Post by Bob Goodwin
Ok, I've installed Dovecot, made some changes to the config. file
and started it. Then told gmail I wanted to "enable" IMAP. Although
I have a "wildblue" address they gave up their mail servers and
shunted everyone over to google! Not the best deal for users perhaps
but I had no choice. Rural users are stuck without CATV or Telco DSL
internet service so the satellite providers have no competition.
Anyway now that I've done this the system is dumping everything it
has on me, presently 4091 trash files! Hopefully that is all,
probably ~7k messages in total.
I still don't understand how this works but I will in pretty short
order I guess? Where are these messages being saved? On my F-12
computer somewhere in Dovecot I hope.
What do I have to configure in another computer to access the IMAP
messages? Do I simply add an IMAP user to Thunderbird, the email
program I have been using for some time. If the messages are stored
in my computer, other computers need to look there and connect via
my LAN [wired and wireless]. I'm already in over my head despite
reading a lot of instructions on how to set this up!.
Any help is appreciated.
When you told gmail that you want to access it via imap then you presumably
set up an imap gmail account in Thunderbird? What this then will do is to
get the mail client (Thunderbird) to access gmail via the imap server held
This is not directly related to the dovecot imap server that you will have
set up on your own machine. You can get Thunderbird to (separately) connect
to you own imap server if you set up a "local" imap account pointing to
127.0.0.1 and have the dovecot service running locally (i.e. make sure that
as root "dovecot service start", and "chkconfig dovecot on" to start it at
boot - and check that the service is running by "service dovecot status")
Now when you start Thunderbird with both the gmail imap account as well as
the local imap account defined within Thunderbird then you will see two sets
of mail but at this stage the only mail that you will see populated is the
gmail account. i.e. Thunderbird as email client, is making connections to
two independent imap servers - one at gmail and the other in your local
If you wish you can then copy mail from the gmail server to your own dovecot
server, either manually or by setting up local filter rules within
Thunderbird. You can set rules up to make copies of all mail at gmail onto
your local imap server from within Thunderbird so that each time Thunderbird
checks for new mail at gmail it will copy to your local server.
You configure the rules in which ever way is most convenient for you.
However once this is all done then you can start a different mail client
(such as Evolution for example) and set up a local imap account which will
then see any email that is already stored (and handled) by dovecot locally.
You can of course also set it up to look at gmail and transfer files to the
local imap if you wish - and then run either mail client whenever you feel
like it, and use the best facilities of the one you are running at any time.
1) Set up local imap server - dovecot.
2) Set up email client eg Thunderbird and/or Evolution and/or kmail etc with
each email client having an account pointing to any mail servers where you
have email - one account may be gmail, another your local dovecot imap, and
you may have a yahoo account or others as well
3) Set up filter rules to copy mail from one or other of these servers to
any of the others - each "account" set up in an email client points to a
One possible use is when your isp runs only a pop3 mail server - you can get
your Thunderbird to connect to that but then to copy mail from that server
to your local server and then any other mail client can see the same emails
by pointing them to the local dovecot imap server.
I hope this helps
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