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configure email accounts automatically like thunderbird [released]

asked 2013-12-25 18:50:21 +0200

renegade22 gravatar image

let the email app ask the server for configuration, like thunderbird does

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The question has been closed for the following reason "released in a software update" by VDVsx
close date 2014-06-09 20:27:40.400448



it's not just TB, I was used to this on my Nokia devices (N8 plus others) as well as my Android devices. Again it is all about consumer usability, it has to be kept simple stupid.

bmwebb ( 2014-05-29 06:40:29 +0200 )edit

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answered 2014-05-27 22:34:47 +0200

maddler gravatar image

Autoconfiguration can be stored server side. So, basically, Thunderbird will try to access while configuring a mail account. That file will have to contain configuration details (server/ports/proto) for that domain. TB will also probe most common names (,, etc.) and then probe for supported protocols using standard ports. Email client would "just" need to try to get (and parse, of course) the XML file or try and guess the hostnames/ports based on user's mail domain.

Hope that helps. William

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answered 2013-12-27 13:48:27 +0200

mike7b4 gravatar image

updated 2013-12-27 13:49:02 +0200

Sound like an idea but does Mozilla allow externals to access this database? Or do you mean Jolla or some thirdparty shall setup this database with holding ISP:s mailserver info etc.. ?

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I really don't care who set up the database. It just should work like thunderbird does. If Jolla would set up the database (or synchronize it with mozilla) they would be more independent i guess.

renegade22 ( 2013-12-27 20:11:05 +0200 )edit

The most common way for auto config to be implemented is the second method mentioned in the Mozilla docs. If your web host uses cPanel then you've almost certainly got a DNS record which points to an auto config record. This doesn't rely on a central database. I would presume other web hosting panels have picked up this feature also.

aegis ( 2013-12-30 14:34:48 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-06-09 20:27:27 +0200

VDVsx gravatar image

Implemented in, Saapunki for major email providers, if you have issues please comment here.

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is it using or just hardcoded settings for major providers?

slaveriq ( 2014-06-09 21:04:22 +0200 )edit

Hardcoded atm, we are in talks to use one of the databases available in the future.

VDVsx ( 2014-06-09 21:12:28 +0200 )edit

The beauty of using the discovery url is that you don't need a database. I work for one of the biggest web/email hosting companies in Europe and we have implemented the discovery URL for all our customers domains. Check out eg:

It should be easy to parse and make the email setup a lot easier. (Support questions from thunderbird users wanting to setup email accounts have virtually dropped to zero since we implemented the discovery url)

slaveriq ( 2014-06-09 21:23:40 +0200 )edit

Yup, I know, we contacted thunderbird team regarding that, is not nice if we just direct our users to their servers without asking IMO :) Probably best is to have their xml database mirrored in our servers, let's see what kind of collaboration we will worked out, bit busy recently and the ball is now in our side.

VDVsx ( 2014-06-09 21:29:52 +0200 )edit

Oh, actually you don't contact the thunderbird servers at all!

Let's say you want to setup the email for Then you do a HTTP GET to (or https if available).

The xml file is located/generated at the host of that domain. Please feel free to contact me on xmpp ( or per E-Mail if you want more details :) I would be more than happy to help.

slaveriq ( 2014-06-09 21:37:49 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2013-12-25 18:50:21 +0200

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Last updated: Jun 09 '14