IMAP + fetchmail + procmail
I've found a lot of good documentation about IMAP, fetchmail and
procmail individually. However, I'm trying to figure out how to make
them all work together and I'm afraid I don't quite get it. I've tried
some Google searches and found myself overwhelmed with information that
didn't really apply to my situation. If anyone could point me toward
some good documents or offer a few pointers, I'd sure appreciate it.
I'm just looking to download from three POP3 accounts and serve e-mail
to two users (myself and my wife), so I don't need a large capacity
Read further if you want to know more details of what I want to do.
We have a (modest :-) home network of four machines scattered around the
house, running a mix of Debian and Windows. I'm building a fifth to act
as a central file server, and I'd like to put our e-mail on there as
Our ISP has their e-mail set up with POP access for downloading and an
SMTP server for sending. Pretty standard stuff. Their setup guide just
tells us to configure these servers directly in Outlook or Netscape.
This works okay, but it pretty well ties my e-mail to one machine, mail
program and/or operating system on our network.
I figure the best way to centrailize our mail is to set up an IMAP
server. I know that I need fetchmail to bring our mail in from our
ISP. I also know that I can use procmail to filter incoming messages to
different folders (for example, I want debian-user messages to go to
their own directory). It's a DSL connection that's active pretty much
all the time, so I don't need to worry about triggering it manually. I
can just let it grab stuff every so often.
Unfortunately, I can't grasp how to get everything working together.
Does fetchmail automagically filter things through procmail once the
latter is set up? How do I get procmail to play nice with IMAP
folders? Does it matter if I use mbox or maildir format?
Also, I'm not sure how to set up exim, or if there's another alternative
that would be better suited for what I want to do. I've noticed that if
I get any mail from cron it sits in my local mailbox on each machine, so
I get the new mail notice when I log in to that machine. It would be
nice if all the machines on the network could send stuff to my central
Do I need to really worry about remote mail routing, or should I just
tell my mail client to connect directly to my ISP's SMTP server (the way
it is now)? With only two users, I can't really think of a reason I'd
need to send mail internally other than messages from cron, and they
don't use my mail client anyway.
Our ISP gives us up to 6 e-mail accounts. One thing I'd like to do is
set up one or more of them so that any mail sent to that address will be
forwarded to both of us. My thinking is to create a dummy user account
that receives the e-mail from the special address, then that account's
procmail settings forward the message to both of our regular accounts.
I want two copies, not just a single IMAP inbox that we both access
(then we get questions like "did you read that? Can I delete it?")
The reason I want to use procmail is I'm hoping once I get that set up,
I can then do some intelligent filtering on messages. Some things
should go to me, some things to my wife, and some things to both of us.
Well, that's about all I can think of so far. I'm still in the planning
stages, but I'm hoping that good planning will lead to easier
Thanks in advance,
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