Connecting Mozilla Thunderbird to Zimbra


Mozilla Thunderbird is a free, high-quality, cross-platform email program. Thunderbird allows you to check your Whitman email account from your own computer conveniently and efficiently and has many advantages over other commonly available email programs, such as Outlook. Some of these advantages include better security, ease of use, and advanced functionality.

If you do not already have Thunderbird, you can download the latest version for free.

Adding an Account and Initial Setup

To configure Thunderbird for your Whitman email account, start Thunderbird and do the following:

  1. If this is the first time you have used Thunderbird, its Account Wizard will start automatically to guide you through setting up your account. If you have used Thunderbird previously, go to the Tools menu, then Account Settings, select the Account Actions drop down menu, then select Add Account.
  2. Enter your name (as you want it to appear on any emails you send), your Whitman email address and password and hit Continue.
  3. Select Manual Config and manually enter the following information in the Editing Config area:
    • Incoming:, IMAP, 993, SSL/TLS
    Outgoing:, SMTP, 2525, STARTTLS
  4. Select Re-test.  Once Thunderbird allows you to do so, select Create Account
  5. Your account will now recieve mail, but it will need a few changes to send mail. Go to Tools, then Account Settings.
  6. On the left side of the Account Settings window, select Server Settings and hit Advanced.
  7. Make sure that Use IDLE command if the server supports it is the ONLY box that is checked.
  8. Delete any text in Personal Namespace, Pulic (shared) or Other Users
  9. Hit OK.
  10. On the left side of the Account Settings window, select Outgoing Server (SMTP).  Select the server you just set up (the defaul name is and hit Edit.
  11.  In Description, give the server a name (like "Whitman") to identify it as the server for this account.
    • Make sure the Server name is
    • Set the Port is 2525.
    • Under Security and Authentication select the following:
    • Connection security: STARTTLS
    • Authentication method: Normal password
    • The User name is your Whitman username (without
    • Once this is done, hit OK.
  12. On the the left side of the Account Settings window, select your account ( In the Outgoing Server (SMTP) drop down menu, select the account that you just configured. Then, hit OK. Note: If you have set up other accoutns in Thunderbird, there will be several outgoing server to choose from.  Make sure you choose the one that you set up with this account.
  13. Your Zimbra account should now be configured in Thunderbird.  If you do not see any of your folders right away, you will have to hit Get Mail for them to be downloaded from the server.  Depending on your connection and the number of folders you have in Zimbra this may take several minutes. 

Configuring the Online Directory (LDAP) (optional)

These steps will set up Thunderbird to access the Whitman online directory, which resides on an LDAP server. Setting up LDAP will enable Thunderbird to look up contact information for people at Whitman. For instance, if you were searching for the email address of a Mr. Doe, you could type "doe" in the address field of a new email message, and Thunderbird would automatically display a list of any faculty, staff, or student at Whitman whose name contains "doe".

  1. Open Thunderbird and click the Address Book icon.
  2. From the File menu of the Address Book, select New, then LDAP Directory.
  3. Enter a custom name, such as My Whitman LDAP.
  4. For Hostname, enter
  5. Set Base DN to ou=People, dc=whitman, dc=edu
    LDAP settings window
  6. Click OK and then close the Address Book window.
  7. Select Tools > Options (Windows) or Thunderbird > Preferences (OS X).
  8. Click on the Composition button in the top bar and then select the Addressing tab.
  9. Fill the checkbox next to Directory Server and choose "My Whitman LDAP" (or the custom name you chose) from the drop-down menu next to it.
  10. Click OK to accept the changes.
  11. Return to the Tools menu and select Account Settings.
  12. Select Composition & Addressing from the list of options on the left side of the window.
  13. On the right side of the window, under the "Addressing" section, choose Use a different LDAP server.
  14. From the drop-down menu below, choose My Whitman LDAP (or the custom name you chose).
  15. Click OK to save the changes.

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