25.4. Handling email

The previous section shows how to handle the outgoing mail - simply by flushing the mail queue once the link is up.

If you are running a WAN link, you can arrange with the network administrator of the remote LAN to do exactly the same thing. For example, at the Newman Campus end of our WAN link, the /etc/ppp/ip-up script looks like :-

# Script which handles the routing issues as necessary for pppd
# Only the link to Hedland requires this handling.
# When the ppp link comes up, this script is called with the following
# parameters
#       $1      the interface name used by pppd (e.g. ppp3)
#       $2      the tty device name
#       $3      the tty device speed
#       $4      the local IP address for the interface
#       $5      the remote IP address
#       $6      the parameter specified by the 'ipparam' option to pppd
case "$5" in
                /usr/sbin/sendmail -q
exit 0

If however you have only a dynamic IP PPP link to your ISP, you need to get your email from the account on your ISPs machine. This is usually done using the POP (Post Office Protocol). This process can be handled using the 'popclient' program - and the ip-up script can automate this process for you too!

Simply create a /etc/ppp/ip-up script that contains the appropriate invocation of popclient. For my laptop that runs Red Hat Linux (which I take on any travels), this is...

popclient -3 -c -u hartr -p <password> kepler.hedland.edu.au |formail -s procmail

You could use slurp or whatever to do the same for news, and so forth. Remember, the ip-up script is just a standard bash script and so can be used to automate ANY function that needs to be accomplished every time the appropriate PPP link comes up.