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Gmail & Thunderbird

August 18, 2014 - Geek Bits, Web Stuff
Gmail & Thunderbird

So, Gmail access using a desktop client. Should be easy right? I ended up going round and round in circles trying to get access to my Gmail account using Thunderbird. I checked settings repeatedly, started from scratch a few times and no joy. Thunderbird has a rather annoying feature when you add accounts in that it tries to do a load of your thinking for you and so far has never worked for me, I always have to resort to doing things manually. Anyway … I’ve got it working.

Turns out that Google considers desktop clients like Microsoft Outlook and Mozillas Thunderbird as “less secure apps” and blocks these by default. Nowhere in the Gmail config instructions does it mention this on the page where it tells you how to access Gmail from a desktop client which isn’t very helpful.

OAuth 2.0

The basic problem is that Google want you to use their web based client and block anything accessing their services that doesn’t implement the OAuth 2.0 standard. Slightly hypocritical since the original author of the OAuth 1.0 standard departed the development of the OAuth 2.0 standard directly as a result of companies like Google wanting to introduce inconsistencies and … yup, you guessed it … less secure methodologies.  This is a perfect example of Embrace, Extend and Extinguish …

Whatever happened to you Google?  “Don’t be evil” used to be your mantra …

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