How do I use SMTP Authentication with Netscape or Outlook Express?

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Question

I can not use SMTP Authentication with Netscape or Outlook Express. Enabling full logging for SMTP produces a log similar to the following

SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 3084 3483 EHLO server
SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 0000 3483 250-server Hello server [1.2.3.4],   pleased to meet you
SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 0000 3483 250-PIPELINING
SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 0000 3483 250-SIZE 10485760
SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 0000 3483 250-ENHANCEDSTATUSCODES
SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 0000 3483 250-8BITMIME
SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 0000 3483 250-DSN
SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 0000 3483 250-AUTH LOGIN MD5 CRAM-MD5 PLAIN 789259kw143533363483
SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 0000 3483 250-XRCPTLIMIT 25
SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 0000 3483 250-XAUD 789259kw143533363483 0.9
SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 0000 3483 250 HELP
SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 3084 3483 QUIT
SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 0000 3483 221 2.5.0 Goodbye server

Answer

The client is sending an EHLO command and then simply quitting. This indicates that either the client does not understand the AUTH command or is getting confused with the number of choices returned.

Testing with Netscape (V4.7) it was found that enabling ONLY the PLAIN option for AUTH allows Netscape to use it correctly. If all the options as above are enabled then Netscape makes no attempt to use AUTH at all.

Further, leaving all the AUTH options enabled and setting the system variable MSOutlookFix to a value of 1 also allows Netscape to see and use SMTP Authentication.

Note that setting the MSOutlookFix variable to a value of 1 adds an extra line to the information returned to the EHLO command as follows

SMTP 25 Oct 2001 12:24:56 A 0000 3483 250-AUTH=LOGIN MD5 CRAM-MD5 PLAIN 789259kw143533363483

This is not compliant with RFC2554 but appears to be required by earlier versions of Outlook Express and Netscape.

Keywords:Authentication, ESMTP, AUTH, Netscape, Outlook, Outlook Express

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