[Dovecot] dbus support in dovecot?

Stan Hoeppner stan at hardwarefreak.com
Sat Jul 27 02:06:14 EEST 2013

On 7/25/2013 10:25 PM, Gene Heskett wrote:
> On Thursday 25 July 2013 22:45:04 Stan Hoeppner did opine:
>> On 7/25/2013 2:45 PM, Gene Heskett wrote:
>>> However, I would really like to start with some in depth docs, docs I
>>> am not having a lot of luck finding.  But I am not, as you can see,
>>> too bashful to go ask the source. ;)
>> The main problem you're facing right now is that you don't really yet
>> grasp what IMAP is all about.
> Is wiki2 the sum total of the docs for this?  If it is the definitive 
> manual, great.

AFAIK the wiki documentation isn't "complete", but should have
everything needed to get a new Dovecot server up and running.  What it
won't have is anything remotely related to mail file import/migration
from a workstation/MUA setup.  Dovecot is server application.  Any
migration docs are geared toward migrating existing mail from other IMAP
server platforms, such as Courier or UW-IMAP, etc.  It is definitely NOT
aimed at the desktop user space, i.e. it's not meant to run concurrently
on a *nix PC that is used for desktop GUI applications.

It surely can as it is just another *nix app, but as with any server app
one will rely on to be up 100% you really want a dedicated box, UPS, the
whole 9 yards.  For a SOHO environment with few users it doesn't need to
be an expensive hulk of a server, just reliable.  The cheapest new PCs
usually have a dual/quad core CPU, 4GB RAM, 1TB HD, and ethernet, and
this would be overkill performance wise.  Get a little 500 KVA APC UPS
with data cable and setup apcupsd to do auto shutdown when the battery
runs low during an outage.

>> In a nutshell, once you install Dovecot,
>> or any IMAP server, it becomes the single point of control and access to
>> all of your mail.  You install an IMAP MUA on each client PC, point
>> these at Dovecot, and you're basically done.  They can all be logged
>> into the same account simultaneously, and any new mail will show up in
>> the INBOX on all clients simultaneously, or nearly so.
> This restriction to the INBOX bothers me because the present kmail setup 
> I'm using has about 55 individual folders such that messages from a mailing 
> list are sorted by kmail and placed in the appropriate folder/directory.  
> That includes this mailing list.

I've never used kmail.  Does it have an IMAP connector?  If so, once you
have the Dovecot server up and working and kmail configured and working
with IMAP, you'd simply copy the emails in the current folders over to
newly created folders of the same name.  AFAIK you can't just do any
drag 'n drop existing mail folders.

>> You typically don't need to configure the clients other than telling
>> them where the server is and plugging in login credentials.  The rest is
>> pretty much automatic.  Any folders the user has access to should
>> display automatically without needing to manually subscribe.  At least
>> this is how it works with Thunderbird.
> But back to t-bird, can it be made to look the same in terms of folders vs 
> folder contents, with say 3 local copies, one on this box, and one each on 
> the boxes running the cnc machines?  All accomplished hopefully by getting 
> one copy working, and copying its configs to the other 2, or maybe 3 
> machines.  I use the lappy in the shop to ssh into the cnc boxes so I can 
> sit in relative comfort when making more copies of some part. 90% of the 
> stuff I do is one off's, but I might need a 12 pack of a custom bolt or ??

If you install default Tbird on each machine, all that's required
afterward is to create an account profile, input the IMAP server IP
address, SMTP relay server address, and enter the username/pwd when
prompted.  This assumes the user already exists on the Dovecot server.
At that point the view and folder list should be identical on each Tbird.

>> In other words, with an IMAP server, you simply ditch most of your old
>> way of doing things with your MUAs.  The only program that will
>> write/read your mail files will be the IMAP server, Dovecot in this
>> case.  All the clients must access mail through an IMAP connection.
> Where does dovecot actually keep the email corpus?

If you're referring to the user mail files, they are stored in the
location you specify in dovecot.conf.  This will be a local filesystem
directory on the server box.  All mail for all users will be stored
here, once.  You will no longer store any mail files on the client PCs.
 By having all the mail on the server you can access it from any
computer running an MUA.  And in fact from anywhere in the world with an
internet connection, assuming you configure your local internet router
properly.  You can also install an webmail server that connects to
Dovecot via IMAP.  Then you can access the emails from any device with a
web browser and net connection.  I use Roundcube for this.  Other
options are SoGo, Squirrelmail, etc.

In fact if you install such a webmail server alongside Dovecot, you
don't need to have an MUA on any client PC.  Just Firefox, or your
favorite browser.

> I am assuming that is an assignment in 10-master.conf, but there is a quite 
> lengthy list of stuff in the dovecot/conf.d tree that I haven't been able 
> to find in the wiki2 pages.  Sure, I can grep for a given variables name, 
> but first, I need to know the name of the variable... Classic new user 
> chicken v egg stuff.

Set the mail_location in conf.d/10-mail.conf

You need to read up on the various mailbox formats before choosing one.
 If unsure, ask the list.

> My present du -h on /home/gene/Mail is about 4.8Gb, and the databases kmail 
> keeps for indices etc (and there seems to be an ever growing list of etc's, 
> all convinced they have to have their own copies of everything) aren't 
> there, but total another 16Gb at other locations on my HD's, between 
> soprano and virtuoso.  That alone is enough to convince me kmail has got to 
> go.  And the kde folks simply will not entertain the suggestion they have 
> bloated it out of viability for even a user willing to restart it daily, 
> and reboot the machine on a weekly basis because it gets so laggy.

16-20GB of mail files for one user, or a handful of users, is
ridiculous.  If you have lots/large attachments in those email files
detach those and save them appropriately as normal files BEFORE you
start copying your existing mail to the new Dovecot server.  It would
make much sense to install Samba on your Dovecot server box and save all
those attachments to a directory on the server.

FYI I have 82,600+ emails in my two dozen or so IMAP mailbox folders.
Including Dovecot indexes, the consumed space on disk is only 1.1GB.
Most is archived list mail.  Very few attachments.  The Dovecot indexes
alone are 160MB of that, slightly more than 10 percent.

> Thank you Stan.

No problem.  I wouldn't say getting Dovecot running the first time is
difficult for a first time user, if you're doing a standard
Dovecot/Postfix setup with an MX record and delivery to your domain via
smtp.  In your case it's going to be much more difficult, because your
current architecture is an ad hoc collection of PCs, and you have no
central mail delivery to a local domain.  The latter, with many external
addresses/mailboxes, is going to be the hard part.


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