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Using an IMAP account with Mail.app revisited Apps
I noticed that when I set up an IMAP account within mail.app, I got a location that used my UNIX user's home directory as the default location for mail to be saved. In other words, I got a mailbox with username@host.com or my account name in the preferences, with all the folders listed from within my home directory on the server, even the "invisible" folders with leading "."s.

I also noticed that this dramatically slows the application, as was mentioned here on macosxhints before. The author of a previous hint suggested that you set the "IMAP path prefix" to "/var/spool/mail/username." While this makes mail.app more responsive, it does not allow you to save mail to any mailbox on the server.

My resolution to this issue was simply to set my IMAP path prefix to "~/mail" which allows me to create mailboxes that are located in a folder called "mail" on the server in my home directory (mail.app will create this folder). This also makes mail.app more responsive, as it does not have to parse all the other folders in my home directory, and you can then create mailboxes and save mail on the server!

Hope this tip helps some.
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Using an IMAP account with Mail.app revisited | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Using an IMAP account with Mail.app revisited
Authored by: prk on Feb 17, '03 10:20:38AM

~/Mail

I guess I should expect people that are new to unix and at least IMAP to not know this. But, why wouldn't apple set the default to ~/Mail? Thats what it's suppose to be. Gesh.



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Using an IMAP account with Mail.app revisited
Authored by: CaptCosmic on Feb 17, '03 12:02:46PM

Possibly because on .Mac accounts, Mail Folders aren't in ~/Mail. They are in ~. And the same may be true of other mail servcies out there as well.

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-> Capt Cosmic <-



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Using an IMAP account with Mail.app revisited
Authored by: acdha on Feb 17, '03 02:47:33PM

It's not standard and would break anyone using a different IMAP server and even uw-imapd users with different server configurations. People using modern mail servers which use namespaces to provide the appropriate path don't need it, either.



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Using an IMAP account with Mail.app revisited
Authored by: Benjamin Evans on Feb 18, '03 05:35:31AM

Not necessarily. With my ISP I use '~/mail/', and this being on a Solaris machine, '~/Mail/' wouldn't work. As with OS X itself, this is a case-sensitive OS. It would be foolish on Apple's part to make assumptions on the path prefix.



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Using an IMAP account with Mail.app revisited
Authored by: mahakali on Feb 18, '03 09:06:02AM

As others said, it's not a standard. And I guess it's not even common for mail server to use "~/Mail" directory. None of my IMAP accounts uses "~/Mail" prefix. I once had an account that needed some prefix but it wasn't "~/Mail" either.



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Using an IMAP account with Mail.app revisited
Authored by: bluehz on Feb 17, '03 12:56:12PM

I am not completely sure I understand whats going on here. The path you are setting in IMAP is for the server location of files/dirs?

Just curious - I tried the ~/Mail and it failed miserably. I have a Linux box running Qmail/vpopmail for my LAN and with virtual domains the users actual mail dirs are located at /home/vpopmail/domains/xyz.com/usernam (for Linux install). So I would suspect I need use that path with this hint. Am I on teh right road here?



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Using an IMAP account with Mail.app revisited
Authored by: aznights on May 16, '03 02:14:31PM

I am having the same issues.. for a while Mail.app found all my mailboxes (I run Qmail/Vpopmail/Courier IMAP with virtual domains as well). Now it cant find the mail boxes... I remember I got it working again.. but it was obvious.. anyone else solve this problem?



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Using an IMAP account with Mail.app revisited
Authored by: aznights on May 16, '03 02:20:54PM

ok.. I FOUND how I fixed it.. you don't need to set the prefix... what you do is add a bogus account (can be imap or pop3) which bogus info.. then save and quit.. when you restart Mail , your mailboxes should appear

See the Apple Tech Support Article
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107069



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This uw-imapd specific
Authored by: acdha on Feb 17, '03 02:43:58PM

This is a side-effect of the way uw-imap works. It only supprts mbox-format mailboxes and thus has no way of determing whether something is a mailbox without opening the file to see. They took the lazy way out of simply showing everything in the home directory.

Whether your mail shows up in the default home directory, some place like ~/Mail or /var/spool/mail depends on your server config. Note that any decent IMAP server can tell Mail.app what to use for the prefix, so this isn't necessary unless you're using uw-imapd.

As a side note, uw-imapd is extremely inefficient. Switching to a better imap server like Cyrus or Courier which uses something other than mbox to store mail will be significantly faster with larger mailboxes and has the side-effect of not needing to worry about this sort of thing as the modern IMAP servers correctly send their namespaces.



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