[Users] file locations (portable data use)

Imre Liszt listorin at gmail.com
Sun Nov 25 04:09:53 CET 2012

Hi all,

I am attempting to set up claws-mail for "portable data" use on
several computers, mostly Linux and
some Windows, (Mac and Android would be nice but not essential at the
moment) all of which will
have the claws-mail application installed on them. I am thus not after
"software portability", only data
(mail and configuration files) portability. About half a dozen
different mail accounts/services must be

I understand that using "--alternate-config-dir /some/path/" on the
command line (and some equivalent
thereof on MS windows?) and pointing it to some directory such as
/media/myUsbStick/clawConfig/ it
is possible to isolate the application completely from the (probably
non-existent) default .claws-mail in
the home directory. I also assume that this clawConfig directory can
live on a FAT volume (where there
are no symlinks, where the files can not be letter-case distinguished etc).

Are those assumptions, once tested and found to work, likely to cause
any problems later on?

Directories in which received (POP3) and sent (SMTP) messages will
reside, for most of the
mail accounts, on some (other?) FAT formatted portable USB "drive",
but for some accounts
they could be left in some non-default directory (say
$HOME/myMail2012abc/ on the computer on
which the last downloaded or sent. I could not find in the user's
manual or elsewhere any complete
discussion of the correspondence between mailboxes and file system
directories, use of "config-dir"
relative path names, correspondence of mailboxes and mail accounts
(different accounts sharing
mailboxes and folders etc.). If I missed it, I'd much appreciate a
pointer to the right doc/web-page;
or perhaps a quick outline of the subject? For instance, what does MH
(as in ...mail (MH)...)
and #mh (as in [default Inbox: #mh/mail/inbox...]) stand for...? Can
mailboxes/mail directory
paths be specified relative to the configuration directory? Can (On
Linux at least) environment
variables such as $HOME be used when specifying the mail content
locations? Can these
paths/locations be changed using a text editor on a configuration
file? which one? how to find them?...

thank you all in advance, Peter H.

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