Ketil Froyn's blog

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Thu, 07 Jan 2010

SugarCRM IMAP and SSL compound issue

I'm busy setting up SugarCRM community edition 5.5.0, and learning about how to use it for sales, marketing and support activities. Installing on Debian and getting started was pretty easy, but when setting up SugarCRM to check mail, I ran into a couple of issues.

Firstly, the email in this case is hosted Exchange 2007, and I was setting up IMAP access. To do that, I needed to use SSL access, but the Inbound Email Account refused to let me save the SSL option set. I selected SSL, and it changed the port to 993, but SSL showed as off when I next viewed the account details.

To fix this, I first tried to edit the database directly, something like:

update inbound_email set port=993, service='::::ssl::imap::::' where deleted=0 and server_url='';
For some reason, however, it kept on stalling when I tried to connect, so this didn't solve the issue for me.

Next I tried to set up a plaintext IMAP server on the SugarCRM server, that just tunneled the connection to the Exchange 2007 IMAP SSL server. I did that using stunnel and tcpserver, with a setup something like this:


exec /usr/local/bin/envuidgid $USER /usr/local/bin/tcpserver -U -D -c 20 $HOST $PORT /usr/bin/stunnel3 -c -f -r
And then I just used "localhost" and no SSL in my SugarCRM configuration. However, this also failed when I tested the setting, giving me the error "SECURITY PROBLEM: insecure server advertised AUTH=PLAIN Please check your settings and try again.", which is a php error message when connecting to an IMAP connection. That is of course correct in the general case, but when connecting to localhost, it's not a security issue. This wasn't meant to be easy...:)

Digging around online a bit more, I came across this workaround, which actually involved editing the source. That's usually a fix to steer clear of, because it is highly likely to break no the next upgrade, but I went ahead anyway. Doing what jeff.esquivel suggested worked fine for me.

At least I got it working finally. The ideal solution would be to solve the timeout with the initial connection after I edited the DB, but I didn't have time. Hope this is useful to someone out there.

posted at: 13:06 | path: /2010/01 | permanent link to this entry

Fuel from termites: methane

I stumbled across an article online about methane emissions by termites. It's a short article, and discusses "Human Impact" and "Potential for control".

However, the idea struck me that it should be possible to farm termites for their methane, collecting the methane and using it as fuel. It's a potentially low-tech method to convert cellulose to a gas fuel. It's probably a wacky and utterly useless idea, (ie. how to transport enough cellulose to the termites, where to keep them in a good climate, how to control the climate, risks related to release of methane, etc) but it's mine, so I'm keeping it!

posted at: 00:59 | path: /2010/01 | permanent link to this entry