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Old 01-10-2008, 11:00 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: CentOS
Posts: 174

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Thunderbird and Local Mail

There was a thread on this a few years back -

I did not see a solution.

I just started using Thunderbird. I think it is better than Evolution (which I used for years) except for one thing - it can not read my local mail.

On my lan I have an imap server, jerusalem.mpeters.local
fetchmail pops my accounts, procmail filters them and sends them through SpamAssassin, and Dovecot makes them available via imap.

Works extremely well, has for years.

However, while I can read my mail on the imap server just fine, I can't read my local mail on the local systems.

For example, my laptop runs CentOS 5.1.
The system sends mail to the root user - disk usage, etc.
Some cron jobs send mail to the root user.
in /etc/aliases any mail sent to the root user gets forwarded to my local user account.

Evolution would let me read them just fine, Thunderbird will not.

I could set up procmail on the laptop to forward them them to my imap server, but this is a laptop - it is used all kinds of places where it can not reach the lan, and it seems kind of silly to send local mail over a network to read it when it originates on the local machine I want to read it on.

Is there any way to get Thunderbird to read those local messages?

Right now I'm using the /usr/bin/mail command, but that is a PITA. I'd rather do it in the GUI that I use to read all my mail.

If thunderbird can't do it, I may have to go back to using Evolution, even though it is an inferior client in other respects.

I'm using Thunderbird 2 on CentOS 5.1 (not the thunderbird 1.5 that CentOS 5 has OOB)

Thanks for any suggestions.
Old 01-11-2008, 12:40 PM   #2
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Registered: Sep 2007
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Have you tried setting up a movemail account in thunderbird?
Old 01-11-2008, 06:34 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: CentOS
Posts: 174

Original Poster
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It only has option for pop3 and imap in the new account setting.

I googled thunderbird movemail and found this:

I have emacs installed - but I do not have a movemail option in thunderbird.
Maybe it wants emacs when it builds (I built the src.rpm in mock, so if it isn't pulled in by a BuildRequires it isn't there when it builds)

Maybe I need to rebuild the src.rpm with some different options, I'll look into it more - thanks for the tip - I may have a starting point towards resolving this.
Old 01-11-2008, 07:52 PM   #4
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Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Saint Amant, Acadiana
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Run some lightweight POP3 server locally. Easy to set up, easy to use, requires very little resources.
Old 01-12-2008, 05:38 AM   #5
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Registered: Sep 2007
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Originally Posted by FunkyRes View Post
I have emacs installed - but I do not have a movemail option in thunderbird.
There was a bug with that, it's fixed in the latest thunderbird though. (Mozilla bug #385095.)
Old 01-31-2008, 11:57 AM   #6
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Registered: Jan 2008
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Centos 5.1 + thunderbird problem

Hi I have the same problem:
I have a Centos 5.1 O.S. and my computer has a 64 bit processor (not 32 bit).
All thunderbird versions I tried (1.5xx, and 2.0xx) show the same problem, I can't read my own mails.
It appears that the header is somehow screwed up and thunderbird thinks that the message is deleted (The message exsists in the Inbox file but thunderbird doesn't show it).
When im sending a message to other people, those with thunderbird report the same problem and those with other email programs (like pine, gmail) can read it without problems.
I think it must have something to do with the 64 bit compatibility, does anyone here have any suggestions?

here is an example for a screwed up message that appears in the Inbox file (In the Inbox file the beginning of this message starts right after the previous message without a space line. I don't know if this is significant or not):

From Thu Jan 31 18:40:32 2008
X-Mozilla-Status: 8000
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
Return-Path: <>
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.1.7 (2006-10-05) on
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-3.8 required=6.0 tests=ALL_TRUSTED,AWL,BAYES_00
autolearn=no version=3.1.7
Received: from ( [])
by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 26FFDA33C3
for <>; Thu, 31 Jan 2008 18:40:32 +0200 (IST)
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 18:40:32 +0200
From: Omer Bromberg <>
User-Agent: Thunderbird (X11/20071031)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Subject: screwed up message
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit



local, mail, maildir, thunderbird

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