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Send email from your @ubuntu.com email address on your iPhone using Gmail

8 February 2010 2,422 views 3 Comments

As you may or may not know, Ubuntu has a “membership” available to anyone who has shown significant contributions to Ubuntu. This can be in many ways, not just developing. Being an Ubuntu Member has a few perks that come with it. One of these is that you get an @ubuntu.com email address. This address forwards to your email address which you define on in your Launchpad account. I recently received the honor of being accepted as an Ubuntu Member, and as such, now have an @ubuntu.com email address. (chrisjohnston AT ubuntu dot com)

The thing about my new email address is that I can only receive mail using it. Ubuntu doesn’t have a way for me to send mail using it. Luckily Google’s Gmail has a way for me to set up my account to where I can send mail from either my regular email address or from my @ubuntu.com email address. This is great, except.. I have an iPhone, and I quite frequently will check my email on my iPhone, which creates an issue when I want to reply to something from my @ubuntu.com email address, because the iPhone doesn’t know that Gmail is setup to allow me to send email from both my regular email address and my @ubuntu.com email address, so I either can’t respond until I get to a computer, or I have to respond using my personal email address.

Joeb454 from the Ubuntu Beginners Team and myself were discussing using our @ubuntu.com email address on mailing lists and the lack of being able to respond the the mailing list with our @ubuntu.com addresses from our iPhones. After a little bit of searching on the internet, I was able to come up with a working solution on how to send email from an @ubuntu.com email address. To do this, you are going to create a dummy POP account on your iPhone with your @ubuntu.com email address, which will login and send the email through your personal gmail account.

Here are the instructions:

Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account

Click Other

Add Mail Account

Fill out the appropriate information and click save. (Note: Put your @ubuntu.com email address in the Address field)

Select POP for the type of server.

Incoming Mail Server:
Host Name: pop.gmail.com
User Name: your @ubuntu.com email
Password: doesn’t matter.. Make something up

Outgoing Mail Server:
Host Name: smtp.gmail.com
User Name: your Gmail address (NOT your @ubuntu.com email address)
Password: Your Gmail password

Click Save

It will display an error saying POP account verification failed.

Click OK

Click Save again

Now it says This account may not be able to send or receive emails. Are you sure you want to save?

Click Save

That’s it as far as setup. Now when you open the Mail App, you will see your personal email address and your @ubuntu.com email address. The @ubuntu.com is a dummy address, and opening it will do nothing for you. Plus you will get an error.

To send mail from your @ubuntu.com email address, start a new email.

Click on your email address in the “Cc/Bcc, From:” line to expand the different fields.

Now click on your email address in the “From:” line.

Select your @ubuntu.com email address

Now fill out the rest of the email like normal and hit send. You can see that your @ubuntu.com email address is in the From line.

I hope this works well for you. Any comments or questions please feel free to post on my blog!

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  • G-A-C said:

    Be warned that I think this will cause recipients you email who use Outlook to see your actual Gmail address (“chrisjohnston@gmail.com on behalf of blah@blah.com“) in the From: line of Outlook when they open your message. It’s an unfortunate side-effect of using non-Gmail addresses with Gmail, and can only be avoided by setting up an SMTP server associated with this extra address in Gmail, but I assume there are no SMTP servers to handle @ubuntu.com addresses if they’re only intended for receiving mail.

    May not be a huge concern to you, as this side effect is also present in the main Gmail app so you’re probably already aware of it but I know when I set this up I wasn’t, and it caused my personal email address to be rather more widespread at work than I’d intended it to be…

  • Joeb454 said:


    This is present even in launchpad emails (they’re sent from an @canonical.com address) – so I don’t think there’s a lot we can do, unless canonical setup something like google apps for domains on the ubuntu.com domain

  • Sciri said:

    Or you can just comma-separate a list of email addresses in the Address field of your iPhone instead of going through all the trouble of setting up a second half-broken account:

    Address: sean@ubuntu.c, sean@somewhere-else.c, sean@example.c, etc.

    That’s a standard feature of Apple Mail.app that carried over to the iPhone.

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