getting off this mailing list

Stephen R Laniel steve at
Sun Jul 3 21:41:59 UTC 2005

On Sun, Jul 03, 2005 at 02:26:06PM -0700, Bob Nielsen wrote:
> The easiest way to use fetchmail is as a daemon, where no user interface 
> is needed at all.  

Mmm, that's playing with words a little bit. Yes, there's
'no user interface' in the day-to-day use of fetchmail, but

1) you need to set it up, which requires either
   a) learning the ~/.procmailrc syntax or
   b) using the atrocious fetchmailconf program.

2) you need to get it to start when your system boots,
   meaning either
   a) putting it in a startup script somewhere, or
   b) going through GNOME's Sessions control panel.

3) if something goes wrong (stale lockfiles happen, and
   other oddities), you need to use the command line to fix

No one should have to do any of this. It should all be
configurable through a nice GUI. Preferably all the mail
clients that you might ever use -- Evolution, kmail,
Thunderbird, mutt, whatever -- would all call out to a nice
configurator for fetchmail. The ~/.fetchmailrc grammar is
not that complicated, so it shouldn't be hard to write a
nice GUI for it.

Procmail, on the other hand, is atrocious -- even the
command-line stuff is unbearably complicated. It took me a
while to figure out what the hell was going on, and I'm not
even doing any complicated inbound-message processing.

Stephen R. Laniel
steve at
+(617) 308-5571
PGP key:
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