How to fake IMAP access to a Gmail account, with an extra twist?
September 3, 2007 5:34 PM   Subscribe

I manage a small network of users, and currently we are using Google Apps for our domain, and getting mail via POP. I'd very much like to fake IMAP access to Google by creating an intermediary/shadow account (either on our web host, or on our local Apple XServe running OS X 10.4 Server) and configuring it like so: 1. Set Google address to forward automatically to shadow account. 2. Set desktops to check mail through shadow account, but send email through Google's SMTP servers, to keep conversations in tact.

Adding one more small detail would make this setup next to perfect. As well as using Google's SMTP servers, if outgoing mail was copied to the sent folder of the shadow server, this would allow desktop clients to see sent responses in Mail, as well as keeping conversations intact with Google. Is there a hackish way I can achieve this? I realize I could just set the desktop clients to use the shadow smtp server, and automatically bcc the google address, but that seems messier to me. I would really like all this to be transparent to the users, even if it requires me to do some serious (well, hopefully not too serious) internal modding/custom shell scripting.

Any idea how I might go about doing this?

Or even better, am I missing something really obvious (a simpler solution, perhaps)? We like using Google Apps for the Calendar sharing and Spam filtering mostly, but if better solutions are available for my issue, I'm all ears.
posted by jeffxl to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Recently on Lifehacker. Obviously you'd have to make some modifications to fit your domained situation, but it seems like you're on the right track.
posted by Partial Law at 6:44 PM on September 3, 2007

Perdition would let you eliminate the "fake account" part of your plan, if you're amenable to doing things somewhat more properly.
posted by majick at 7:19 PM on September 3, 2007

I don't have Google apps, but I do something similar to this with my personal gmail account. Messages I send through Google's SMTP servers are saved automatically in my gmail account by google (without having to bcc), and in my IMAP account by Mail. I didn't have to do any hacking.

The only shortcoming is that messages I write in the google web client never make it back to my IMAP client. Apologies if this is what you were wanting...

But maybe it doesn't work that way for Apps. Dunno.
posted by wyzewoman at 8:06 PM on September 3, 2007

The shadow SMTP server has to do something with all the mails you throw at it. Can't you just configure it to hand them all off to

wyzewoman, if your IMAP server is collecting mails from Gmail via POP3, you should be able to set up a message filter that tests the From address against your own Gmail address and dumps matching messages into the local Sent folder. This works because Gmail will deliver messages created in its web interface via POP3, exactly as if they'd come from somebody else.
posted by flabdablet at 8:01 AM on September 4, 2007

« Older Oh cover your eyes!   |   What kind of job can I fit into my busy theater... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.