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Old 06-11-2019, 04:17 PM   #1
joenew
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Offline Mail config and ideas


Hi all,
I’m wondering if there is a good solution to configure a local mail folder synchronized with a remote mail server and accessible from the local host with various mail clients.

I found isync/mbsync to download and sync a local mail folder with the remote server via imap. This seems a useful software that creates the local mail folder in maildir format and replicates remote imap subfolders.

The main issue I found is the client limitations: for example mutt can handle maildir format, but other clients cannot. I tried, claws-mail and sylpheed, but both work well with MH mail folder format and not with maildir.

I thought to achieve the goal by some tool that converts local folder from maildir to MH format and create a duplicate for non-maildir compliant clients, like claws-mail or sylpheed, but could be a non optimal solution...

What could be a good idea to read / write / manage mail message and imap folders in a fast offline way but with the possibility of using different clients?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by joenew; 06-11-2019 at 04:20 PM.
 
Old 06-11-2019, 07:05 PM   #2
Contrapak
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Consider using this tool that'll configure everything for you to use Mutt/NeoMutt.
 
Old 06-11-2019, 08:52 PM   #3
scasey
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Why are you not just using Thunderbird to access IMAP mail remotely?
Are you looking for a command-line or web-based client?
If you have your mail stored in maildir format, install an imap server to access it with any email client.
Dovecot supports the maildir format.
Squirrelmail will provide a web client/access to local maildir folders.

Last edited by scasey; 06-11-2019 at 08:53 PM.
 
Old 06-12-2019, 06:52 AM   #4
joenew
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Can dovecot sync my local mail dir and subfolders with, for example, a remote gmail mail box?
Or dovecot just serves the local maildir content to the email client/clients?

I mean, will isync/mbsync be still necessary to keep synced local mail folder with the remote one?


As regard your question, I don't want to manage emails by imap remotely, because it is slower.
Sylpheed can handle email message in off-line mode, but I'm looking for something more "static", some user using sylpheed forgot to switch to offline mode, and obviously complained about email access speed.

I just wanted to store my email folder on the local machine, both for a more speedy access, and for a more safe approach (the local email folder can rest accessible in case of internet connectivity issues, it can be backed up very quickly with for instance a tar, copy, rsync or by any other tool the local filesystem provides).
At the same time I want to propagate my local maildir changes to the remote folder, and get remote changes to the local folder, in other words I want to keep synced the local mail folder with the remote one and vice versa, here why I chosen IMAP way.
 
Old 06-12-2019, 08:33 AM   #5
scasey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joenew View Post
Can dovecot sync my local mail dir and subfolders with, for example, a remote gmail mail box?
Or dovecot just serves the local maildir content to the email client/clients?

I mean, will isync/mbsync be still necessary to keep synced local mail folder with the remote one?


As regard your question, I don't want to manage emails by imap remotely, because it is slower.
Sylpheed can handle email message in off-line mode, but I'm looking for something more "static", some user using sylpheed forgot to switch to offline mode, and obviously complained about email access speed.

I just wanted to store my email folder on the local machine, both for a more speedy access, and for a more safe approach (the local email folder can rest accessible in case of internet connectivity issues, it can be backed up very quickly with for instance a tar, copy, rsync or by any other tool the local filesystem provides).
At the same time I want to propagate my local maildir changes to the remote folder, and get remote changes to the local folder, in other words I want to keep synced the local mail folder with the remote one and vice versa, here why I chosen IMAP way.
I'm recommending dovecot on your local computer after the mail is synced by whatever means you use to sync it, in order to access the local maildirs with any client you choose, which speaks to your original question.

I am not addressing the syncing of remote mail to your local computer. You seem to have already figured that out.

I'd be surprised that "cloning" your Maildirs locally is any better than just using an IMAP client* in the way it was intended. What do you think are the causes of slowness? I guess I'm suggesting that you may not be asking the right question.

*That said, in a quick scan of the Sylpheed docs, I don't see that it has IMAP support...
 
Old 06-12-2019, 09:30 AM   #6
joenew
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No.. There aren't actually issues with connection speed, but if you have a fast solid state disk on your local machine it's more comfortable and really faster to browse, open, manage your email messages if they are stored locally instead of remotely.

As regards the structure of "local mail service":
- isync to keep local mail dir synced with the remote
- dovecot to serve the local maildir to the clients
- IMAP client to access emails through dovecot server

Right?


PS.
Sylpheed can handle IMAP, I already configured it on a windows machine in an office and it points to gmail remote imap server.
If you look at the feature page you'll find IMAP support too: https://sylpheed.sraoss.jp/en/features.html
 
Old 06-12-2019, 09:35 AM   #7
scasey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joenew View Post
No.. There aren't actually issues with connection speed, but if you have a fast solid state disk on your local machine it's more comfortable and really faster to browse, open, manage your email messages if they are stored locally instead of remotely.

As regards the structure of "local mail service":
- isync to keep local mail dir synced with the remote
- dovecot to serve the local maildir to the clients
- IMAP client to access emails through dovecot server

Right?


PS.
Sylpheed can handle IMAP, I already configured it on a windows machine in an office and it points to gmail remote imap server.
If you look at the feature page you'll find IMAP support too: https://sylpheed.sraoss.jp/en/features.html
Yes. That looks right.

PS
I said it was a quick scan
 
Old 06-13-2019, 05:06 PM   #8
joenew
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I'm slowly reading dovecot doc...
Do you know dovecot config enough to suggest a simple setup to:

- serve the mail stored in /home/joe/mail (on localhost)
- to the clients running on the localhost and launched by the user "joe"

???

A simple setup without any permission or auth issues... the mail box has to be accessible just by the simple user on the same host where dovecot is running.

Thanks again!
 
Old 06-13-2019, 05:55 PM   #9
scasey
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Not really. I just use it as an IMAP server only. From the dovecot.conf file:
Quote:
# If you're in a hurry, see http://wiki2.dovecot.org/QuickConfiguration
I've not looked at that, either.
 
Old Today, 05:49 AM   #10
joenew
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I'm testing the following config, it seems to work.
Login to dovecot imap server with my linux localhost username and passwd.
Noticed some trouble with INBOX parameter: it has to be specified in dovecot.conf, otherwise it looks for INBOX mails in ~/mail/gmx, and not in ~/mail/gmx/INBOX

Code:
~/.mbsyncrc
Code:
IMAPStore gmx-remote
Host imap.gmx.com
Port 993
User me@gmx.invalid
Pass 012345689aBcD
SSLType IMAPS
CertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt

MaildirStore gmx-local
Path ~/mail/gmx/
Inbox ~/mail/gmx/INBOX
Subfolders Verbatim

Channel gmx
Master :gmx-remote:
Slave  :gmx-local:
Create Both
Expunge Both
Patterns *
SyncState *

Code:
/etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf
Code:
mail_location = maildir:~/mail/gmx:LAYOUT=fs:INBOX=~/mail/gmx/INBOX
protocols = imap
passdb {
  driver = shadow
}
userdb {
  driver = passwd
}
service auth {
  user = root
}
 
  


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