this IMAP stuff is kicking my @$$...

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Fri Jan 14 16:30:06 PST 2005

Eric F Crist wrote:
[ ... ]
> What I need is a slightly different setup for my users.  As I mentioned 
> in an earlier email, I want to install an IMAP server.  From what I've 
> gleaned from various sources, I need to change from mbox format to 
> maildir.  Is this correct?

No, there exist IMAP servers which work just fine with the classic mbox 
format.  Take a look at /usr/ports/mail/imap-uw in particular.

> Also, I've come to the understanding that IMAP uses a totally different
> internal MTA, and thus a different user database?

Many IMAP servers support external databases for holding users instead of, or 
in addition to, the standard Unix user accounts.  Some use SASL (Cyrus), some 
use database access via MySQL or some such (Dovecot, Courier, others?).

> Can someone point me in the right direction?  I've kinda got 
> courier-imap installed from ports, but I can't log in.  First off, how 
> can I configure courier-imap to use the system accounts?  If I can get 
> this, I can probably work through the SSL/TLS for IMAP, amongst other 
> things.

If you're having configuration issues with Courier, drop back ten yards and 
punt by trying the UW IMAP server.  It has zero runtime configuration options, 
so it basicly can't be misconfigured.  (Well, compile-time options can affect 
things, but the port will do the right thing for FreeBSD.)

On the positive side, UW IMAP was written by Mark Crispin, who was one of the 
authors of the IMAP protocol.  On the minus side, the security history of the 
UW-IMAP software and the associated MUA pine is somewhat grim-- perhaps best 
compared to the security woes of sendmail.


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