Re: maildir vs. mbox vs. mh ???
On Sun, 9 Feb 2003 23:46:26 -0800,
Vineet Kumar wrote:
> * Cameron Matheson (firstname.lastname@example.org) [030209 22:25]:
> > Hi,
> > On Sun, Feb 09, 2003 at 08:00:52PM -0800, Vineet Kumar wrote:
> > > Well, you can tar and compress a maildir, and then it only
> > > takes 1, same as an mbox. That works fine for archiving,
> > > though is not as convenient for active mailboxes. I also
> > > don't really buy that a maildir is difficult to back up
> > > (especially if you tar.(gz|bz2) it). I like using maildirs
> > > mostly because mbox feels like a dirty hack, with the whole
> > > "From " thing. I also like the increased scriptability
> > > using standard GNU tools like grep to find and process
> > > individual messages, instead of having to use some sort of
> > > mbox-parsing perl module.
> > What do you mean by the "From "-thing? I have always just
> > used mbox because that is what fetchmail puts my mail into
> > but this thread has aroused my interest in maildir... Can i
> > use maildir w/ fetchmail/exim? If not, how does one get
> > maildir, and what are the technical advantages?
> An mbox file is a file with all the messages laid out in it
> end-to-end, separated by lines beginning with "From ". Any
> lines in the body of a message that begin with "From " are then
> munged into ">From " by the program delivering into the mbox.
> That's just a dirty, dirty hack. Add to that that the file
> needs to be locked properly(and that file locking on NFS is not
> perfect) in order to prevent it from getting corrupted (and
> that corrupting the file means corrupting a whole mailbox, not
> a single message) and you have a technologically inferior mail
> storage design, IMHO. On the other hand, it's the original way
> of doing things, so support for it is universal. Also, loading
> an mbox is generally faster than loading a maildir.
There are ways of cheating, like having an index.
> Exim will happily deliver into maildirs if you uncomment the
> "maildir_format" line in the address_directory transport (and
> somehow specify the directory you'd like to deliver to, perhaps
> via .forward or by making a director that checks if ~/Maildir/
> or ~/Inbox/ exists and delivering there if so). I don't know
> about fetchmail, but if you have it configured to deliver via
> SMTP through the local exim anyway, it shouldn't be an issue.
> I do know that procmail and maildrop both support delivery into
The procmail (or maildrop) solution is IMHO better than having
one program to rule them all. One program to fetch(mail), another
to deliver (exim), and another to filter (procmail).
> As for MUA support, I know mutt does, but I'm not 100% sure of
> others. It's fairly widely supported at this point, and I'd
> guess that the popular X GUI mailers (sylpheed, kmail,
> evolution) do support it as well. I see that you're using
> mutt, though, so you'll be fine.
Unless some new feature was added to CVS, Sylpheed(-claws)
supports MH, which isn't quite maildir. KMail supports maildir in
addition to what I believe is its version of mbox. I haven't
tried Evolution in ages. My User-Agent of choice, Wanderlust (an
elisp program running under Emacs) supports all three, mbox, MH
MH uses raw numerals to name each separate message; maildir uses
something fancier. I like MH because to delete mail I can forego
the fussiness of the MUA and just "cd" to the MH folder, type,
say, "rm 12??" and thereby remove messages 1200 to 1299 all in