KMail seeing local maildirs differently than IMAP-server

Gary gv-list-freebsdquestions at
Fri Apr 9 09:24:06 PDT 2004

On Fri, Apr 09, 2004 at 05:48:23PM +0200 or thereabouts, Geert Hendrickx wrote:
> i see some ambiguity in using maildirs through IMAP and directly through
> the filesystem, especially when using KMail.  

although I do not use Kmail, I do know it works perfectly using IMAP, but
you have to set up your Maildir as below.
> The "canonical" directory for maildirs is ~/Maildir, where the inbox is
> in the root of that directory, and any other mail-directory is a
> subdirectory of it. 

The proper format for Maildir is ~/Maildir/ not ~/Maildir .. in other
words it is a dir, not a file. This dir contains three dir, new, tmp, and
cur.  Courier will build this for you and subsequent folders inside the
main /Maildir/  Courier only works with /Maildir/ format. It will not work
with /Maildir format, that is to say a file format. 

>  The IMAP-servers I tried (courier-imap, imap-uw and dovecot, all in
>  /usr/ports/mail) only use the subdirectories whose name starts with a
>  dot.  

this is typical of IMAP servers, and does not represent a problem. 
> KMail on the other hand, when using maildirs as "local folders", always
> assumes they are in ~/Mail, where every folder -including "inbox"- is a
> subdirectory of it.  And only folders NOT starting with a dot are seen.  

Kmail will read both /Maildir/ POP folders, and read IMAP /Maildir/
folders, you just have to specify what type of protocol you are using
either POP or IMAP. It does read IMAP /Maildir/ folders that begin with a
dot, which are inside the main /Maildir/ without any problems. You must
also specify a default INBOX with IMAP which will be read in the /Maildir/
> So it can be pretty tough to handle your maildirs in both ways together,
> that is to say, through the filesystem and through IMAP.  I usually use
> Mutt for the latter case, as it is very flexible and it can handle most
> cases, but KMail seems to insist doing things its own way, which is not
> compatible with most IMAP-servers.  

yes, it is, you just have to set it up properly as to the type of protocol
you are using. 

> Creating some symlinks to "mirror" the situation might be a usable
> solution, but that's not very elegant.  Anyone knows a better solution?  

as above. 

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