Author Topic: Automatic Settings Configuration  (Read 4964 times)


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Automatic Settings Configuration
« on: April 19, 2016, 05:34:12 pm »
Hi all,

I am wondering why there is not even one Android email client that is capable of using at least one of the three mechanisms which are available for autoconfiguring email settings. Some desktop clients (Windows, Linux, MacOS) and the iPhone email client are supposed to be capable using at least one of the following autoconfiguration mechanisms.

It looks like AquaMail also does not use any of the following three autoconfiguration mechanisms. I could not find even any Android client that would request the correct configuration settings. Some are just guessing configuration settings, but none of the Android clients I tested really use the information I provided in the following three ways.
  • Autodiscover, xml based: created by Microsoft about 10 years ago. Probably mostly for Outlook/Exchange accounts, but also works with any other email account. This site should give all information needed for implementation: [Sorry, I am not allowed to post external links]
  • Autoconfig, xml based: created by the Mozilla foundation. Quite simple xml configuration information originally created for Thunderbird, in the meantime also being used by other clients. Information about this mechanism can be found here: [Sorry, I am not allowed to post external links]
  • DNS-based configuration: created by IETF in 2011. SRV records give all information for email configuration. Information about this way can be found here: [Sorry, I am not allowed to post external links]
With any of these configuration mechanisms a user would only have to provide his email address and a password to get the correct configuration settings for pop3, imap and smtp (submission).

I would really like if this was implemented in AquaMail.

I know that most private people use the major hosting providers, but especially for business users it makes much sense to have a centralized way of configuring the devices. This would make it much easier for administrators of companies with 20 or more employees to configure the employees devices.

Is this planned for the future?

Thank you.


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Re: Automatic Settings Configuration
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2016, 07:49:31 pm »
Your post contains a nice compilation of information (too bad you cannot post the links, - but that's an anti-spam measure).
I cannot speak for Kostya, Aquamail developer, and he will probably respond later.
But I can offer my view on some of the issues that I know.

AFAIK, Aquamail does use one of the mechanisms of autodiscover with EWS accounts (you can find a recent thread here discussing that).

I am not sure how widely Mozilla's based solution is spread out, on the server side. (Obviously, it is not that widely used on the client side: as you mentioned, none of the mobile clients use it.)

As for DNS-based SRV, - it looks like it hasn't picked up. Unless I am not doing it correctly, - I don't see, say, Gmail or Yahoo having SRV listings.
Moreover, if you look at the mozilla documentation page, , you can see that Thunderbird doesn't seem to use SRV.
But it does use the implicit convention used by many providers (even though Mozilla calls it "guessing"):,, etc.
AFAIK, Aquamail is using the same as the default attempt of "guessing" for any providers that it doesn't know.

So, your suggestion sounds interesting, - assuming that significant enough number of e-mail providers follow those methods that you've listed.
(And I see it working both ways: if significant number of clients would support those, providers would start using them as well.)

Kostya Vasilyev

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Re: Automatic Settings Configuration
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2016, 01:13:06 am »
Yes, AutoDiscover is supported, works fine for Office 365, Amazon Work Mail and (supposedly) a lot of corporate systems.


Looked at the SRV spec today -- how useless!

I don't want to have to perform multiple lookups (for imap + ssl, imap, pop3 + ssl, pop3, then smtp + ssl and not).

Just let me do one query and get back "Does this account support IMAP or POP3? Is it secured and if so how (SSL or STARTTLS), what are the port numbers?"

Since that's not how it works, I'm just not going to bother.


And then there is one other thing:

Aqua does an MX lookup and then its "mail provider database", this works quite well because it bridges the gap "from" a custom domain "to" the actual mail service, which then can be recognized.

If you have a specific mail service in mind, please post the details.


And finally, the default server settings detection logic is to try imap.<domain> with SSL then without, and then pop.<domain> with SSL and without, and same for SMTP.

This gets a very large number of mail services, even without help from the "mail provider database".
Creating debug logs for diagnostics:

The official FAQ:

Лог-файлы для диагностики:

Вопросы и ответы:


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Re: Automatic Settings Configuration
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2023, 11:01:02 am »
Hello. The server name is not always sufficient for automatic configuration.

In addition to the server name, you should also pay attention to the connection port.
rfc2782 describes this point.

Here is a simple example:
root@beta:/usr/local/etc/nsd # grep SRV zones/my.server/
_imap._tcp              IN SRV  10 0 143
_imaps._tcp             IN SRV   0 0 993
_pop3._tcp              IN SRV  20 0 110
_pop3s._tcp             IN SRV  10 0 995
_smtp._tcp              IN SRV  10 0 25
_smtps._tcp             IN SRV   0 0 465
_submission._tcp        IN SRV   0 0 587

My imap/pop3 mail server is running on non-standard ports, because another mail server works on the standard ones. It would be great to add such a refinement.