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Old 11-23-2004, 10:23 AM   #1
Registered: May 2003
Location: Saskatoon
Distribution: Ubuntu 5.04
Posts: 31

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Serving local maildirs with IMAP?

About a year ago, I dove into the nest of snakes that is Linux e-mail services and found a happy setup. I don't remember the details now - I have reverted to a state of complete ignorance regarding what I did with fetchmail and procmail and spamassassin and all of that. I'm just a guy who wants to read his email.

But times have changed for me. In those days, I was always logged into the same computer. These days, I float around between 5 or 6 different boxes at 3 different physical locations on two completely separate networks. (One on campus the other at home.) My email works just fine on that home box, but I want to be able to access it from all the other locations as well.

For a while, I was happy just ssh'ing to my home box to read mail, but that creates problems when you want to save or send attachments - the file browser comes up for the home box, not for the local machine. And if you want to launch external viewer applications, that gets complicated too.

Next I tried using shfs to mount the home mail directories onto the local machines, but that sadly doesn't work on all the boxes (I don't have mount permission on lab machines) and it's really slow.

So now I'm thinking, why not drop an IMAP server onto the home machine to simply serve out the maildirs that I've gone to such trouble to set up? I do NOT want to reconfigure any parts of the original email setup that are still working. (I really prefer not to fix something that ain't broken.) I just want to drop in the IMAP server (that will only ever be used to read mail, not to send anything) and talk to that server to get my email when I'm remote. Is this doable?

Old 11-23-2004, 10:26 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Distribution: Gentoo, RHEL, Fedora, Centos
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it's doable because that's exactly what an imap server does. a default installation of courier, cyrus or wu-imap should give you access to your /home/ mail folders too if you use them.
Old 11-24-2004, 03:56 AM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Arch Linux
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I use BincImap. This IMAP server was created to access the mail in $HOME/Maildir/ in Maildir format of course.
So you just have to configure procmail (which is automatically called by postfix) to drop mail in $HOME/Maildir/, and postfix will automatically know (due to the trailing /) that it is Maildir format. Isn't that good?

If you have problems implementing this, just reply. This is exactly what I use, so I can be more specific, once I'm home.



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