Adding IMAP to a Linux Email Box
August 29, 2009 7:55 PM   Subscribe

Do you know a reputable provider to add IMAP to a Linux email box?

I'm moving to a new email provider and I need to add IMAP support to my old email server to transfer everyone's stored emails. I'm completely clueless as to the process, so I want to pay a provider to set it up. Is there a good company out there that will do this? I'm using a Linux Box with Squirrelmail and that's about all I know. HELP!
posted by roundrock to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
If you are running squirrel mail on your old box, then your server is already running IMAP.
posted by Good Brain at 8:29 PM on August 29, 2009

Response by poster: Hi Good Brain: We are using POP to connect. I tried selecting IMAP on Outlook instead of POP but it didn't work.
Hi Odinsdream: You're totally right. Our webmail is Squirrelmail. It looks like we are using Dovecot, but I have no idea how to get IMAP going on it. I took your advice and called my old provider, but they didn't give me a single lead. Do you know any companies that do this?
posted by roundrock at 8:37 PM on August 29, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the quick help on this.
Odinsdream: The old email provider is offering no help on this since it was a custom setup by my predecessor and there is no control panel.
Floam: I'd prefer a company, but in the event that I can't find one, a reputable IT guy would work. The Dovecot installation was done and only POP3 was made available. I can telenet to my box on the IMAP port and it just sits there. It's open but I get this response back "Escape character is '^]'.
* OK Dovecot ready."
posted by roundrock at 8:56 PM on August 29, 2009

Response by poster: Odinsdream & floam: I should have added this part earlier. The migration team at the new email provider, when they originally did a test, thought that they could do IMAP. When the migration happened (actually, it didn't), the IMAP connection didn't work. I think both of you are right, it's there but something is misconfigured. Odinsdream: I tried the commands from that site you linked, but it kept giving me errors.
posted by roundrock at 9:16 PM on August 29, 2009

Dovecot does indeed provide both IMAP and POP3 services to the same mailstore backend - I set it up for both at my office.

You've got it most of the way there; the service is running and the port is open (that prompt is the expected behaviour) but it's obviously got a slight misconfiguration of some sort.

It's hard to see what it could be though off the top of my head; dovecot uses one configuration file for both services, and the login accounts database and mailstore is defined for everything, not at the individual service level (normally), so it's pretty hard to screw it up for one but not both.

Incidentally, it's also possible to set up a 'master' account with dovecot; i.e. a username/password combination that allows you to access any mailbox with that account, which is dead handy when you're migrating mail between email servers.

The key file is the /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf file - that has the configuration settings for dovecot, for both pop3 and imap. If you know how to ssh into the box, and can view that file by typing
more /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf
then use the spacebar to go through it page by page and then screenshot and post the output, we can probably tell you what's broken.

Alternatively, I don't mind having a quick look for you if you want to let me have the ssh keyfile/password, it's likely a 5 minute job and I do this for a living (linux sysadmin), but I'd fully understand if you'd rather not have a mefi stranger poking through your mail server!

If you know what distribution of linux you have (redhat, centos, suse, ubuntu, debian, etc etc - you can find out by running the command in ssh
more /proc/version
You can look at the distro's website for support services; often they provide consulting services directly, or have a directory of companies that do, who will do this for you on a single fee basis - as I say, I suspect it's a pretty straightforward fix, as you're 90% of the way there to a functioning imap service anyway.
posted by ArkhanJG at 2:43 AM on August 30, 2009

Actually, while I think of it - have you tried going in over IMAPS - i.e. secure imap?

Connect to the imap server on port 993 using your mail client, and specify that it requires a secure conection (instructions for outlook here, adjust for your own mail server); maybe your predecessor set it up for encrypted imap only, it's a common configuration.
posted by ArkhanJG at 2:56 AM on August 30, 2009

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