Is it possible to use Sparrow over a SSH-tunnel since the imap and ssl ports are blocked at my work?

1 Answer 1


I think your basic strategy is correct, e.g.:

ssh -L 587:smtp.gmail.com:587 -L 993:imap.gmail.com:993 user@yourremotehost

should get you talking to Gmail via yourremote host. Potential problems are if you do not run this as root (with sudo), you are not allowed to specify local ports below 1024 - so you can't use 587 or 993 as your local ports. So, do something like this:

ssh -L 9587:smtp.gmail.com:587 -L 9993:imap.gmail.com:993 user@yourremotehost

...and configure Sparrow to talk to localhost on those high local port numbers instead of the defaults.

Again, you can debug by trying 'telnet localhost 9587' which should get you an SMTP prompt from Gmail. If that works, you should feel confident that the SSH part is working, and concentrate on Sparrow configuration.

If you get it all working, an alternative to the commandline switches is to make a file called 'config' in your local .ssh directory that looks like this:

Host yourremotehost    
        LocalForward    9587    smtp.gmail.com:587
        LocalForward    9993    imap.gmail.com:993
  • Really strange. It doesn't work for me. Can anyone try the above if you got blocked by a firewall and can't use Sparrow.
    – dotcrash
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 14:12

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