Minimal skills

Polytropon freebsd at
Thu Jun 4 23:24:52 UTC 2020

Sidenote first:

I have reformatted your reply. It has, for a reason I can not
understand, the quoting characters "> " only for the first line,
but not on the subsequent ones, and the lines have an empty line
in between. There is no header stating who you are quoting. Your
lines do not conform to the "maximum line length" suggestion, but
that's also not a problem as normal MUAs can deal with this just
fine. I have also removed the remaining distorted message where
all line breaks and spaces seem to have vanished...

On Thu, 4 Jun 2020 16:47:54 -0600, Brandon helsley wrote:
> > If you have IMAP support, you can even try / use multiple MUAs and
> > see what works best for you, without requiring to have multiple
> > mail accounts and program-individual local mailboxes. You can even
> > use Thunderbird and alpine side by side, with Maildir local storage,
> > connecting to an IMAP account - all this is possible and does not
> > require complicated configurations.
> That's basically what I had wanted to do since I couldn't figure
> postfix out withal the mail components.

You don't need to run your own postfix installation for that;
use can use the one that "" is providing - they have
an IMAP interface.

> What I am aspiring for is to set up all my three email addresses
> in a local mailbox like mbox or whatever.

I suggest using MailDir (derived from MH) which is the standard
today. THunderbird and many others use it. As you can configure
the path to local mailboxes, you can use them with several programs
in parallel.

> I still don't quite understand the components. It seems as though
> with an mua you can set this up.

Thunderbird is pretty easy to set up and configure properly. It
can connect to IMAP accounts without any further tools, and it
can cache messages in local mailboxes in MailDir format.

> So then what is fetchmail and imap programs like dovecot for if
> an MUA works for this.

The MUA is the _user's_ side of the whole thing - the program the
user interacts with to read, write, and sort messages. In your
case, it's the K-9 app on your Android phone.

The fetchmail program obtains messages from your account using
POP3 or IMAP and stores them in a local mailbox. It's a tool to
"get your messages". For example, I use fetchmail to get my
messages from my account and have them in local mailboxes.
It's used to receive messages. I need something else to send
messages - this is done by my MUA. (It incorporates new messages
from the local mailbox filled by fetchmail.) But as I said, this
is not needed (!), and maybe not even desired given the convenience
and flexibility of IMAP (often built into the MUA).

And dovecot is the counterpart for tools like fetchmail: it runs
on the server fetchmail connects to.

You have a typical client-server-setting here.

In relation to mailing, you can make yourself familiar with the
different acronyms, their meaning, program examples, and what
they do ("sends message to an incoming server", "puts message
into a user's mailbox on the server", and so on).

> Or can I only poll mail to a local mailbox in my directory tree
> somewhere with MTA?

With a MUA (NB: U!) like Thunderbird or alpine, this is done
automatically when you have set up your account connection as IMAP
and poll for new messages.

You don't need to manually involve a MTA such as postfix here.
The MTA is responsible for sending your message to the desired
recipient. Mail handling involves a few more agents, I know,
but I wanted to simplify this a bit, and I didn't even talk
about spam filters, virus scanners, signing, certificates,
trust and all the other things... ;-)

You can find more information here:

The different components are covered here:

Covered agents cannot be detected. ;-)

What you should get running first is a MUA. Everything else is
already handled by your provider "".

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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