IMAP over SSL with Dovecot, and mbox vs maildir

I’m playing around with hosting my own little IMAP server to act as the repository in which I put all my old email I’m too stingy to delete. I ended up choosing Dovecot because it seems simplest, and because the only way mail will get into these folders is when I drag it there in my client. `aptitude install dovecot-imapd` did the trick, and even generated SSL certs by default (although they have localhost.localdomain as the machine name, so I will end up changing them).

I ran into one snag: mbox vs maildir. I have some of my really old email sitting in mbox files, so I chose mbox as my default folder format during installation. This turns out to add a few challenges: mbox folders cannot house subfolders. Thus, in Thunderbird, when I create a new folder, it becomes a message-housing entity if I name the new folder with letters and numbers, but it becomes a subfolder-housing entity if I name the new folder with a trailing ‘/’. This took some Google time to figure out.

It’s fine with me if I can’t have messages and subfolders in my own folders, with the exception of the Inbox. CMU apparently uses maildir format and so I’m used to all of my subfolders hanging off of the Inbox. I’m probably going to switch to maildir before I do The Import.


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