Bizarre IMAP mail server setup
June 28, 2007 2:17 PM   Subscribe

I want to run a mail server on my computer so that I can feed email from different POP accounts into an IMAP account. The weird part is I don't care to access by IMAP over the web, but I do want to POP it into GMail. Confused? Me too.

Since I'm not so good with the HTML, I'm going to give you this address in text:

I want to backup all of my old email from five different accounts to my GMail. With a program like GMail Loader some of the fields, like From: and Date: display incorrectly. It seems the only way to do this where all the metadata will stay intact is to upload it first to an IMAP account and then POP it to GMail. I purchased an IMAP account but I keep getting error messages when I try and upload my messages to that account. After half a dozen tech support emails and a couple of hours on the phone I would like to try another solution before going back to pounding my head against the desk with customer service.

I want to follow Tomasso's plan. In his comment here, he seems to be saying that you can run an email server off of the same computer your email client is on, and that the server can hold the messages in an IMAP account, which you can then use GMail Fetcher from inside of GMail to pick up. First questions. Do I understand that right? When he is saying local server he means that the same computer can be used as the one I have Thunderbird on, not a different computer on the network?

Next questions. Assuming I've got that right, how do I make this work? I appreciate Tomasso laying this all out but I need a bit more detail. I've got the Mercury mail server downloaded and running, but I can't figure out how to set up an account in it. Considering I'm running into these issues at step 2, if you foresee future difficulties, let me have your insight.
posted by BigSky to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Your link.

Hmm, that is bizarre. To expand on the plan in the link, it involves consolidating old messages on an imap mailbox and then using gmail to pull from that to archive old messages.

Yes, you read it right, he is intending you to setup a micro IMAP server on your computer. That seems more trouble than its worth, so I'd try and get the IMAP mailbox you purchased to work. It'll almost certainly be quicker. You'll run into port forwarding issues trying to get Gmail to talk to your local machine.
posted by Skorgu at 2:45 PM on June 28, 2007

Didn't Google announce a new email migration system only this week?

It may only be for Apps, though, and you'll still need the IMAP mailbox. Haven't tried it.
posted by blag at 4:01 PM on June 28, 2007

Best answer: I do this all the time, to get my work email into my Gmail. Is v. easy. Forget running your own server. If your IMAP sucks that bad, get another account. Try -- they have a free one that will at least let you make sure everything's plumbed correctly.

Also note: copying directly from a remote server to an IMAP can be tempermental, in my experience. Much better to copy it all to a local folder first, then upload.
posted by bonaldi at 4:25 PM on June 28, 2007

Best answer: If you find you still need a working imap account, email me (in profile).
posted by dmd at 5:03 PM on June 28, 2007

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