted something simple like that...


By Kenny at Mon, 2004/02/02 - 6:00am

I followed your instructions exactly, well almost exactly. I installed gotmail with 'apt-get install gotmail' :). Anyway, it worked perfectly with KMail from KDE 3.1.2 (in debian sid). Took me all of 2min to setup. Thanks a lot though, now I dont have to deal with logging in and evreything. I can just use with my Hotmail account like my other regular email accounts (imap and pop).

By SupetPET Troll at Sat, 2003/06/28 - 5:00am

I also use hotway. In Debian, I just apt-get install. In other distros, I assume setup is just as easy as installing the package. It sets itself as a pop3 server, so configuring mail clients is a matter of typing the address of the machine using hotway (i.e. Configure Kmail->Network->Receiving->Add->POP3->host:HotwayBox). And that is the advantage hotway has over gotmail--install hotway on one box and all computers with pop3-friendly mail clients on your network can use that box to check Hotmail/MSN mail.

(Debian description)
Hotway acts like a pop3 server, but actually goes to hotmail.com
to retrieve requested mail. It uses Hotmail's undocumented HTTPmail
interface (as does Outlook(TM)). Works with both hotmail.com and
msn.com addresses.

By A C at Tue, 2003/06/24 - 5:00am

I just installed hotwayd and it works flawlessly! took me about 5 min. from download to recieving e-mail from the hotmail server. thank you very much for posting the link, I have been wondering how to do this for a while.

Lance D>

By madpuppy at Thu, 2003/06/26 - 5:00am

I have a problem with hotwayd on debian. I doesn't mark the messages as read. How can you change it? i have it installed with synaptic

By Nathan at Mon, 2004/08/30 - 5:00am

Genius, utter genius. I'm not the most knowledgable Linux user, was expecting it to be a nightmare. 3 minutes, I estimate, and it just works perfectly! :)

By jon at Mon, 2004/12/20 - 6:00am

hey i cant find an installation for hotwayd and if i do it is in a ".gz" format and my computer doesnt recognise it. please can you help me out. i am wanting to use it for my hotmail account.

By ahmed at Wed, 2005/12/28 - 6:00am

I cannot get Hotway working in Thunderbird. How must I do that?


By Jaap at Fri, 2006/08/04 - 5:00am

Today (6 march 2008) i made a easy install of hotway hotsmtpd with apt-get in debian etch. works great with kmail.

By Luca Cuzzolin at Thu, 2008/03/06 - 6:00am

I prefer Linuxmail.org as a web mail provider.

Fast, easy registration, but I don't know whether you can fetch your mails.

By Linuxmail at Mon, 2003/06/23 - 5:00am

> Fast, easy registration, but I don't know whether you can fetch your mails.

I opened an account, it seems to work well. But you have to pay to use IMAP/POP3 and SMTP (US$ 20 a year). Not really expensive. Any solution alternative to a microsoft solution (like hotmail) is welcome. I do not microsoft products at all, so hotmail is out of the question for me.

Personally, as a secondary email server (apart from my employer's) I use gmx.net - Excellent service, German only, but heck, many servers are English only ;-)

By MandrakeUser at Tue, 2003/06/24 - 5:00am

They used to have English and Turkish service as well (www.gmx.co.uk and www.gmx.com.tr), but now those are German as well...

By Olaf Jan Schmidt at Wed, 2003/06/25 - 5:00am

10 MB, POP3, IMAP4, SMTP, webmail, - all that over secure transport too, serverside rules, antivirus, n+1 other things I forgot.

By Tar at Wed, 2003/06/25 - 5:00am

Thanks for the hint. It looks quite good actually. The only thing I'm concerned about is their uptimes... today I saw that they have an uptime of 10 hours... well, that's not too much I would say. How reliable are they usually?

By Unai at Thu, 2003/06/26 - 5:00am

But wouldn't it be a good idea to group these on a "KDE-howto" site or something?
These articles help out people right now, but after a while, people forget about them, so... If they would all be put together, people would have one place for looking for kde-related tut's/howto's

By Mike at Mon, 2003/06/23 - 5:00am

Yes I guess that's a good idea. I think it will need someone who is willing to put some time in a website like that. But it would definitely be a very good thing to collect all of these howtos ...

By Fab at Mon, 2003/06/23 - 5:00am

All howtos that explain how to do something special with KMail and that we, the KMail developers, are aware of are listed on kmail.kde.org. I will make sure that this nice howto will be added to this list.

But I have some questions/suggestions:
1. Why does the mailbox format of the new folder need to be changed to mbox? I don't think that's necessary at all, unless the folder is located on a Windows partition where maildir doesn't work because in maildir format some filenames include colons. In all other cases always maildir should be used because it's much more robust than mbox.

2. With regard to locking, please see http://docs.kde.org/en/3.1/kdenetwork/kmail/faq.html#id2839877. Did you check that FCNTL locking really works? I lost a few messages because FCNTL-locking didn't work with fetchmail. Anyway, as FCNTL is very problematic on NFS mounted devices I recommend using procmail with gotmail because procmail lockfile locking does definitely always work.

3. The precommand "~/gotmail-0.7.9/gotmail -c" doesn't look right because according to the man page, the usage information and the actual code (of gotmail 0.7.10) the "-c" option is used to specify a different configuration file than the default one and doesn't stand for check.

By Ingo Klöcker at Tue, 2003/06/24 - 5:00am

Very cool,

I didnt realise you could integrate it inot kmail like that ... i have used it going through my other email address etc .....

Quite right about the -c on gotmail here is the help option with all the args ... see below

Coomsie :3)

[coomsie@iain coomsie]$ ./.gotmail/gotmail --help
Gotmail v0.7.10 Copyright (C) 2000-2003 Peter Hawkins
Gotmail comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions; see the file COPYING for details.

gotmail [OPTIONS...]

-?, --help, --usage Display this screen
--version Display version information
-c, --config-file Specify config file (default ~/.gotmailrc)
-u, --username Specify your hotmail username (REQUIRED)
-p, --password Specify your hotmail password (REQUIRED)
-d, --domain Specify hotmail.com (default) or msn.com
--proxy Specify an HTTP proxy to use. Format is
host:port - eg: localhost:3128
--proxy-auth Specify authentification details for the
HTTP proxy.
-s, --smtpserver Specify SMTP server. Will not use sendmail
-f, --forward Specify an email address to forward to. If a
forwarding address is not given, messages
will be saved to disk
--folders "folders" Only get these folders (list of folders in
quotes, i.e.: "Inbox, Bulk Mail")
--folder-dir /my/dir Download messages into this directory
--only-new Only unread messages will be retrieved
--mark-read Messages will be marked as read once downloaded
--delete Messages will be deleted after download
--retry-limit max_tries Maximum number of attempts to download a message
--speed-limit Throttle back rate of giving messages to sendmail
--save-to-login Save to folder-dir/username for Inbox and
/folder-dir/username-foldername for others
--use-procmail Send all messages only to procmail
--procmail-bin Use this program as procmail (default is
/usr/bin/procmail) (implies --use-procmail)
--curl-bin Specify the path to the cURL program if it's
not in your path.
--silent Do not print messages
-v, --verbose Verbosely print messages
--debug Print debug output

By Coomsie at Tue, 2003/06/24 - 5:00am


How to can authentification whit username and password the Proxy in the Konqueror Browser

By geovanni at Thu, 2004/11/04 - 6:00am

i'm pretty sure that the mbox option is neccesary because that is the format gotmail stores the mail in... not positive on that one though.

By standsolid at Fri, 2003/06/27 - 5:00am

W00t! alright! I got this to work flawlessly! Thaxs for a wonderful HOWTO!

By radioact1ve at Tue, 2003/06/24 - 5:00am

It's not mentioned in the howto, but you must use the translated version off "Inbox" in the gotmailrc eg: in french it's "Boîte de réception"
I don't know why they don't use generic folder names.
.gotmailrc :
folders=Boîte de réception
Kmail configuration (Local mailbox):
/home/user/hotmail/Boîte de réception

By Cyril at Tue, 2003/06/24 - 5:00am

Yes we noticed this as well, we used a Dutch Hotmail account. But we didn't check the possible "inbox" names for French. I'm glad you are mentioning this...

Also the feedback given on dot.kde.org will result in an updated version of the document. We are looking through some suggestions and errors and will post a corrected version soon.



By Fab at Tue, 2003/06/24 - 5:00am

Include kaffeine instead noatun in the next release of KDE ...

By anonymous ... at Tue, 2003/06/24 - 5:00am

I agree with you! Seems to have a much better interface for watching films than the default one of Noatun. Similarly, Kplayer (http://kplayer.sourceforge.net) has a nice interface too. In contrast to Kaffeine, which is based on xine, it uses mplayer instead.
However, Noatuns interface is probably better for listening to music at least when using skins (winamp or k-jofol skins).

By tuxo at Tue, 2003/06/24 - 5:00am

What's your gripe with noatun? I'd support feature additions, upgrades and modifications but not a replacement. I wish noatun never be replaced but improved upon. I simply love it.

By Mystilleef at Wed, 2003/06/25 - 5:00am

I personally don't like noatun because:

1. relies on arts.. very strongly in fact. it's basically a shell for arts as konqueror is a shell for kparts.

..and arts only works on my hardware (PPC G4 @ 533) half of the time.. in one KDE release, it works, and in another it doesn't.

2. It doesn't ship with a usable playlist. hayes is a usable playlist. Please include it in noatun!!

By mif at Wed, 2003/06/25 - 5:00am

Emmm...you got me all confused. First, noatun ships with a useable playlist and I think it's called Hayes. Secondly, aRts is probably the most powerful sound server/tool available in the *nix sphere. In fact, the Gnome team was thinking about porting it to Gnome.

I don't know what distro or package manager you have on your system, but if you installed and configured aRts properly, it should work 100% of the time like it's supposed to and like it does all the systems I've installed KDE on.

If noatun didn't ship with a useable playlist, then how on earth do you think users listen to their favorite music files on their file system? :? 3/4 of my multimedia applications rely on aRts, so I'm a little perplexed as to why you see aRts as a hindrance. :?



By Mystilleef at Wed, 2003/06/25 - 5:00am

> What's your gripe with noatun?
The interface! Compare e.g. Noatuns "Excellent" or the "Milk-Chocolate" interfaces with the one of Kaffeine or the one of Kplayer! The latter two are just more usuable than Noatuns interfaces, due to the better placement of the widgets (better layout) as well as nicer widgets (better design).
Furthermore, Noatun has less features than e.g. Kaffeine (streaming,playlist).

By tuxo at Wed, 2003/06/25 - 5:00am

I do the same with yahoo mail with fetchyahoo which is a perl

just put fetchyahoo in precommand.

I do something like rxvt -e fetchyahoo
so that I can see the progress.

By Lex at Wed, 2003/06/25 - 5:00am

This project does a similar thing for Yahoo ! Mail.


Wouldn't it be useful if all such project combine and then you just have to write a plug-in for fetching mail from a particular service. Because there are so many of them ..


By Nilesh at Wed, 2003/06/25 - 5:00am

wow, great. I use fetchyahoo at the moment, but this seems a worthy try.

By kool at Wed, 2003/06/25 - 5:00am

Can anyone get hotmail working with kmail or any client such that it can
1) sync on deletes
2) retrieve custom folders (including junk mail)
3) sync on "read mail" status (eg if you read the mail on kmail, it's marked as read on hotmail)


By yalag at Fri, 2003/07/04 - 5:00am


I installed Hotwayd it works like POP server. I would like to know if gotmail provide IMAP option for hotmail.


By Mike at Tue, 2004/05/11 - 5:00am

sending -->(pop3 protokol) : pop3hot.com
receiving -->(smtp protokol) : mx1.hotmail.com

By ted at Sat, 2004/08/21 - 5:00am

sending -->(pop3 protokol) : pop3hot.com
receiving -->(smtp protokol) : mx1.hotmail.com

By ted at Sat, 2004/08/21 - 5:00am


I am newbie. I am able to use Kmail to access HOTMAIL directly without any other software!

For Incoming emails:
Select : POP3
Host : pop2hot.com
{ Feed your username and password }
Extra > "Check What the sever supports"

For Outgoing emails:
Select : SMTP
Host : hotmail.com
Security > "Check what the server Supports"

I didn't use Hotway, or other tools!

All the best!


By Raj at Wed, 2004/11/17 - 6:00am

Holy crap! It really works, except host for me is pop3hot.com
Now this is handy, thanks for the information!

By 138 at Wed, 2004/11/17 - 6:00am

salut cherie

By younes at Thu, 2005/04/14 - 5:00am

Hi Friends,

Please Dont use this pop2hot.com configuration to access your HOTMAIL account!

This server attacks on users privacy and without any prior notification. It records users personal information such as password, ID and other info in to their database.

I am sorry for posting that configuration without evaluating to the core.


By Raj at Thu, 2004/11/18 - 6:00am


I checked whois before I tried and found out that domain wasn't registered to msn(it is registered to some guy in Antwerpen BE), so I kind of figured that they would not care for my privacy.

Did it anyway, why you might ask. Well it is my hotmail account after all ;), I never ever send anything from my hotmail account, I just use it as an address to give to a companies during some registration process where they need to send some key to use a product. Of course I could create new hotmail account everytime I needed one but now that I can read my hotmails with kmail there is no need and no need to change konquerors identification string when checking hotmail.

And furthermore, my hotmail account doesn't have my real name or any remotely useful information, to summarize: I use it where I think I am going to get some nice commercial material in an other words, crap.

So it is handy for me and I didn't know about such a "service" before, you don't have to be sorry for me :).

By 138 at Thu, 2004/11/18 - 6:00am

Spot on worked like charm!!! I had to use pop3hot.com as well best and easiest bit of advice I have ever seen!! on extras I clicked none and cleartext went through right away. Thanks

By Tim at Sun, 2006/05/28 - 5:00am

can you tell me how i could access hotmail thru gotmail or kmail

By alison at Wed, 2005/10/05 - 5:00am

I DO NOT KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By ELLIE at Mon, 2007/01/01 - 6:00am