(Some older thoughts on this on my software/linux page at CPBL unix lessons.)
I imagined that switching from alpine to mutt would solve all my problems, but I have been unable to configure mutt to my liking.
I reach my email from several different GNU/Linux computers, at least one of which is mobile and at least one of which is 64-bit. I need to access my email from each and in a way that keeps my changes and organisation synced across machines. I also need to be able to access all my mail when I’m offline. Lastly, I very much dislike the clunky windowed interfaces of programs like Thunderbird, Gmail, etc. (Google gears, and therefore GMail offline, is not available/supported for 64-bit right now anyway).
Currently, I use fetchmail and Pine on my laptop and simply ssh to the laptop from wherever I am, accessing my email remotely through a text interface. This is not bad because Pine is application-savvy: e.g. if I view a url within Pine on a remote machine, it will bring the url up in the Firefox instance that is on my local machine!
However, I don’t want to have to rely on reaching my laptop. Since all of my email is piped through GMail now, the ideal for me would be Pine + offlineimap running on each machine. The problem is that Pine is stuck and has been for over a year, due to stupid licensing issues, from supporting the maildir format that offlineimap and most sensible interfaces, use.
So, not able to wait any longer, I am sadly switching to Thunderbird with its GMail interface, offline features turned on. There are several problems, however, which can be solved with the following Thunderbird plugins:
- Gmail IMAP Account Setup Install this add-on before setting up your account; then launch the account wizard: save lots of time and fiddling! I have modified this add-on’s default account settings by adding another (preferred) SMTP outgoing server (UBC interchange, see their instructions) and by turning on the “Make messages available for offline use” and clicking the details button there and checking every single GMail folder make it/them available offline. I looked through the other account settings to make sure I like the look of them.
- Nostalgy (I’m using this). This makes easy keystrokes for saving/moving messages to a folder (ie applying a gmail tag and archiving them)
- keyconfig (no longer supported? But I want something like this to finish redefining keys…)
- Virtual Identity (I’m using this). This makes your replies use a “From” address that corresponds to the address used by the recipient.
- Sync On Arrival – Why doesn’t Thunderbird do what it promises, and download all messages completely? Well, this is suppose to fix that. Haven’t tried it yet.
Some other options:
- why can I not just get a compiled version of alpine with the controversial maildir patch? Where are instructions for compiling this for Ubuntu?
- I imagined that switching from alpine to mutt would solve all my problems, but I have been unable to configure mutt to my liking.
- What about uw-imapd? If I understand it, the idea is to connect offlineimap and pine by means of a local imap server. This is a bit heavy, since it means installing a whole MTA etc on each local machine? I think this is what I mean: http://blob.inf.ed.ac.uk/gdutton/2009/01/offlineimap/