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Old 05-25-2011, 08:42 PM
Lewis NH2
 
Default local IMAP server

Good Evening,

I have a SOHO, and I like to access/answer my emails from every
workstations. Of course everything should be kept up-to-sync.
Furthermore, I'd like to avoid storing all emails on my ISP. Having a
local IMAP server and fetching automatically the emails from my ISP
sounds quite promising at first glance.

I plan to go for fetchmail to retrieve the email from the ISP and
dovecot to provide the local IMAP server. Now I am a bit unsure about
the setup. As far as I can see, it seems that most solutions found on
the net involves a 3rd agent, for instance procmail.

Is it possible to go only with fetchmail and dovecot? If I understood
correctly, dovecot comes up with a LDA that can be directly evoked
from fetchmail using the mda directive. Is this correct?

Does someone have succeed in setting such configuration up?

As I am a noob regarding emails servers technology, any help, advice,
pointers would be greatly appreciated.

TIA,
Lew.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:29 PM
"Kevin J. Cummings"
 
Default local IMAP server

On 05/25/2011 04:42 PM, Lewis NH2 wrote:
> Good Evening,
>
> I have a SOHO, and I like to access/answer my emails from every
> workstations. Of course everything should be kept up-to-sync.
> Furthermore, I'd like to avoid storing all emails on my ISP. Having a
> local IMAP server and fetching automatically the emails from my ISP
> sounds quite promising at first glance.
>
> I plan to go for fetchmail to retrieve the email from the ISP and
> dovecot to provide the local IMAP server. Now I am a bit unsure about
> the setup. As far as I can see, it seems that most solutions found on
> the net involves a 3rd agent, for instance procmail.
>
> Is it possible to go only with fetchmail and dovecot? If I understood
> correctly, dovecot comes up with a LDA that can be directly evoked
> from fetchmail using the mda directive. Is this correct?

Yes. In addition to running my own email server which dovecot uses as
my initial email store, I also download my ISPs emails from that account
and "deliver them" locally giving me effectively one email Inbox. I can
read my email (using IMAP) from any workstation in the house (I use
thunderbird on all of them), but I let my laptop do the distribution
into local folders for me (separating my 2-300 emails a day into local
folders for perusal in groups).

> Does someone have succeed in setting such configuration up?

Not the same as you, but similar.

> As I am a noob regarding emails servers technology, any help, advice,
> pointers would be greatly appreciated.

You will need to run a local email server in order to do this, but if
all of your email is coming from your ISP, you should be able to
configure fetchmail to fetch it from your ISP for you and deliver it
locally (to your local server), where dovecot can find it and present it
to your MUA via IMAP.

> TIA,
> Lew.

--
Kevin J. Cummings
kjchome@verizon.net
cummings@kjchome.homeip.net
cummings@kjc386.framingham.ma.us
Registered Linux User #1232 (http://counter.li.org)
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:39 AM
Tim
 
Default local IMAP server

On Wed, 2011-05-25 at 22:42 +0200, Lewis NH2 wrote:
> I plan to go for fetchmail to retrieve the email from the ISP and
> dovecot to provide the local IMAP server. Now I am a bit unsure about
> the setup. As far as I can see, it seems that most solutions found on
> the net involves a 3rd agent, for instance procmail.
>
> Is it possible to go only with fetchmail and dovecot?

Yes, I've done that for years, and still am. Fetchmail gets my mail
about every 9 minutes, continuously[*]. However, with that simple two
process approach, all your mail just waits in your inbox.

If, you do add in the third handler, it can sort your mail into
different folders, as it comes in. Otherwise, you'd sort through your
inbox using your mail client, which can be annoying, and tedious to
manage when you use various different mail clients on different
computers.

* Each user has a ~/.fetchmailrc script which lists mail server
addresses to poll, along with usernames and passwords. And you can put
command lines into /etc/rc.local to start fetchmail working in daemon
mode when the server boots up.

/etc/rc.local:
su tim -c "/usr/bin/fetchmail -d 900"
su user2 -c "/usr/bin/fetchmail -d 1200"
su user3 -c "/usr/bin/fetchmail -d 1500"

I picked different poll intervals to spread the load out. If you use
prime numbers, you're quite unlikely to have multiple polls at the same
time.

~/.fetchmailrc:
poll example.com proto pop3 user "postmaster@example.com" with password "gvkhierughcjkc", is "tim" here;
poll example.com proto pop3 user "webmaster@example.com" with password "asdfjht4hxfdy798342", is "tim" here;

The .fetchmailrc file has a rather nice way of letting you fill in
details with almost human syntax, and is flexible in letting you specify
it in different ways.

If a user requires their mail to be fetched immediately, they can type
"fetchmail" into a command line, and it'll get mail now, and go back to
polled intervals, automatically, afterwards.

--
[tim@localhost ~]$ uname -r
2.6.27.25-78.2.56.fc9.i686

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored. I
read messages from the public lists.



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Old 05-26-2011, 11:11 PM
Bill Davidsen
 
Default local IMAP server

Lewis NH2 wrote:
> Good Evening,
>
> I have a SOHO, and I like to access/answer my emails from every
> workstations. Of course everything should be kept up-to-sync.
> Furthermore, I'd like to avoid storing all emails on my ISP. Having a
> local IMAP server and fetching automatically the emails from my ISP
> sounds quite promising at first glance.
>
> I plan to go for fetchmail to retrieve the email from the ISP and
> dovecot to provide the local IMAP server. Now I am a bit unsure about
> the setup. As far as I can see, it seems that most solutions found on
> the net involves a 3rd agent, for instance procmail.
>
> Is it possible to go only with fetchmail and dovecot? If I understood
> correctly, dovecot comes up with a LDA that can be directly evoked
> from fetchmail using the mda directive. Is this correct?
>
Yes, works fine.

> Does someone have succeed in setting such configuration up?
>
Not only can you do this, but you can add sendmail if you want to receive mail
directly for some reason. This allows P2P connections although some ISPs block
access to port 25 on customer machines.

> As I am a noob regarding emails servers technology, any help, advice,
> pointers would be greatly appreciated.
>
Pointer: by doing this you mail is totally in your hands and only as safe as
your backup. It is no longer on a professionally managed IMAP server run by your
ISP. Depending on the value of the content you may want to consider your backup
options. I won't discuss those options unless you ask another question. ;-)

> TIA,
> Lew.


--
Bill Davidsen <davidsen@tmr.com>
"We have more to fear from the bungling of the incompetent than from
the machinations of the wicked." - from Slashdot
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:21 AM
Tim
 
Default local IMAP server

On Thu, 2011-05-26 at 19:11 -0400, Bill Davidsen wrote:
> Pointer: by doing this you mail is totally in your hands and only as
> safe as your backup. It is no longer on a professionally managed IMAP
> server run by your ISP.

Or, no longer on a professionally mis-managed server...

--
[tim@localhost ~]$ uname -r
2.6.27.25-78.2.56.fc9.i686

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored. I
read messages from the public lists.



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Old 05-27-2011, 11:43 AM
Timothy Murphy
 
Default local IMAP server

Lewis NH2 wrote:

> I plan to go for fetchmail to retrieve the email from the ISP and
> dovecot to provide the local IMAP server. Now I am a bit unsure about
> the setup. As far as I can see, it seems that most solutions found on
> the net involves a 3rd agent, for instance procmail.
>
> Is it possible to go only with fetchmail and dovecot? If I understood
> correctly, dovecot comes up with a LDA that can be directly evoked
> from fetchmail using the mda directive. Is this correct?
>
> Does someone have succeed in setting such configuration up?

I do precisely this (if I understand you correctly).

1. I run dovecot on my CentOS home server.
The changes I've made to /etc/dovecot.conf are:
---------------------------
#protocols = imap imaps pop3 pop3s
protocols = imap imaps

#info_log_path =
info_log_path = /var/log/dovecot

#ssl_listen =
ssl_listen = *:993

#ssl_disable = no
ssl_disable = no

#ssl_cert_file = /etc/pki/dovecot/certs/dovecot.pem
#ssl_key_file = /etc/pki/dovecot/private/dovecot.pem
ssl_cert_file = /etc/pki/dovecot/certs/dovecot.pem
ssl_key_file = /etc/pki/dovecot/private/dovecot.pem

# mail_location = maildir:~/Maildir
mail_location = maildir:~/Maildir
mail_debug = yes

#mailbox_idle_check_interval = 30
mailbox_idle_check_interval = 30

#maildir_copy_with_hardlinks = no
maildir_copy_with_hardlinks = yes

protocol imap {
> listen = *:143
> ssl_listen = *:993
---------------------------

[I created the ssl_cert and ssl_key files by running
/usr/share/doc/dovecot-1.0.7/examples/mkcert.sh ]

2. I collect email on the server from 5 sites with fetchmail.
I have entries like /etc/cron.d/fetch.maths on the server
---------------------------
5,15,25,35,45,55 * * * * tim /usr/bin/fetchmail -s pop.maths.tcd.ie
---------------------------

3. I have a stanza in .fetchmailrc for each site like
---------------------------
poll pop.gmail.com
proto POP3
port 995
user "***" password "***" ssl
---------------------------
(The stanzas differ slightly for some sites,
and required a little experimentation.)

Nb I'm no dovecot guru.
If anyone can suggest improvements on the above I shall be grateful.

--
Timothy Murphy
e-mail: gayleard /at/ eircom.net
tel: +353-86-2336090, +353-1-2842366
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland

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Old 05-27-2011, 11:33 PM
Tim
 
Default local IMAP server

On Fri, 2011-05-27 at 12:43 +0100, Timothy Murphy wrote:
> 2. I collect email on the server from 5 sites with fetchmail.
> I have entries like /etc/cron.d/fetch.maths on the server
> ---------------------------
> 5,15,25,35,45,55 * * * * tim /usr/bin/fetchmail -s pop.maths.tcd.ie

Fetchmail can run as a daemon, all by itself.

--
[tim@localhost ~]$ uname -r
2.6.27.25-78.2.56.fc9.i686

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored. I
read messages from the public lists.



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Old 05-27-2011, 11:59 PM
Timothy Murphy
 
Default local IMAP server

Tim wrote:

> Fetchmail can run as a daemon, all by itself.

Thanks for the suggestion.
Will this work OK if I'm collecting mail from several sites?
At present I've set the cron scripts to run at different times.

I think I occasionally get error messages that fetchmail
has failed to collect mail from one site
because it is still collecting from another site?

--
Timothy Murphy
e-mail: gayleard /at/ eircom.net
tel: +353-86-2336090, +353-1-2842366
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland

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Old 05-28-2011, 02:55 PM
Lewis NH2
 
Default local IMAP server

Hi All,

thanks so far for all worthy information provided so far.

I personally agree to leave such tasks to professionals, as long as
you can afford their services and those meet your requirements. IMHO,
you should always consider this possibility before embarking on some
'home brew solution'.

In my case, I am learning new stuff (like set-up a IMAP server), and
evaluating what's possible...

I am now able to fetch the mails and store them in a maildir
structure. Now I am trying to connect to my local dovecot IMAP server
running on F14, but not avail. dovecot is running, the imap ports 143,
993 are listening:

$sudo netstat -atp | grep imap
tcp 0 0 *:imaps *:*
LISTEN 5982/dovecot
tcp 0 0 *:imap *:*
LISTEN 5982/dovecot
tcp 0 0 *:imaps *:*
LISTEN 5982/dovecot
tcp 0 0 *:imap *:*
LISTEN 5982/dovecot

When I try to telnet imap port on a client machine, I'm getting:
$ telnet 192.168.0.150 143
Trying 192.168.0.150...
telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: No route to host

But a tcpdump on the IMAP server reveals that the TCP packet is
arriving at the interface:
$sudo tcpdump -i eth0 dst port 143
tcpdump: verbose output suppressed, use -v or -vv for full protocol decode
listening on eth0, link-type EN10MB (Ethernet), capture size 65535 bytes
16:46:29.029730 IP 192.168.0.107.49721 > 192.168.0.150.imap: Flags
[S], seq 1571763932, win 5840, options [mss 1460,sackOK,TS val 912067
ecr 0,nop,wscale 7], length 0

Are there some security settings on F14 (firewall, SE linux...) that
need to be weakened?

TIA,
Lew
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:14 PM
"Mikkel L. Ellertson"
 
Default local IMAP server

On 05/27/2011 06:59 PM, Timothy Murphy wrote:
> Tim wrote:
>
>> Fetchmail can run as a daemon, all by itself.
>
> Thanks for the suggestion.
> Will this work OK if I'm collecting mail from several sites?
> At present I've set the cron scripts to run at different times.
>
> I think I occasionally get error messages that fetchmail
> has failed to collect mail from one site
> because it is still collecting from another site?
>
You can tell fetchmail to poll at specific intervals. This prevents
the error you sometimes see, because fetchmail already knows it is
downloading from that site. You could run more then one copy of
fetchmail in the daemon mode - one for each user.

You can have one config file that specifies the sites to collect
from, the order to poll them for new messages, and how to collect
from each site. If you have more then one account to collect from a
site, you can control that as well.

You may want to read the fetchmail man page, as well as the other
documentation.

Mikkel
--

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!
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