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Who has the perfect IMAP setup?

Well, here I am, fiddling with my email still! I have been using GMail with IMAP now for about a year because a) I was to lazy to setup my own IMAP server again and b) GMail has decent spam filtering, email filtering, and the labels stuff. Plus it is nice when I can’t get access to one of my machines to fire up Mutt, I can just hit the web browser, though that hasn’t happened to me yet.

I spent quite a bit of yesterday and today fiddling around with some things that my buddy Greg posted about a month ago. See, I have had Mutt doing the generic IMAP thing with GMail and it works fairly well. The downfall is how slow it is. See, I get quite a bit of email, probably to much to be honest. Mutt + GMail grabs the emails just fine, but for some reason when I am going through my list of about 5,000 or so, scrolling is painfull. So I setup Greg’s way from his post, or similar to it. This helped tremendously, but I still am not all that happy with it. For some reason, the application offlineimap creates funny named folders for the [GMAIL] stuff. I used the patched Mutt so I have my nice little folder bar on the left. With the new folder names locally, my folder bar is a mess unless I widen it. Doing this tends to kill off a lot of the threads as they grow deeper and deeper.

Anyways, enough of that stuff. What I am looking for is the perfect IMAP setup. I just need the IMAP portion for email, as I use my ISP for SMTP. What is the perfect IMAP setup in your opinion?

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  • guilopo


    I use the same email configuration as you. (offlineimap + mutt-patched). I have configured 4 accounts and at the beginning I has the same problem -> too long folder names. You can shorten/filter the names using the ‘nametrans’ or ‘folderfilter’ options in .offlineimaprc . For the gmail account I have configurred the following:

    nametrans = lambda foldername: re.sub(‘ ‘, ‘_’, re.sub(‘^Mail/’, ”, foldername))

    other examples are:
    folderfilter = lambda foldername:‘(^INBOX$|^Mail/|^postponed|^Sent)’, foldername)
    nametrans = lambda foldername: re.sub(‘ ‘, ‘_’, re.sub(‘^Mail/’, ”, foldername))

    Hope you find this usefull.


  • mok0

    You didn’t say if you’re using mbox or Maildir format, and in my experience that matters a _lot_. Basically, when mbox files become large, everything slows to a crawl, whereas Maildir just remains snappy.

  • I run my own postfix + dovecot + spamassassin + procmail combo for mail, and apart from the initial setup and the odd new rule in my procmailrc, I never touch it. I use the same postfix server for (authenticated, secure) outbound SSL so I never have to bother about ‘local’ SMTP servers.

    Client side I use a mixture of iPhone Mail (best mobile mail client I’ve seen, and excellent IMAP support), Roundcube, and the jewel in the crown: Claws. This has by far the best IMAP support of any MUA I’ve used, and I’ve tried lots.

    For I while I was into the whole offlineimap + mutt thing, but I never got it quite to my satisfaction and ended up going back to Claws.

  • @ guilopo – I will take a look at that and see if that will satisfy my taste. Thanks!

    @mok0 – Maildir.

    @schwuk – I am a KDE user, so I think what I have available GUI wise that is very similar to Claws is Mailody. I had used it in the past with KDE 3 and it was rock solid and very fast. As for your server setup, sounds very similar to my old setup. I have just been to lazy recently (3 years almost) on setting a new system up 🙂 Maybe it is high time to go back to that route, definitely because I get a ton of email while I sleep 🙂

  • Ralesk

    I use a postfix + cyrus combo on my box (and we have that at work too), and I’m quite happy with it, especially with cyrus’ folder layout 🙂 Just watch out with cyrus’ default Debian configuration, one of the security things is miscommented there — in the manual it says something else and that’s what it actually indeed does (at least this was the case in Hardy). I remember it having to do with only allowing TLS logins for IMAP or so.

    Anyway, I still also use GMail, though it is indeed a bit slow compared to the cyruses.

  • nasrullah

    IMAP on Evolution works well and it is very fast…..for Gmail it is the best…

  • pixelpapst

    I use just plain cyrus 2.2. No direct access to the folders, everything has to go through IMAP – and that is _rock solid_. fetchmail & sieve-script gets my mail from my provider, and sorts everything beautifully. It fails gracefully if quota or filesystem are full. (I have yet to loose a single mail due to cyrus.)

    fetchnews pulls the newsgroups I’m interested in, and inserts via NNTP (and i can read news via IMAP, so have a server-side \seen flag – invaluable). Shared folders let my other users read the same MLs and newsgroups with just a simple IMAP SUBSCRIBE.

    a (still experimental) setup syncs forum posts two-way between a shared folder and the forum software using NNTP. One user inserts RSS feeds into shared folders (not sure with which software).

    (I did a one-stop migration to cyrus using offlineimap, and recommend the same – gmail’s IMAP support just seems not good enough for continouus two-way synchronisation, no matter what software you use.)

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