Mail Support crib sheet

1. Hermes
2. Mailing lists
3. Managed Mail Domains
4. Email routing and directories
5. Further information

1. Hermes

Hermes is the University’s central email system. It has dozens of terabytes of replicated message storage accessible via webmail, IMAP, and POP, within the University data network and across the global Internet. All usage is securely authenticated.

MUAs (Thunderbird, Outlook, Mac OS X Mail) are supported by the help desk.


Applying for an account:


Shared accounts:

Questions about accounts should be directed to <>

Quotas, mailbox and message size limits:

We can recover accidentally-deleted email if asked within a few days.

2. Mailing lists

We have recently introduced a new mailing list system based on Mailman, which is managed via the web and authenticated using Raven. Many lists are still running on the old system, which is managed via the Hermes menu system (ssh to

User support is provided by <>

and administrative support by <>


Applying for a list:

Migrating an old-style list to Mailman:

3. Managed Mail Domains

Colleges and departments have their own mail domains for role-based contact addresses or for ‘‘friendly name’’ addresses for staff. Most of these domains are run using the Managed Mail Domain service. For examples see the addresses on this sheet. Vanity domains for academic projects can also use this service, often in conjunction with the Managed Zone Service and Managed Web Server.

Addresses in Managed Mail Domains redirect email elsewhere, typically to a Hermes account or to a mailing list. They are managed via the Hermes menu system (ssh to


Applying for a domain:

Related services:


4. Email routing and directories

PPswitch is the University’s central email relay, which deals with transmitting email within the University and between the University and the rest of the Internet. It provides a number of services but has no user interface of its own.

We can help with email delivery problems, tracing lost messages, etc.

Sending email from the University is restricted. People without Hermes accounts, and unattended systems such as web servers can use as a smart host. (Be warned that it is particularly pedantic.)

The virtual domain and the Managed Mail Domains are implemented on ppswitch. You can manage your @cam forwarding address and your entry in the public @cam directory via Jackdaw. (We do not run Jackdaw.)

The Lookup service also stores information about email addresses. Its web interface is accessible to University members with Raven authentication and its LDAP interface is available to clients on the University data network. You can use Lookup from Hermes webmail and other MUAs. (We do not run Lookup.)

All email passing through ppswitch is scanned for viruses. Email from outside the University is also scanned for spam. Hermes webmail has a simple user interface for filtering spam based on the score given by the scanner.

Some departments and colleges run their own email systems. They often receive email from the Internet via ppswitch so that they get the benefit of the central email scanner. We maintain a best-practices document for non-UCS email systems, and we provide advice and assistance to their postmasters.

We can provide a number of specialized email routing facilities on ppswitch, to handle unusual situations like renaming a department or migrating a domain to or from the Managed Mail Domain service. For more information, and for advice on how to use our services effectively or how to better run your own email system, contact us.

5. Further information

More information about what we do can be found on our home pages.