One of the beauties of IMAP is that if you point your mail client at two servers, you can drag existing mails from one server to the other. I initially did this to transfer stuff from a POP server/client setup into IMAP with a different email provider.

Where both servers are remote, everything which isn't cached locally has to come down to your local machine, then out to the other one, so it can take quite some time, but that's just a matter of patience. Since you use your own MacOS server plus MailMate, the incoming leg of that journey should be trivial.

As far as the nitty gritty of the transfer goes, the last time I did this was several years ago, but as far as I recall I created a dummy account on the target IMAP system to dump everything into, then created each account in turn and moved them into the right place. The only catch I recall was deciding when to change my MX records to point at the new server, and ensuring that no emails arriving in the transition period got lost. Copious double checking satisfied me there.

On 13 Feb 2018, at 0:16, Rick Holzgrafe wrote:

We have a small email server box of our own, running Apple MacOS Server. We access it with Mailmate, and we use Mailmate’s tags feature heavily to organize our tens of thousands of messages.

Apple has announced that it will discontinue the mail server feature. We are going to have to move to a hosted server somewhere. (Helpful people: Please don’t respond with suggestions on how to avoid this move. I’ve been through all that already, thanks.) We intend to continue to use Mailmate after the move. (We really like Mailmate.)

This means that we need a way to preserve our archived mail. That’s easy enough—EagleFiler will do it, or we could just make a Finder copy of our cache folders. But these mechanisms do not preserve the tags (even though both EagleFiler and the Finder do support tagging), so we will lose all of our carefully-built-up organization.

Is there any way to preserve not just the mail, but also the tags that we have applied in Mailmate? I have explored the Application Support > Mailmate folder, but as far as I can tell the tag info is not stored there, except for a handy list of all the tag names.

As far as I know, we won’t be able to simply transfer our mail from our own server to a hosted server.

I’m a programmer; if I know where the info is kept, I might even be able to build some custom software to do the job for us… although I expect the task of (say) building my own “mail client” just to download mail and tags is pretty daunting.

Thanks for any help!

— Rick Holzgrafe

mailmate mailing list
mailmate mailing list

Reply via email to