Backup email?

David Fletcher dave at
Mon Sep 5 16:47:46 UTC 2011

On Sun, 2011-09-04 at 09:41 -0700, Knute Johnson wrote:
> Is there a way to backup emails?  My mail server has about 6GB of emails 
> stored in IMAP accounts that could be kept somewhere else if I had a way 
> to get at them occasionally.  Is there a simple offline storage system 
> that would work with Thunderbird?
> Thanks,
> -- 
> Knute Johnson

I just have a cron job that fires off a script, part of whose job is to
rsync the /home/ directory on the server which includes all the maildirs
to a backup directory on my desktop PC. Once in a while, I tar my
desktop home directory and copy it to a USB flash drive, thus backing up
my email along with everything else. As far as I know this provides me
with a copy of everything I need to rebuild my mail server in case of
disaster. All I need to do is extract the server /home/ back to the new
server, put my edits back into /etc/ and fire up postfix and dovecot. 

BTW correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think IMAP has anything to do
with the way email is stored on a server. It's just a protocol that's
enabled on e.g. dovecot for access to that mail.


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