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Re: Mail from OE to linux and more

Lambrecht Joris wrote:

> After a lot-of-trial and error i managed to get fetchmail working
> correctly. Apparently the example config files aren't all that great
> :( At least not for me.

The 'fetchmailconf' utility does wonders. I let it do the first pass, and
then I edit .fetchmailrc by hand.

> Sendmail is still bothering me (frustrating is more correct by now).
> All the fetched mail ends up in /var/mail/root (i know it ain't wise
> but that's what i do for now, i'm carefull enough to take the risk).
> Great. But i cannot send any mail although i've set-up sendmail
> repeadetly with different iterations of what i think is the right
> config. I've used sendmailconfig to no avail, even dared poking at the
> sendmail.mc file. There are NO networking problems, this is purely a
> sendmailconfiguration problem. But i cannot get sendmailto the send
> something to the outside world. Tried a number of configurations but
> i'm running out of patience by now.

Try the Exim mail transport. It's said to be much easier to set up. Having
only used Exim myself, I can't say, but Exim works for me.

What sort of diagnostics is sendmail giving you? Is it rejecting the
mail, or are the remote SMTP servers rejecting it?

Incidentally, you might want to look into 'procmail' for your message
filtering needs. Its syntax is a little weird, but it's a very good

> Also, i want to import my OE mail and adress book into my Linux
> system, any good hints on what software/procedure to use ?

Install an IMAP server on your machine. Configure your Linux IMAP
account in Outlook Express, and copy all your messages to the server.
Then shut off Outlook Express and never use it again. If you don't want
to use IMAP on Linux for the long term, then just copy the messages from
the IMAP server to your Linux mailbox using fetchmail or a mail client.

> As for mailclients on X11. I have tested Mahogany
> (mahogany.sourceforge.net), CSCMail (www.cscmail.net) , Spruce
> (spruce.sourceforge.net) but none of them look satisfying for the time
> being. To slow, to unstable, to barebones ... I'm not really fond of
> MUTT but am using it in the meantime, i need that daily dose.

I use Mutt because it's similar to the Elm client I used to use on Unix,
but better.

The closest thing to Outlook Express I've seen on Linux is Sylpheed,
which is available in Debian's "unstable" branch and at

> Leaves me very little choice. The only two i haven't tested yet are
> Evolution (http://www.ximian.com/evolution) and Postoffice
> (www.tarball.net) wich looks pretty cool but didn't work right away.
> Again, any and all suggestions are welcome.

I tried Evolution a little while back. At that time, it crashed left and
right, so was not really usable for real work, but I got a good idea of
where it was headed. It has some very interesting ideas, but the thing
that really annoys me about it is that it has its own mail repository
which is not compatible with other Linux mail tools. Whereas mutt stores
its mail in standard Unix mailboxes of either mbox, mh, or maildir
format. On the one hand, I can see that Evolution gets some value out of
their non-standard format (it stores everything in one place and uses
rules to define which members belong in which "virtual folders", which
allows you to easily define new "folders" or redefine old ones without
actually "moving" any messages). But the non-standardness of it, and the
consequent difficulty of accessing the messages from other tools, is a
hefty price to pay. So I don't consider Evolution acceptable.

As an Outlook Express user, you're probably used to the idea that you
absolutely HAVE TO run the mail client to see your messages. But it's
nice not to have to. For example, I have a secure web page that I can
access from anywhere in the world to quickly see whether I have new
mail, and if so, what folders the new mail is in (since procmail
pre-sorts my mail for me). This works by means of a very simple shell
script I wrote which uses standard Unix tools ('find', 'sort', and
'sed') to locate and count all my new messages. You can't do anything
like that with a system like Outlook Express or Evolution that stores
mail in non-standard ways.


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