Since Netscape, I have used copy and xcopy to backup profiles and mail
- I have always put mail in a separate tree.
I also had Win and OS/2 use the same profile and data files. I kept
them on FAT32 so both Win and OS/2 could access them.
Similarly. I dual boot Win7 and Linux, and use the one set of profile
and data files for my SeaMonkey Suite situated on my Win7 G:\ drive.
Noting FRG's cautions about sharing profiles...
Even if doing this kind of thing is technically possible, I'm assuming
that you're using POP, and in that, really pushing beyond the design
expectations of what POP can (or even should) do.
The better approach is to use IMAP, where all your mail traffic is on a
server, and not stored locally. With IMAP, it doesn't matter what
computer, what platform or what profile you're using. All of them see
the exactly same set of data, including folder layout, read/unread
status, tagging, etc. The things that don't share would be configs
(including extensions) and personal preferences and your contacts lists,
but those are things that you can work around (e.g., occasional of use
the ImportExport extension to export contacts from one profile and
import into your other profiles).
For me personally, I use a hybridized approach between POP and IMAP. My
primary working profile is POP, and across several accounts (including
more than one that are no longer used), I keep all my mail archives
dating back now close to 25 years in that profile. For the old accounts,
this is a place where Local Folders is really useful. I consider that to
be the master profile. For this profile, I set the retention policy to 2
weeks, so that I don't get immediate deletion from the server.
From there, I set up all of my other connections to use IMAP. That
includes a secondary Seamonkey profile on that machine, Thunderbird
profiles on multiple machines, and even the mail client on my cell
phone. No matter where I'm accessing from (even providers' web
clients), I see the exact same list of messages -- two weeks of history
is generally enough for anything I need from a secondary access. The
one minor thing to account for is for any mail that I send. Sometimes,
I may set up a client to use the Inbox for saving copies of sent mail,
rather than the Sent folder, but most of the time, it's easy enough to
simply move any sent messages from the Sent folder into the Inbox.
Then, when I download messages from my primary client, I have a copy of
anything that I've sent, that I can subsequently put into my permanent
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