[Users] How to export and import message trees?

Steve Litt slitt at troubleshooters.com
Wed Oct 30 16:26:21 CET 2013

On Wed, 30 Oct 2013 15:05:20 +0100
"Ben Stover" <bxstover at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Sorry for this question.
> I am currently evaluating Claws Mail.
> One of the most important features of an email client for me is that
> I can export (and import) certain message trees.
> Assume I have created a new folder "archive" which in turn contains
> three sub-folders "2012", "2013", "2014"
> Now I want to export all messages (but only those) from folder
> archive\2013\
> How can I do this?
> Can I export it e.g. on ClawsMail installation 1 (=e.g. my Deskop
> computer) then transfer the packed backup to my Notebook and my
> ClawsMail installation over there and then import the msg tree over
> there?
> Which storage format is used in general in ClawsMail? Mbox?
> Can I switch to *.MSG?
> Can I at least export and import *.MSF messages?
> Thank you
> Ben

Hi Ben,

I'll leave smarter people to answer your question explicitly, and just
tell you how *I* did it. I went through a heck of an evaluation of lots
of mail clients after I ran away from Kmail when they contaminated it
with nepomuk and akonadi, asking some of the same questions you just
did. And most of the answers I found were unsatisfactory.

What I finally ended up doing was putting Dovecot, an IMAP server, on
my desktop computer. All my emails are on my IMAP server, and Claws
just acts as a device to look at them. I pinholed my firewall to the
Internet so I can access that IMAP server via ssh, when I'm travelling,
so I no longer have to sync laptops to my desktop. 

This isn't perfect: It leaves my entire home network as a single point
of failure for email while I'm on the road, and I'll need to do
something about that later on, but so far it's been the best solution
to email that I've ever found. Oh, and one huge advantage: Never again
will a mail client hold hostage my email folders. I can, and often do,
access my email with Thunderbird, usually as a troubleshooting
diagnostic test. But if Claws ever became horrible, it would be trivial
to swap in a different (IMAP aware) email client. Of course, we all
fervently hope that Claws will never suffer the quality implosion that
Kmail did, but it's good to know that if that happens, you have an easy
way out.

A few details:

* Fetchmail grabs email from my various email accounts every five
  minutes, and passes them to Procmail.

* Procmail drops the emails into the proper Dovecot maildir folders,
  according to my .procmailrc

* Claws sees my Dovecot server as an "account".



Steve Litt                *  http://www.troubleshooters.com/
Troubleshooting Training  *  Human Performance

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