Sonntag, 3. November 2013

(Aus dem Archiv) Make respect your .mailboxlist when using IMAP

Der vorliegende Artikel habe ich ursprünglich irgendwann einmal ab 2002 auf meinem damaligen Linux-Entwicklungsserver im Web publiziert. Da ich das bloggen erst 2005 entdeckt habe, waren die Tipps in einer grossen HTML-Seite untergebracht. Anlässlich einer Aufräumaktion auf dem Server habe ich mich entschieden, die „Perlen“ über meine heutige Kommunikationsplattform ins Web zu posaunen. Seitdem ich die Artikel verfasst habe, sind viele Tage ins Land gegangen — ob der Artikel noch Gültigkeit hat, entscheidet der geneigte Leser selber. is a nice, sleek E-Mail-Client which does quite everything you need in everydays use. But there’s one great drawback: Apple engineers sometimes simply miss the point. When accessing IMAP-mailboxes through, you’re not only presented all the expected IMAP-folders, but all those crappy dot-hidden-files (.*) in the IMAP-root, even if there is a .mailboxlist, which tells well written (!) Mail-clients which folders to subscribe to (isn’t it even mentioned in a RFC?). doesn’t – god knows why. In fact, it seems also to depend on which mail-server your provider uses. If it’s pmdf, you’re most likely to end up the way I am. Another provider I use to store my on, there are no such issues at all.

Anyway, while browsing the web I only found some small hints … one worked! There’s some manual work to do, so it’s essential to have SSH-/Telnet-Access to the server where your folders are being stored.

  • Really first, close all your Mail-clients. Safe is safe
  • Second, make a backup-copy of all your IMAP-folders.
  • The clue is to move your IMAP-folders to a subdirectory. I therefore created a folder IMAP/ in my home-directory. Now you can move all folders to IMAP/
  • Configure to use „IMAP/“ as folder prefix. This setting is required by all other Mail-clients you use aside
  • Make also sure to update .mailboxlist in your root-directory to point to the new folders
  • If your provider also offers Horde IMP (Webmail), you have to „subscribe“ to the new folders. Don’t forget to point sent-mail and Trash to the new locations. These settings can usually be done under ‚Options‘

I feared to mess it up, so I waited months before I took these steps. Now I wish I had done it earlier. It’s so smooth to see only your mailfolders and all the other .profile, .whatever and .huh being gone forever!

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