Miscellaneous System Notes

“Greg”:http://www.third-bit.com/ has a few new students starting this summer. Time to update the default user profiles and “create new account” software to make this easier, since I do it so seldom and keep forgetting all of the steps. I’m thinking of either using LDAP or MySQL for authentication, or finding an /etc/passwd based auth module for Apache and samba; either would let me use the same passwords everywhere on the system.

I recently converted from “uw-imap”:http://www.washington.edu/imap/ to “courier-imap”:http://www.inter7.com/courierimap/INSTALL.html. Courier uses maildir instead of mbox format. Webmail is now much faster, since IMAPD does not lock and parse the entire mail spool for every web-click! OTOH, this means no more mail(1) or pine; aw, shucks.

I’ve been cleaning up the “main CFRQ page”:http://www.cfrq.net/ and the top-level stylesheet a bit. Not really sure why, or where I’m going with that-which-loosely-qualifies-as-a-design. I also finally got the default “VirtualHost”:http://httpd.apache.org/docs/mod/core.html#virtualhost (“persephone.cfrq.net”:http://persephone.cfrq.net/) working again, so I think I’m going to move all of the local stuff (and that installed by “RedHat”:http://www.redhat.com/) back to that page, and then replicate it to “hermione”:http://hermione.cfrq.net/.

posted at 2:48 pm on Sunday, April 13, 2003 in Site News | Comments (2)


  1. Reid Ellis says:

    Are there any imap daemons that use MySQL for mail? And, if there are, are there any command-line clients that can parse/use these mailboxes?

    Hm, one reason I like mbox format is that I can burn it to CD and read it with software 20 years later without a problem. Maildir is what (ex)mh uses, right? Where a mailbox is a dir and messages are files? Sort of like seeing your mailbox explode. :-)

    That would be fine with something like rfs, which is optimized for small files, but I think it would kill ext2 if you have huge mailboxes (which I do — several over 1000 messages).

    I guess for archival, if I had some SQL thing, I could have a script that spit everything out in mbox or something..

  2. Harald says:

    I’m sure there are software packages out there that store e-mail in a MySQL database; I haven’t researched that specifically. Google is your friend :-)

    My archived mail is currently 507Mb (wow!), in 47450 files (with a couple of control files in each folder, I have slightly fewer actual messages). In practice, I don’t have any trouble with using MH format; EXMH as a GUI hides that detail, and the MH/NMH command line tools are very easy to use (they were designed that way, after all).

    Maildir format is a little weird; the filenames are long and somewhat unintelligible, so using standard command line tools is more challenging. I’ve eneded up with a few perl/python scripts to make life easier.

    Mutt speaks maildir format directly, as does courier IMAP; between the two, it’s easy to manipulate my mailboxes. Also (as you mentioned) I keep my primary mail on my laptop in MH format; the maildir stuff is a) for other cfrq.net users that use IMAP and/or webmail, and b) for when I’m travelling and using webmail instead of my laptop.

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