[UCI-Linux] IMAP advice

Jonathan Tai jtai@uci.edu
Fri, 23 Jan 2004 10:21:32 -0800

On Fri, 2004-01-23 at 10:01, Charlie Zender wrote:
> Hi,
> I want to start storing all my mail in a central location no matter
> where I read it from. I've heard that IMAP allows this.

Indeed it does.  IMAP keeps track of folders, "read" flags on messages,
etc. on the server side, so no matter what client you use (webmail,
Mozilla, Outlook, etc.) your mail stays in sync.  

> So I'm looking for advice on using IMAP or equivalent on Linux.

There are lots of different IMAP servers available for Linux.  More on
that later.  

> I have about 20000 messages in about 100 MB of disk space to manage.
> Currently all my mail is in Mozilla Mail folders. 

What you'll probably want to do once you have IMAP set up is to add an
IMAP account in Mozilla and move your mail (drag 'n drop) from your
"local" folders to the IMAP folders.  Then you don't have to "start
over" - your current folder hierarchy is preserved.  

Depending on how many folders you have, it's a slow, tedious process. 
But fortunately, it's only a one-time thing.  

> All my connections are T1 wired or broadband wireless.
> 1. Is IMAP fast enough to deal with this volume and be responsive?

My mailbox is currently 378MB, and IMAP is responsive enough for me. 
Most of the time I use it from my laptop over broadband (Cox) or Wi-Fi
at UCI.  When I'm on slower connections, I use web mail, which is itself
an IMAP client.  

> 2. Is there a particular IMAP server that works best?

I use Courier-IMAP, and IMO it's lots faster than UW-IMAP.  There's also
Cyrus, which I've heard good things about.  And there are others...

> 3. Does Mozilla work well as an IMAP client?

I have a few people set up on IMAP who use Mozilla (actually,
Thunderbird) as their primary mail client.  They aren't technically
savvy users, but they haven't complained about Mozilla.  I don't use it
myself (I use Ximian Evolution) so I can't give you first-hand advice.  

Good luck.  

- Jon