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ajt (2546)

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UK based. Perl, XML/HTTP, SAP, Debian hacker.

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Journal of ajt (2546)

Tuesday November 16, 2004
08:28 AM


[ #21878 ]

Over the weekened I decided to install an IMAP server on my home server. After asking around I decided to try Dovecot out. It's modern and apparently designed from the ground up to be simple and secure. I did the "apt-get" thing and Debian pulled and installed it all for me. The only configuration I had to perform was to tell it where my email is kept and that was it.

A quick google produced the correct configutation to get Mutt on my desktop system to talk with the new server, and it was done. I could use KMail, Thunderbird or some other fancy email client, but I find Mutt works perfectly well.

It's been up now for a few days without any apprent problem, and Mutt actually feels faster reading large mail boxes via IMAP than it did directly on the filesystem.

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  • Mutt actually works rather better with IMAP than I had given it credit for in the past. My main problem was simply that I was so used to quitting the whole time that I had to continually type in my password. I solved that by unbinding the quite key.

    I think that there's a patch for mutt to enable IMAP header caching which will probably speed things up even more. Yep, here it is []


    • Cool, I'll have to investigate. Good idea about unbinding quit, I'll have to try that one out.

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
      • Alternatively ...

        # security a-go-go!
        set imap_user="ajt"
        set imap_pass="yourpassword"

        in your .muttrc

        • I had though about that... I've currently got my username in the config, and did wonder about adding a password too. Seeing as I start mutt up and leave it running in it's own xterm I don't think typing in my password once extra is that much of a pain. I'm sure it's possible to do fancy LDAP stuff too if I really wanted.

          -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
          • Now you've got me thinking. How about a Kerberized mutt and imapd?
            • I see there are patches available to make Dovecot and Mutt use Kerberos, so it should be possible...

              Kerberos is good, but does anyone use it? I know M$ use a broken version of it an a broken version of LDAP in their ActiveDirectory technology.

              -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
              • We use it at work, but credentials synchronisation between the Doze and Unix worlds is flakey as hell. And I'm not sure if I blame MS's version or not.
                • I beleieve that M$'s version is borked, but you can use the Cygwin version. I suspect it's another case of M$ "supporting" something so badly that no one actually uses it, but they still stick the logo on the box.

                  -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
    • In at least Debian sid(unstable)'s mutt package, that patch is already applied.

      You still need to configure a cache directory manually, though:
      mkdir ~/.muttcache
      echo 'set header_cache=~/.muttcache' > ~/.muttrc
      • But be sure to backup your .muttrc before running that final command:-)
      • I'm currently running Debian "Woody" on my desktop system, and "Sarge" on my server. Now I've got the server all set up, I'll upgrade the desktop system to "Sarge" or possibly unstable as "Etch" (when it comes out). At the moment I'm in no rush, it looks like it'll be January before "Sarge" becomes stable, which is plenty of time for the price of the AMD64 system I plan to buy as my new desktop system to drop a little more, and for "Etch" on AMD64 to appear.

        In the mean time I can live with the current "no

        -- "It's not magic, it's work..."