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Old 09-13-2011, 02:07 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Brazil
Distribution: Debian Jessie
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Fixing my messed up mail (claws x mutt)

I used KMail for many years. I liked it, but I got really fed up with KDE and moved to Openbox. KMail requires that whole KDE kitchen sink to work, so I ditched it and migrated to Claws Mail.

I had one problem: KMail uses Maildir, and Claws does not support Maildir. It absolutely wants MH. Sigh. I am not too sure now, but I think I exported all my Maildir mail to Mbox, then imported it into brand new MH boxes created with Claws. I am almost sure I did that. It worked. I could verify that all my old mail was there, so I used Claws Mail for a few months.

Not very happy, I decided to maybe migrate to Mutt. So I installed Mutt and noticed that Mutt cannot see all of my old mail. If I tell Mutt that my spool is ~/Mail, it finds nothing. If I tell Mutt that my spool is ~/Mail/inbox, then it works (because that's where Claws stores new mail), but it only sees messages received until April 26. I download new mail with Claws every day, and Mutt still doesn't see it.

At least for some time, I want to be using both mail programs randomly until I decide to keep just one of them. I keep the habit of leaving all my messages in the POP3 server for a couple of months. So today I downloaded my mail with Mutt and now it can see all my recent mail. However, Claws doesn't see the new mail that I downloaded with Mutt. I have to download it *again* with Claws.

So I inspected the contents of the ~Mail/inbox directory. I see many messages numbered from 1 to 1,630 or something, fine, and the last one contains the same as the most recent message in Claws. I can't find the most recent messages, the ones I received through Mutt, except... Ah, there are three subdirectories in there: cur, new and tmp. Sure enough, cur contains many messages, including the most recent ones that I downloaded with Mutt. But not only those, there are also veeeery old messages, from as long as 5 years ago, the very first ones in both the Mutt index and the Claws index. And this is clearly not an MH mailbox, the files are not numbered.

Now, if I tell Mutt that my spool is ~/Mail/inbox, why is it storing new messages in ~/Mail/inbox/cur? And why does Claws (or is it Mutt?) keep those older messages in ~/Mail/inbox/cur? How did those directories get created and how did old messages end up there in the first place? Why isn't everything inside ~/Mail/inbox? And, most importantly:

How can I unify all this old mail so that it's all in ~/Mail/inbox and that both mail programs can be used to download and browse the messages?

Please do not reply or comment (and steal the zero-reply status from my thread) unless you have a real, useful contribution to make. Things like "hey, excuse me, but I would like to know why you decided to abandon KDE or Claws or polka-dot shorts or whatever" belong in another, completely separate thread. Just create a thread called "Has anyone here abandoned XXX, and why?" and send me a private message, I will post my comments in the relevant thread.
Old 09-15-2011, 11:07 AM   #2
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Looking at my ~/Mail/inbox created with Claws, I don't have any subdirectories, so they must be a Mutt thing. What I do have are .claws_cache, which has the brief details of the messages for display in the program, and .claws_mark, which is presumably used if you mark the messages.

Obviously Claws keeps a record of what to list (in .claws_cache) to save scanning the saved files every time, and Mutt is presumably doing the same thing. In other words, neither program is aware of what the other has downloaded. Since .claws_cache is not a plain text file, you'd need to write a program to scan all the messages and create your own version of the file.

I suspect the conclusion is that email clients expect to be used on their own and you'll have your work cut out getting them to work in pairs. It's probably make-your-mind-up time!
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