Using your Fedora email alias with Gmail

Gmail is a popular email service and web client for browsing, receiving, and sending email. Gmail is used by billions of people across the world. It’s one of the simplest, most accessible email services even with being full of features. Did you know that it is possible to read and reply to other email services directly from Gmail? I’ve been doing this for years. Here is how to do it with your Fedora (fedoraproject.org) email alias.

Using your Fedora email alias

If you are a Fedora contributor that is a member of the CLA signature group and one other group, you have access to FedoraPeople.org and receive a few other services. One of these includes email forwarding to a fedoraproject.org email alias. Once you meet the group requirement, email forwarding will start working to <username>@fedoraproject.org to the email you registered with.

If you use Gmail’s web interface for your email, it is possible to set it up to work with outgoing mail as well. Before getting started, you should make sure the email you use for your FAS account is the Gmail you want to use. With a few simple steps, you can get outgoing mail working too.

Setting up outgoing mail with email alias

Log in and open your Gmail.

Using Fedora email alias: Logging into Gmail

Click on the gear icon in the corner. Click on settings.

Using Fedora email alias: Going to Gmail settings

Go to the “Accounts and Import” tab in the settings menu.

Using Fedora email alias: Click on "Accounts and Import" tab

Click on “Add another email you own“.

Using Fedora email alias: Add another email address you own

Enter your name and your fedoraproject.org email address here. The email address will be the same name as your username in FAS. Leave “Treat as an alias” option checked. Mine is shown below as an example.

Using Fedora email alias: Adding your Fedora email alias to Gmail

Now, you will be prompted to enter the SMTP settings for the email alias.

Using Fedora email alias: Entering SMTP settings

Clear out the defaults and fill in the following info for your account.

  • SMTP: smtp.gmail.com
  • Username: youremail@gmail.com
  • Password: <your Gmail password>

Make sure to use a secured connection over TLS.

Using Fedora email alias: Using Gmail as the SMTP provider

Important! You might get an error here. In most cases, this is because Gmail is cracking down on less secure apps. However, the tool that they themselves use to import third party emails isn’t secure enough to meet the criteria for more secure apps. Ironic, I know. If you receive this error, you will need to change a setting in your Google account.

Using Fedora email alias: Authentication failure example

You can go here to allow access for “less secure” apps, but do this at your own risk. Usually it is not a concern, but it is worth taking into consideration. You might also want to consider using two-factor authentication.

Using Fedora email alias: Enabling access for less secure apps

Testing your outgoing email alias

On doing all this successfully, Gmail will send a confirmation email to your Fedora email. If you’ve got your email setup properly, this will be forwarded to your Gmail inbox.

Using Fedora email alias: Verifying the email alias

Boom! There it is. Click on the link in the email and confirm ownership of the address.

Using Fedora email alias: Checking the confirmation email

Test out the new setup. Just send yourself (the Gmail address) a test message from the Fedora email. Click on the “From” field to toggle the sender email to select the email to send from.

Using Fedora email alias: Testing outgoing mail with the alias

Ta-da! Yes, there it is in our inbox.

Using Fedora email alias: Receiving mail from your alias

Bonus! If you’re into the new Inbox app by Google, this works on there as well.

This post was drafted from the result of a productive discussion that I had on #fedora-commops with jflory7 and masetrax. Thanks guys.

Justin W. Flory, my possible mentor for GSoC, told me that he uses a third party service called Mailgun to handle outgoing SMTP. There are many ways to do it, but here’s how to do it directly from Gmail.

Categories: Infrastructure

17 Comments

  1. Thanks for this guide, very handy – it never crossed my mind to simply use the gmail SMTP server.

    If you’re using a Google Apps gmail account, your domain administrator will also have to enable “Allow per-user outbound gateways” under Apps > Google Apps > Settings for Gmail > Advanced Settings in order for this to work.

  2. While being well on the content and the form, the article kinda leave me a sad taste in the mouth. Seeing something about using a proprietary software on the fedora blog, without even mentioning that this is proprietary or anything is a bit shocking.

    I do not think it would have been hard to find a angle that promote a bit more our values of freedom in the intro and overall motivation. For example, say “gmail is popular, but you are dependent on it not deciding to do some kind of censorship or anything, so we will see how you can use a email that would allow you to retain a bit of freedom if you move”, and follow up by a article on how to migrate out using the export feature).

    • Hi Michael, thanks for leaving your feedback. While Gmail is a proprietary service and there is without question not much openness about it, it is a method that many people use, usually those who already have addresses with Gmail (such as for this example to work, one would already have to have a Gmail address anyways). When I was editing, I hadn’t given much consideration towards recommending using the fedoraproject.org email full-time since it’s not really intended for that purpose as it’s just an alias.

      Nonetheless, I see the logic you are using and I agree that it’s an important detail to not overlook. If an author is willing, it might be a good idea to create a write-up on a personal blog or even the Fedora Magazine about how to migrate out of Gmail and into a more open option.

  3. You don’t need to enable the less secure authentication method in Gmail, just go to https://security.google.com/settings/security/apppasswords and create a specific password for this task.

  4. Hi ,
    I have followed all the above steps and added @fedoraproject.org alias mail too till verification step. When i click on verify by mail,i am getting a failure message. Loks like below:

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

    XXXXXX@fedoraproject.org

    Technical details of permanent failure:
    Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domain fedoraproject.org by mx1.redhat.com. [209.132.183.28].

    The error that the other server returned was:
    550 5.1.1 : Recipient address rejected: User unknown in local recipient table
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    How to configure ..
    Help me

    • Hi! In order for your Fedora Project email alias to work, you will need to make sure you are in one additional group other than the FPCL agreement group in the Fedora Account System (FAS). If you meet this requirement, you should stop by #fedora-admin on freenode and see if a member of the Infrastructure team can help you out.

  5. Hi, I tried following your article but every time I am stuck with this.

    Authentication failed. Please check your username/password.
    [Server response: DNS Error: 14587473 DNS type ‘aaaa’ lookup of smtp.fedoraproject.org responded with code NXDOMAIN 14587473 DNS type ‘a’ lookup of smtp.fedoraproject.org responded with code NXDOMAIN code(0) ]

  6. Alonso Sal y Rosas

    August 23, 2016 — 6:37 am

    I have problems when I want to put my @fedora.org alias in my gmail. An error message is desplayed .. What I can do..

    Autenticación fallida. Revisa tu nombre de usuario y tu contraseña.
    [Respuesta del servidor: 534-5.7.14 Please log in via your web browser and 534-5.7.14 then try again. 534-5.7.14 Learn more at 534 5.7.14 https://support.google.com/mail/answer/78754 j6sm478817uad.4 – gsmtp code(534) ]

  7. Hi. I fix the issue i had with Gmail.

    First i get error with Username and Password. I delete the account and start again from zero. Then I got another error:

    534-5.7.14 Please log in via your web browser and
    534-5.7.14 then try again.

    With a link to “Learn more” (https://support.google.com/mail/answer/78754)

    There are several tips there, but one i didn’t try before:
    https://accounts.google.com/b/0/DisplayUnlockCaptcha

    I’m not pretty sure what it does, it looks like it generate an internal token for the “app”. Once I click “Continue”, the email alias works for sent emails.

    Notice that this one is different from “Less secure apps” (https://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps).

    I hope this help!

    • And it’s important to note that if you change your gmail password, you need to update the link between you email and your alias. You can do this by editing the account in the “Accounts and Import” section of gmail settings.

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