[Users] Moving /.claws-mail Directory

Dustin dustbiz at gmail.com
Fri Sep 2 13:58:17 CEST 2016

Sorry, just realized that I sent this reply as HTML yesterday, so am 
resending it as plain text for future convenience.   ~Dustin
> Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 09:00:49 +0200 From: Andrej Kacian 
> <andrej at kacian.sk> Subject: Re: [Users] Moving /.claws-mail Directory 
> On Wed, 31 Aug 2016 09:28:50 +0600 Dustin <dustbiz at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I'm looking for the best way to move the /.claws-mail directory from
>> its default location to another location.
> Hi, just move it to wherever you want, and use claws-mail's
> --alternate-config-dir option to point the application to the new
> location.
> Regards,
> -- Andrej
Thanks, Andrej, this is what I was looking for and you saved me a lot of 
time. There the solution was, "in plain sight". :) Your prompt, concise, 
and professional reply is much appreciated.

In case it's helpful for other users, here's how I integrated this 
change into my desktop environment (DE) (after testing it via the 
terminal), with the end-goals of not needing to rely on a terminal 
command to start Claws Mail (CM), and avoiding confusion of menu shortcuts.

Context: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, GNOME Flashback (Metacity) DE

The ideal solution for me was to edit the application menu shortcut for 
CM by using the command

sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/claws-mail.desktop

to open the settings file for the CM menu shortcut (claws-mail.desktop) 
in a text editor (gedit) as root (sudo), and then change the line

Exec=claws-mail %u


Exec=claws-mail --alternate-config-dir 
/path/to/desired/config/dir/location %u

where "/path/to/desired/config/dir/location" was the path to the 
location where I had copied the /.claws-mail directory.

If you prefer, you can add a CM launcher to the panel by using Alt + 
R-click to get your panel options, choosing to copy the app menu 
shortcut and then making the same change as above to the command string.

If you like desktop shortcuts, there's also a way to do that, although I 
didn't bother testing it.

If you choose either of the two latter approaches and don't want to be 
confused by the CM menu shortcut, there's also a way that can be deleted.

Good chance there are also one or more GUIs out there that can make the 
above edits for those who aren't into editing system files.

And if you're on a different distro or using a different DE or windows 
manager, you should be able to figure out how to do the same/similar 
thing by spending a bit of time in the relevant docs. (The details will 
likely be different than above, but the "theory" will likely be similar.)

As a further note, if for some reason CM can't find the /.claws-mail 
directory at the place where it's been told to look, it will simply 
throw an error (only in the terminal) and not start. After this, once it 
is able to find it again, it will open normally without any ill effects 
from the previous failed attempt.

I plan to stay subscribed to this list, so feel free to let me know if 
you have any follow-up questions/comments on this.


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