[linux-elitists] e-mail scriptrollas

Joey Hess joey@kitenet.net
Fri Sep 12 08:56:06 PDT 2003

Aaron Lehmann wrote:
> I have to make this decision soon since I'll have a dynamic IP in a
> week. So far my favorite solution is SSH, but the two drawbacks are
> the latency and fact that I would have to store PGP subkeys on a
> remote machine. The downsides to using something like (offline)imap
> are that I absolutely detest polling for mail (it seems wasteful and
> naive - persistent server-driven connections please)

Actually offlineimap has a mode in which it runs as a daemon and keeps
persistent connections open to the server. I suspect there is still some
polling, although maybe not, since IMAP does let servers inform clients of
changes. I have not bothered trying this mode, since offlineimap can
sync all my mailboxes in under 1 minute over dialup if I have no new

> and that with
> straight imap/pop you basically have a choice between deleting mail on
> the server and leaving mail on the server. The former inhibits remote
> access, and the latter is a pain because you accumulate mail that you
> don't want on the server, using up resources and also making SSH
> mailreading a pain. offlineimap and other more intelligent imap tools
> (and rsync) can perform synchronization, but again at a cost of
> resources because they have to check all messages for modification. I
> haven't tried offlineimap yet, but I imagine it's not the kind of
> thing I'd want to run on a 5 minute cron job.

It's much smarter (and faster) than you imply here. Here I've deleted
a mail locally and it's still in the remote store, plus I've read one
but kept it in my inbox, and of course new mail is coming in.

Establishing connection to kitenet.net:993.
Syncing INBOX.security: IMAP -> Maildir
Scanning folder [Maildir/.security]
Syncing INBOX: IMAP -> Maildir
Scanning folder [Maildir/.]
Establishing connection to kitenet.net:993.
Scanning folder [IMAP/.security]
Scanning folder [IMAP/.]
Syncing INBOX.Drafts: IMAP -> Maildir
Scanning folder [Maildir/.Drafts]
Scanning folder [IMAP/.Drafts]
Deleting 1 messages (56395) in IMAP[INBOX], LocalStatus[.]
Adding flags S to 1 messages  on IMAP[INBOX]
Adding flags S to 1 messages  on LocalStatus[.]
Syncing INBOX.linux-elitists: IMAP -> Maildir
Scanning folder [Maildir/.linux-elitists]
Syncing INBOX.lsb: IMAP -> Maildir
Scanning folder [Maildir/.lsb]
Scanning folder [IMAP/.linux-elitists]
Scanning folder [IMAP/.lsb]
Syncing INBOX.misc: IMAP -> Maildir
Scanning folder [Maildir/.misc]
Scanning folder [IMAP/.misc]
Copy message 2906 IMAP[INBOX.misc] -> Maildir[.misc], LocalStatus[.misc]
Copy message 2907 IMAP[INBOX.misc] -> Maildir[.misc], LocalStatus[.misc]

That would go by faster than you can read it on anything other than
dialup. Oh and notice that I even sync my Drafts folder -- I can start
a mail at home on my laptop, and finish it sshed in to my server.

see shy jo
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