Backup email?

Knute Johnson ubuntu at
Mon Sep 5 17:24:08 UTC 2011

On 9/5/2011 9:47 AM, David Fletcher wrote:
> 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.

I run a cron job to backup all the email files too but I have so much 
that doesn't need to be on the server and I'm running out of space on my 
flash drive.

> 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.

Well I don't know.  There are the individual files in /var/mail for each 
user that are full of mail and I have additional files in 
/home/user/mail that are the IMAP folders and their mail.  At least that 
is what I think they are.  I don't know if they are duplicates of what 
is in /var/mail/user or not.  There are a bunch of index files in 
/home/user/mail but those can be rebuilt by dovecot if they are lost.


Knute Johnson

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