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If you are using SquirrelMail 1.5.0 or higher, you can use the freeware Yahoo! Mailer for Mac OS X to open mailto: URLs in SquirrelMail.

Firstly, download Yahoo! Mailer from one of these locations:


Copy Yahoo! Mailer from the disk image to your Applications folder and eject the disk image.

Open Yahoo! Mailer from your Applications folder.

In the dialog box, enter this:\n


Replace the your.webmail.server and WebMail text with your own addresses. If you don't know what to type, open your web browser and go to the SquirrelMail login page. The text you need is everything before the /src/ in the URL.

Now open Mail in the Applications folder and choose Mail > Preferences > General

Click the Default Email Reader popup menu and choose Select...

Navigate to Applications then select Yahoo! Mailer.

Quit Mail.

Try out your new configuration by opening this URL:\n

mailto:[email protected]?subject=Test&body=It%20works

Hope this helps someone.

If you're using loginhook or logouthook scripts in your Mac lab, you might want to set the Yahoo! Mailer URL using a shell command. Make sure you type this all on one line!

defaults write com.thomason.yahoomailer URL string:\n


We use this in our school's loginhook script, to reset the URL on every login in case a student opens Yahoo Mailer and changes the URL.

This requires some knowledge of AppleScript, Macintosh resource editing, and basic Macintosh system configuration. This entry has many psuedo links due to the code in it. Sorry. Experienced scripters can use the concepts shown here to create something better. A more robust script, easier understand FAQ entry, and explanations of why you are doing this are pending.

Open the Script Editor and enter the following:\n

  on <<event GURLGURL>> email_addr
    set the text item delimiters to "?"
    set email_addr to text from character 8 to -1 of item 1 of NOBREAK
    (every text item of email_addr)
    tell application "Browser Name goes here" to GetURL NOBREAK
    ("http://squirrelmail.server.name.goes.here/login.php?emailaddress=" NOBREAK
    & email_addr)
 end <<event GURLGURL>>

Remember to enter the proper broswer and server names and to convert your chevrons and NOBREAKs.

Save the result as a script application, and open it in ResEdit.

Get info for the script application. Unset the bundle bit and change the creator to SqMl.

Delete the BNDL and FREF resources. Open plst resource and set the CFBundleSignature to SqMl.

Save changes and exit ResEdit. Place the scriptlet in the Applications folder or someplace where it isn't likely to be moved.

In the internet system preferences panel, change your email application to the scriptlet.

You can also set the browsers individually. If you're using Netscape or Mozilla, see the MozillaMailto FAQ entry.

If you're using Yahoo! Mailer inside of Managed Client for MacOS X (a.k.a. MCX and sometimes mistakenly called Workgroup Manager, since many of its settings are controlled through that admin program) then you should be aware of the following:

If "Default Email Reader" is set in Workgroup Manager and a user has never used Yahoo!Mailer, trying to use a mailto: link will cause an error message like "Mac OS X does not know how to use a link of type 'mailto:'".

So after setting "Default Email Reader" and sending the needed plist settings, tell your users to run Yahoo! Mailer once and click "OK". After that, mailto: links should be working perfectly.

To add the plist settings that I referred to, just do the following:

  • Run Yahoo!Mailer once and put in the correct URL, as described above.
  • Run and log into Workgroup Manager.
  • Select the workgroup or user or computer list, as needed. (I recommend using the workgroup, but everyone's setup could be different.)
  • Click on the "Preferences" icon in the tool bar.
  • Click on "Details".
  • Click on "Add...".
  • Locate your com.thomason.yahoomailer file in ~/Library/Preferences.
  • Copy the "commandLine" and "url" settings from "Often" to "Always".
  • Click "Apply Now" and then "Done".

To make Yahoo! Mailer (and therefore SquirrelMail) your default email software:

  • Run and log into Workgroup Manager.
  • Select the workgroup or user or computer list, as needed. (I recommend using the workgroup, but everyone's setup could be different.)
  • Click on the "Preferences" icon in the tool bar.
  • Click on the "Internet" icon.
  • Click on the "Email" tab, if necessary.
  • Click on the "Always" radio button.
  • Click on the "Set..." button. Find and select Yahoo! Mailer from your hard drive.
  • Click "Apply Now" and then "Done".
  • Repeat, as needed, in other workgroups, computer lists, and/or users.
  • Please note that you will still need to install Yahoo! Mailer on all of your Macs and must put it in the same folder on each computer. I recommend using a centralized distribution system such as RAdminD or FileWave. I also recommend putting the program in either /Applications or /Applications/Utilities.

Note that these directions were based on and tested with MacOS X Server 10.4.x administering 10.3.x and 10.4.x workstations.

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