Like one has different backup procedures for /etc vs. /var,
I don't plan to backup my oldmail files at all.
And having the user restore a days old stale oldmail file from backups
would perhaps be worse than no oldmail file at all.
Do NOT delete or edit these files. You'll make getmail re-retrieve all
your old mail, or even prevent getmail from running. The files are tiny
by modern storage standards; you could have a million of these files and
still not have to worry about the disk space they take up for a thousand
Even if disks are bigger these days it is simply bad practice to
cross ones fingers and let files grow and grow. E.g., that's why we use
logrotate, and browsers limit the history they save. Environmentally
conscious programs all clean up after themselves and I can't think of
any programs that don't.
And sure disks might be big but it is an embarrassment when there is
this one file bigger than any other that nobody dares to delete because
the FAQ says so. Also yes disks might be bigger but some people might be
backing up important /var files over cellular or satellite etc.
I'm sure there must be some entries in a 10 years big oldmail file that
could be deleted. Maybe Osamu could make a script to delete obsolete
Anyway, here's how I use getmail, several times a day:
Dreamhost ->(getmail)->~/Maildir, then
~/Maildir->(gnus)->~/[gnus directories](Then I read my mail in gnus.)
At this point, there is no mail left on Dreamhost, and no mail in
~/Maildir, so I am certainly back to the same state of Day 1 when I
first installed getmail, so I can certainly zap the oldmail files.