Help an old man

So I’m slowly considering ceasing using command-line mail software in favor of a GUI mailer like Thunderbird. I have one sticking point, however. Right now, I have a huge archive of old mail… It is very well organized; I have a mail/Saved folder and inside that folder I have hundreds of mbox files which are gzipped. Mutt can deal with these gzipped folders on the fly..

Now, say I want to use Thunderbird as my mailer, and I want to advertise all of these folders through IMAP, and be able to create new folders as needed over IMAP, how do I do this.. I realize I might have to give up on the gzipped folders, which is fine by me, that’s what I pay dues for at CSH, but it seems that the only way to get folders to show up is to make sure they are listed in ~/.mailboxlist, which I am completely disinterested in maintaining. I know there has to be a “proper” way of doing this, I just don’t know what it is… Can anyone provide any insight/articles on the right way of handling all this stuff?

7 thoughts on “Help an old man

  1. You right click (control-click for macosx) and select “new folder” or “subscribe” depending on if the folder already exists. For the CSH mailer, it’s easy. You can just leave all your folders in Mail/. You’ll need to expand your gzipped folders, but then you can just subscribe to all of them and they’ll appear.

    1. Oh, that said, I switched to mozilla and then thunderbird years ago and I haven’t looked back. I still use mutt when I only have an ssh session for some reason, but otherwise, I’m happy.

      Also, if you gpg-sign your messages, check out Enigmail. It’s a tbird extension that handles all the gpg interaction for you.

      1. I, on the other hand, used thunderbird+Enigmail for about six months before switching back to the Apple Mailer. I had Thunderbird crashing just about every day and hanging for long periods of time at other points. Additionally, I like Apple Mail’s integration with the Apple Addressbook and didn’t have time to try to write a plugin for Thunderbird to use it.

        Disadvantage: I’m tied to my Mac.

        I still have Thunderbird set up on Linux… I could use that in a pinch. But… alas…

  2. The contents of ~/.mailboxlist are generally maintained by the IMAP server, although you an obviously doctor it by hand. The file is used by the IMAP server to maintain your list of “subscribed” folders. If you poke are in the Thunderbird UI, you’ll find mention of “Show only subscribed folders” and “Manage folder subscribes”. If you disable the former option, you’ll see the complete contents of your IMAP folder namespace (which you should set to something like ~/Mail; otherwise, you’ll see the complete recursirve contents of your home directory).

    What you probably want to do is un-gzip your achived mail into a permanent location and subscribe to those folders through the GUI whenever you want to look at them. That will allow you to use the subscriptions optimization while allowing the IMAP server to maintain the contents of ~/.mailboxlist accurately.

  3. Suspended Animation

    I don’t know about your whole MUA downgrade situation, but I just downloaded the new Fantomas amazing. Now I’m totaly pumped to see them on wednesday. I’ll defintely pick up the cd as well.

    1. Re: Suspended Animation

      Yeah, it totally rocks… You have to buy it, the packaging is way cool… It’s a calendar for April 2005 with a different little illustration for each day…

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