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<!DOCTYPE reference PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook V4.1//EN" [
<!ENTITY OfflineIMAP "<application>OfflineIMAP</application>">
]>
<!-- "file:///usr/share/sgml/docbook/dtd/xml/4.2/docbookx.dtd"> -->
<reference>
<title>OfflineIMAP Manual</title>
<refentry>
<refentryinfo>
<address><email>jgoerzen@complete.org</email></address>
<author><firstname>John</firstname><surname>Goerzen</surname></author>
</refentryinfo>
<refmeta>
<refentrytitle>offlineimap</refentrytitle>
<manvolnum>1</manvolnum>
<refmiscinfo>John Goerzen</refmiscinfo>
</refmeta>
<refnamediv>
<refname>OfflineIMAP</refname>
<refpurpose>Powerful IMAP/Maildir synchronization
and reader support</refpurpose>
</refnamediv>
<refsynopsisdiv>
<cmdsynopsis>
<command>offlineimap</command>
<arg>-1</arg>
<arg>-P <replaceable>profiledir</replaceable></arg>
<arg>-a <replaceable>accountlist</replaceable></arg>
<arg>-c <replaceable>configfile</replaceable></arg>
<arg>-d <replaceable>debugtype[,...]</replaceable></arg>
<arg>-f <replaceable>foldername[,...]</replaceable></arg>
<arg>-k <replaceable>[section:]option=value</replaceable></arg>
<arg>-l <replaceable>filename</replaceable></arg>
<arg>-o</arg>
<arg>-u <replaceable>interface</replaceable></arg>
</cmdsynopsis>
<cmdsynopsis>
<command>offlineimap</command>
<group choice="plain"><arg>-h</arg><arg>--help</arg></group>
</cmdsynopsis>
</refsynopsisdiv>
<refsect1>
<title>Description</title>
<para>&OfflineIMAP; is a tool to simplify your e-mail
reading. With &OfflineIMAP;, you can read the same mailbox
from multiple computers. You get a current copy of your
messages on each computer, and changes you make one place will be
visible on all other systems. For instance, you can delete a message
on your home computer, and it will appear deleted on your work
computer as well. &OfflineIMAP; is also useful if you want to
use a mail reader that does not have IMAP support, has poor IMAP
support, or does not provide disconnected operation.
</para>
<para>&OfflineIMAP; is <emphasis>FAST</emphasis>; it synchronizes
my two accounts with over 50 folders in 3 seconds. Other
similar tools might take over a minute, and achieve a
less-reliable result. Some mail readers can take over 10
minutes to do the same thing, and some don't even support it
at all. Unlike other mail tools, &OfflineIMAP; features a
multi-threaded synchronization algorithm that can dramatically
speed up performance in many situations by synchronizing
several different things simultaneously.
</para>
<para>&OfflineIMAP; is <emphasis>FLEXIBLE</emphasis>; you can
customize which folders are synced via regular expressions,
lists, or Python expressions; a versatile and comprehensive
configuration file is used to control behavior; two user
interfaces are built-in; fine-tuning of synchronization
performance is possible; internal or external automation is
supported; SSL and PREAUTH tunnels are both supported; offline
(or "unplugged") reading is supported; and esoteric IMAP
features are supported to ensure compatibility with the widest
variety of IMAP servers.
</para>
<para>&OfflineIMAP; is <emphasis>SAFE</emphasis>; it uses an
algorithm designed to prevent mail loss at all costs. Because
of the design of this algorithm, even programming errors
should not result in loss of mail. I am so confident in the
algorithm that I use my own personal and work accounts for
testing of &OfflineIMAP; pre-release, development, and beta
releases. Of course, legally speaking, &OfflineIMAP; comes
with no warranty, so I am not responsible if this turns out
to be wrong.
</para>
<refsect2>
<title>Method of Operation</title>
<para>&OfflineIMAP; traditionally
operates by maintaining a hierarchy of
mail folders in Maildir format locally. Your own mail
reader will read mail from this tree, and need never know
that the mail comes from IMAP. &OfflineIMAP; will detect
changes to the mail folders on your IMAP server and your own
computer and bi-directionally synchronize them, copying,
marking, and deleting messages as necessary.
</para>
<para>
With &OfflineIMAP; 4.0, a powerful new ability has been
introduced -- the program can now synchronize two IMAP
servers with each other, with no need to have a Maildir
layer in-between. Many people use this if they use a mail
reader on their local machine that does not support
Maildirs. People may install an IMAP server on their local
machine, and point both &OfflineIMAP; and their mail reader
of choice at it. This is often preferable to the mail
reader's own IMAP support since &OfflineIMAP; supports many
features (offline reading, for one) that most IMAP-aware
readers don't. However, this feature is not as time-tested
as traditional syncing, so my advice is to stick with normal
methods of operation for the time being.
</para>
</refsect2>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Quick Start</title>
<para>If you have already installed &OfflineIMAP; system-wide,
or your system administrator has done that for you, your task
for setting up &OfflineIMAP; for the first time is quite
simple. You just need to set up your configuration file, make
your folder directory, and run it!
</para>
<para>You can quickly set up your configuration file. The distribution
includes a file <filename>offlineimap.conf.minimal</filename>
(Debian users
may find this at
<filename>/usr/share/doc/offlineimap/examples/offlineimap.conf.minimal</filename>) that is a basic example of setting of &OfflineIMAP;. You can
simply copy this file into your home directory and name it
<filename>.offlineimaprc</filename> (note the leading period). A
command such as <command>cp offlineimap.conf.minimal ~/.offlineimaprc</command> will do it. Or, if you prefer, you can just copy this text to
<filename>~/.offlineimaprc</filename>:
</para>
<PROGRAMLISTING>[general]
accounts = Test
[Account Test]
localrepository = Local
remoterepository = Remote
[Repository Local]
type = Maildir
localfolders = ~/Test
[Repository Remote]
type = IMAP
remotehost = examplehost
remoteuser = jgoerzen
</PROGRAMLISTING>
<para>Now, edit the <filename>~/.offlineimaprc</filename> file with
your favorite editor. All you have to do is specify a directory
for your folders to be in (on the <property>localfolders</property>
line), the host name of your IMAP server (on the
<property>remotehost</property> line), and your login name on
the remote (on the <property>remoteuser</property> line). That's
it!</para>
<para>To run &OfflineIMAP;, you just have to say
<command>offlineimap</command> -- it will fire up, ask you for
a login password if necessary, synchronize your folders, and exit.
See? You can just throw away the rest of this finely-crafted,
perfectly-honed manual! Of course, if you want to see how you can
make &OfflineIMAP; FIVE TIMES FASTER FOR JUST $19.95 (err, well,
$0), you have to read on!
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Installation</title>
<para>If you are reading this document via the "man" command, it is
likely
that you have no installation tasks to perform; your system
administrator has already installed it. If you need to install it
yourself, you have three options: a system-wide installation with
Debian, system-wide installation with other systems, and a single-user
installation. You can download the latest version of &OfflineIMAP; from
<ulink url="http://software.complete.org/offlineimap/">the &OfflineIMAP;
website</ulink>.
</para>
<refsect2>
<title>Prerequisites</title>
<para>In order to use &OfflineIMAP;, you need to have these conditions
satisfied:
</para>
<itemizedlist>
<listitem>
<para>Your mail server must support IMAP. Most Internet Service
Providers
and corporate networks do, and most operating systems
have an IMAP
implementation readily available.
A special <property>Gmail</property> mailbox type is
available to interface with Gmail's IMAP front-end.
</para>
</listitem>
<listitem>
<para>
You must have Python version 2.4 or above installed.
If you are
running on Debian GNU/Linux, this requirement will automatically be
taken care of for you. If you do not have Python already, check with
your system administrator or operating system vendor; or, download it from
<ulink url="http://www.python.org/">the Python website</ulink>.
If you intend to use the SSL interface, your
Python must have been built with SSL support.
</para>
</listitem>
<listitem>
<para>
Have a mail reader that supports the Maildir mailbox
format. Most modern mail readers have this support
built-in, so you can choose from a wide variety of mail
servers. This format is also known as the "qmail"
format, so any mail reader compatible with it will work
with &OfflineIMAP;. If you do not have a mail reader
that supports Maildir, you can often install a local
IMAP server and point both &OfflineIMAP; and your mail
reader at it.
</para>
</listitem>
</itemizedlist>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>System-Wide Installation, Debian</title>
<para>
If you are tracking Debian unstable, you may install
&OfflineIMAP; by simply running the following command as root:
</para>
<para>
<command>apt-get install offlineimap</command>
</para>
<para>
If you are not tracking Debian unstable, download the Debian .deb
package from the <ulink url="http://software.complete.org/offlineimap/">&OfflineIMAP; website</ulink>
and then run <command>dpkg -i</command> to install the downloaded
package. Then, skip to <xref linkend="configuration" endterm="configuration-title"> below. You will type <command>offlineimap</command> to
invoke the program.
</para>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>System-Wide Installation, Other</title>
<para>
Download the tar.gz version of the package from the
<ulink url="http://software.complete.org/offlineimap/">website</ulink>.
Then run
these commands, making sure that you are the "root" user first:
</para>
<ProgramListing>tar -zxvf offlineimap_x.y.z.tar.gz
cd offlineimap-x.y.z
python2.2 setup.py install</ProgramListing>
<para>On some systems, you will need to use
<command>python</command> instead of <command>python2.2</command>.
Next, proceed to <xref linkend="configuration" endterm="configuration-title"> below. You will type <command>offlineimap</command> to
invoke the program.
</para>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>Single-Account Installation</title>
<para>
Download the tar.gz version of the package from the
<ulink url="http://software.complete.org/offlineimap/">website</ulink>.
Then run these commands:
</para>
<ProgramListing>tar -zxvf offlineimap_x.y.z.tar.gz
cd offlineimap-x.y.z</ProgramListing>
<para>When you want to run &OfflineIMAP;, you will issue the
<command>cd</command> command as above and then type
<command>./offlineimap.py</command>; there is no installation
step necessary.
</para>
</refsect2>
</refsect1>
<refsect1 id="configuration">
<title id="configuration-title">Configuration</title>
<para>
&OfflineIMAP; is regulated by a configuration file that is normally
stored in <filename>~/.offlineimaprc</filename>. &OfflineIMAP;
ships with a file named <filename>offlineimap.conf</filename>
that you should copy to that location and then edit. This file is
vital to proper operation of the system; it sets everything you need
to run &OfflineIMAP;. Full documentation for the configuration file
is included within the sample file.
</para>
<para>
&OfflineIMAP; also ships a file named
<filename>offlineimap.conf.minimal</filename> that you can also try.
It's useful if you want to get started with
the most basic feature set, and you can read about other features
later with <filename>offlineimap.conf</filename>.
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Options</title>
<para>
Most configuration is done via the configuration file. Nevertheless,
there are a few command-line options that you may set for
&OfflineIMAP;.
</para>
<variablelist>
<varlistentry><term>-1</term>
<listitem><para>Disable most multithreading operations and use
solely a single-connection
sync. This effectively sets the
<property>maxsyncaccounts</property>
and all <property>maxconnections</property> configuration file
variables to 1.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry><term>-P <replaceable>profiledir</replaceable></term>
<listitem><para>Sets &OfflineIMAP; into profile mode. The program
will create <replaceable>profiledir</replaceable>
(it must not already exist). As it runs, Python profiling
information
about each thread is logged into profiledir. Please note: This option
is present for debugging and optimization only, and should NOT be used
unless you have a specific reason to do so. It will significantly
slow program performance, may reduce reliability, and can generate
huge amounts of data. You must use the <option>-1</option> option when
you use <option>-P</option>.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry><term>-a <replaceable>accountlist</replaceable></term>
<listitem><para>Overrides the <property>accounts</property> option
in the <property>general</property> section of the configuration
file. You might use this to exclude certain accounts, or to sync
some accounts that you normally prefer not to. Separate the
accounts by commas, and use no embedded spaces.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry><term>-c <replaceable>configfile</replaceable></term>
<listitem><para>Specifies a configuration file to use in lieu of
the default, <filename>~/.offlineimaprc</filename>.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry><term>-d <replaceable>debugtype[,...]</replaceable></term>
<listitem><para>Enables debugging for OfflineIMAP. This is useful if
you are trying to track down a malfunction or figure out what is going
on under the hood. I suggest that you use this with
<option>-1</option> to make the results more sensible.</para>
<para><option>-d</option> requires one or more debugtypes,
separated by commas. These define what exactly will be
debugged, and include three options: <property>imap</property>,
<property>maildir</property>, and <property>thread</property>.
The <property>imap</property>
option will enable IMAP protocol stream and parsing debugging. Note
that the output may contain passwords, so take care to remove that
from the debugging output before sending it to anyone else. The
<property>maildir</property> option will enable debugging for
certain Maildir operations. And <property>thread</property>
will debug the threading model.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry><term>-f <replaceable>foldername</replaceable>[,<replaceable>foldername</replaceable>]</term>
<listitem><para> Only sync the specified folders. The
<replaceable>foldername</replaceable>s are the
untranslated foldernames. This command-line option
overrides any <property>folderfilter</property>
and <property>folderincludes</property> options in the
configuration file.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry><term>-k [<replaceable>section</replaceable>:]<replaceable>option</replaceable>=<replaceable>value</replaceable>
</term>
<listitem><para> Override configuration file option. If
"section" is omitted, it defaults
to <property>general</property>. Any underscores "_" in
the section name are replaced with spaces: for instance,
to override option <property>autorefresh</property> in
the "[Account Personal]" section in the config file one
would use "-k Account_Personal:autorefresh=30".
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry><term>-l
<replaceable>filename</replaceable></term>
<listitem><para>
Enables logging to filename. This will log everything
that goes to the screen to the specified file.
Additionally, if any debugging is specified with -d,
then debug messages will not go to the screen, but
instead to the logfile only.</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry><term>-o</term>
<listitem><para>Run only once, ignoring all
<property>autorefresh</property> settings in the configuration
file.</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry><term>-q</term>
<listitem><para>Run only quick synchronizations. Ignore any flag
updates on IMAP servers.</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry><term>-h</term> <term>--help</term>
<listitem><para>Show summary of options.</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry><term>-u <replaceable>interface</replaceable></term>
<listitem><para>Specifies an alternative user interface module
to use. This overrides the default specified in the
configuration file. The pre-defined options are listed in
the User Interfaces section.</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
</variablelist>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>User Interfaces</title>
<para>&OfflineIMAP; has a pluggable user interface system that lets you choose how the
program communicates information to you. There are two graphical
interfaces, two terminal interfaces, and two noninteractive interfaces
suitable for scripting or logging purposes. The
<property>ui</property> option in the configuration file specifies
user interface preferences. The <option>-u</option> command-line
option can override the configuration file setting. The available
values for the configuration file or command-line are described
in this section.</para>
<refsect2>
<title>Curses.Blinkenlights</title>
<para>
Curses.Blinkenlights is an interface designed to be sleek, fun to watch, and
informative of the overall picture of what &OfflineIMAP;
is doing. I consider it to be the best general-purpose interface in
&OfflineIMAP;.
</para>
<para>
Curses.Blinkenlights contains a row of
"LEDs" with command buttons and a log.
The log shows more
detail about what is happening and is color-coded to match the color
of the lights.
</para>
<para>
Each light in the Blinkenlights interface represents a thread
of execution -- that is, a particular task that &OfflineIMAP;
is performing right now. The colors indicate what task
the particular thread is performing, and are as follows:
</para>
<variablelist>
<varlistentry>
<term>Black</term>
<listitem><para>indicates that this light's thread has terminated; it will light up
again later when new threads start up. So, black indicates no
activity.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term>Red (Meaning 1)</term>
<listitem><para>is the color of the main program's thread, which basically does
nothing but monitor the others. It might remind you of HAL 9000 in
<citation>2001</citation>.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term>Gray</term>
<listitem><para>indicates that the thread is establishing a new connection to the IMAP
server.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term>Purple</term>
<listitem><para>is the color of an account synchronization thread that is monitoring
the progress of the folders in that account (not generating any I/O).
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term>Cyan</term>
<listitem><para>indicates that the thread is syncing a folder.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term>Green</term>
<listitem><para>means that a folder's message list is being loaded.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term>Blue</term>
<listitem><para>is the color of a message synchronization controller thread.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term>Orange</term>
<listitem><para>indicates that an actual message is being copied.
(We use fuchsia for fake messages.)
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term>Red (meaning 2)</term>
<listitem><para>indicates that a message is being deleted.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term>Yellow / bright orange</term>
<listitem><para>indicates that message flags are being added.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term>Pink / bright red</term>
<listitem><para>indicates that message flags are being removed.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term>Red / Black Flashing</term>
<listitem><para>corresponds to the countdown timer that runs between
synchronizations.
</para></listitem>
</varlistentry>
</variablelist>
<para>The name of this interfaces derives from a bit of computer
history. Eric Raymond's <citation>Jargon File</citation> defines
<firstterm>blinkenlights</firstterm>, in part, as:
</para>
<blockquote>
<para>Front-panel diagnostic
lights on a computer, esp. a dinosaur. Now that dinosaurs are rare,
this term usually refers to status lights on a modem, network hub, or
the like.
</para>
<para>
This term derives from the last word of the famous blackletter-Gothic
sign in mangled pseudo-German that once graced about half the computer
rooms in the English-speaking world. One version ran in its entirety as
follows:
</para>
<para>
<emphasis>ACHTUNG! ALLES LOOKENSPEEPERS!</emphasis>
</para>
<para>
Das computermachine ist nicht fuer gefingerpoken und mittengrabben.
Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken
mit spitzensparken. Ist nicht fuer gewerken bei das dumpkopfen.
Das rubbernecken sichtseeren keepen das cotten-pickenen hans in das
pockets muss; relaxen und watchen das blinkenlichten.
</para>
</blockquote>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>TTY.TTYUI</title>
<para>
TTY.TTYUI interface is for people running in basic, non-color terminals. It
prints out basic status messages and is generally friendly to use on a console
or xterm.
</para>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>Noninteractive.Basic</title>
<para>
Noninteractive.Basic is designed for situations in which &OfflineIMAP;
will be run non-attended and the status of its execution will be
logged. You might use it, for instance, to have the system run
automatically and
e-mail you the results of the synchronization. This user interface
is not capable of reading a password from the keyboard; account
passwords must be specified using one of the configuration file options.
</para>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>Noninteractive.Quiet</title>
<para>
Noninteractive.Quiet is designed for non-attended running in situations
where normal status messages are not desired. It will output nothing
except errors and serious warnings. Like Noninteractive.Basic,
this user interface
is not capable of reading a password from the keyboard; account
passwords must be specified using one of the configuration file options.
</para>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>Machine.MachineUI</title>
<para>
Machine.MachineUI generates output in a machine-parsable format.
It is designed for other programs that will interface
to OfflineIMAP.
</para>
</refsect2>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Examples</title>
<para>Here are some example configurations for various situations.
Please e-mail any other examples you have that may be useful to
me.
</para>
<refsect2>
<title>Multiple Accounts with Mutt</title>
<para>
This example shows you how to set up &OfflineIMAP; to
synchronize multiple accounts with the mutt mail reader.
</para>
<para>
Start by creating a directory to hold your folders by running
<command>mkdir ~/Mail</command>. Then, in your
<filename>~/.offlineimaprc</filename>, specify:
</para>
<programlisting>accounts = Personal, Work</programlisting>
<para>
Make sure that you have both an
<property>[Account Personal]</property>
and an <property>[Account Work]</property> section. The
local repository for each account must have different
<property>localfolder</> path names.
Also, make sure
to enable <property>[mbnames]</property>.
</para>
<para>
In each local repository section, write something like this:
</para>
<programlisting>localfolders = ~/Mail/Personal</programlisting>
<para>
Finally, add these lines to your <filename>~/.muttrc</filename>:
</para>
<programlisting>source ~/path-to-mbnames-muttrc-mailboxes
folder-hook Personal set from="youremail@personal.com"
folder-hook Work set from="youremail@work.com"
set mbox_type=Maildir
set folder=$HOME/Mail
spoolfile=+Personal/INBOX</programlisting>
<para>
That's it!
</para>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>UW-IMAPD and References</title>
<para>Some users with a UW-IMAPD server need to use &OfflineIMAP;'s
"reference" feature to get at their mailboxes, specifying a reference
of "~/Mail" or "#mh/" depending on the configuration. The below
configuration from (originally from docwhat@gerf.org)
shows using a <property>reference</property> of Mail, a <property>nametrans</property>
that strips
the leading Mail/ off incoming folder names, and a
<property>folderfilter</property> that
limits the folders synced to just three.
</para>
<programlisting>[Account Gerf]
localrepository = GerfLocal
remoterepository = GerfRemote
[Repository GerfLocal]
type = Maildir
localfolders = ~/Mail
[Repository GerfRemote]
type = IMAP
remotehost = gerf.org
ssl = yes
remoteuser = docwhat
reference = Mail
# Trims off the preceeding Mail on all the folder names.
nametrans = lambda foldername: \
re.sub('^Mail/', '', foldername)
# Yeah, you have to mention the Mail dir, even though it
# would seem intuitive that reference would trim it.
folderfilter = lambda foldername: foldername in [
'Mail/INBOX',
'Mail/list/zaurus-general',
'Mail/list/zaurus-dev',
]
maxconnections = 1
holdconnectionopen = no</programlisting>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>pythonfile Configuration File Option</title>
<para>You can have &OfflineIMAP;
load up a Python file before evaluating the
configuration file options that are Python expressions. This example
is based on one supplied by Tommi Virtanen for this feature.
</para>
<para>
In <filename>~/.offlineimaprc</filename>, he adds these options:
</para>
<programlisting>[general]
pythonfile=~/.offlineimap.py
[Repository foo]
foldersort=mycmp</programlisting>
<para>
Then, the <filename>~/.offlineimap.py</filename> file will
contain:
</para>
<programlisting>prioritized = ['INBOX', 'personal', 'announce', 'list']
def mycmp(x, y):
for prefix in prioritized:
xsw = x.startswith(prefix)
ysw = y.startswith(prefix)
if xsw and ysw:
return cmp(x, y)
elif xsw:
return -1
elif ysw:
return +1
return cmp(x, y)
def test_mycmp():
import os, os.path
folders=os.listdir(os.path.expanduser('~/data/mail/tv@hq.yok.utu.fi'))
folders.sort(mycmp)
print folders</programlisting>
<para>
This code snippet illustrates how the <property>foldersort</property>
option can be customized with a Python function from the
<property>pythonfile</property> to always synchronize certain
folders first.
</para>
</refsect2>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Signals</title>
<para>
OfflineIMAP writes its current PID into
<filename>~/.offlineimap/pid</filename> when it is
running. It is not guaranteed that this file will
not exist when OfflineIMAP is not running.
</para>
<!-- not done yet
<para>
You can send SIGINT to OfflineIMAP using this file to
kill it. SIGUSR1 will force an immediate resync of
all accounts. This will be ignored for all accounts
for which a resync is already in progress.
</para>
-->
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Errors</title>
<para>
If you get one of some frequently-encountered or confusing errors,
please check this section.
</para>
<refsect2>
<title>UID validity problem for folder</title>
<para>IMAP servers use a unique ID (UID) to refer to a specific message.
This number is guaranteed to be unique to a particular message
<emphasis>forever</emphasis>.
No other message in the same folder will ever get the same
UID. UIDs are an integral part of &OfflineIMAP;'s synchronization
scheme; they are used to match up messages on your computer to
messages on the server.
</para>
<para>
Sometimes, the UIDs on the server might get reset. Usually this will
happen if you delete and then recreate a folder. When you create a
folder, the server will often start the UID back from 1. But
&OfflineIMAP; might still have the UIDs from the previous folder by the
same name stored. &OfflineIMAP; will detect this condition and skip the
folder. This is GOOD, because it prevents data loss.
</para>
<para>
You can fix it by removing your local folder and cache data. For
instance, if your folders are under <filename>~/Folders</filename>
and the folder with the problem is INBOX, you'd type this:
</para>
<programlisting>rm -r ~/Folders/INBOX
rm -r ~/.offlineimap/Account-<replaceable>AccountName</>/LocalStatus/INBOX
rm -r ~/.offlineimap/Repository-<replaceable>RemoteRepositoryName</>/FolderValidity/INBOX</programlisting>
<para>
(Of course, replace AccountName and RemoteRepositoryName
with the names as specified
in <filename>~/.offlineimaprc</filename>).
</para>
<para>Next time you run &OfflineIMAP;, it will re-download
the folder with the
new UIDs. Note that the procedure specified above will lose any local
changes made to the folder.
</para>
<para>
Some IMAP servers are broken and do not support UIDs properly. If you
continue to get this error for all your folders even after performing
the above procedure, it is likely that your IMAP server falls into
this category. &OfflineIMAP; is incompatible with such servers.
Using &OfflineIMAP; with them will not destroy any mail, but at the same time,
it will not actually synchronize it either. (&OfflineIMAP; will detect
this condition and abort prior to synchronization.)
</para>
<para>
This question comes up frequently on the
<ulink
url="http://lists.complete.org/offlineimap@complete.org/">&OfflineIMAP;
mailing list</ulink>. You can find a
<ulink
url="http://lists.complete.org/offlineimap@complete.org/2003/04/msg00012.html.gz">detailed
discussion</ulink> of the problem there.
</para>
</refsect2>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Conforming To</title>
<itemizedlist>
<listitem><para>Internet Message Access Protocol version 4rev1 (IMAP 4rev1) as
specified in RFC2060 and RFC3501</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>CRAM-MD5 as specified in RFC2195</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Maildir as specified in
<ulink url="http://www.qmail.org/qmail-manual-html/man5/maildir.html">the Maildir manpage</ulink> and
<ulink url="http://cr.yp.to/proto/maildir.html">the qmail website</ulink>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Standard Python 2.2.1 as implemented on POSIX-compliant systems.</para></listitem>
</itemizedlist>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Notes</title>
<refsect2>
<title>Deleting Local Folders</title>
<para>&OfflineIMAP; does a two-way synchronization. That is, if you
make a change to the mail on the server, it will be propagated to your
local copy, and vise-versa. Some people might think that it would be
wise to just delete all their local mail folders periodically. If you
do this with &OfflineIMAP;, remember to also remove your local status
cache (<filename>~/.offlineimap</filename> by default). Otherwise, &OfflineIMAP; will take
this as an intentional deletion of many messages and will interpret
your action as requesting them to be deleted from the server as well.
(If you don't understand this, don't worry; you probably won't
encounter this situation.)
</para>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>Multiple Instances</title>
<para>&OfflineIMAP; is not designed to have several instances (for instance, a cron job and an interactive invocation) run over the same
mailbox simultaneously. It will perform a check on startup and
abort if another &OfflineIMAP; is already running. If you need
to schedule synchronizations, you'll probably find
<property>autorefresh</property> settings more convenient than cron.
Alternatively, you can set a separate <property>metadata</property>
directory for each instance.
</para>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>Copying Messages Between Folders</title>
<para>
Normally, when you copy a message between folders or add a new message
to a folder locally, &OfflineIMAP;
will just do the right thing. However, sometimes this can be tricky
-- if your IMAP server does not provide the SEARCH command, or does
not return something useful, &OfflineIMAP;
cannot determine the new UID of the message. So, in these rare
instances, OfflineIMAP will upload the message to the IMAP server and
delete it from your local folder. Then, on your next sync, the
message will be re-downloaded with the proper UID.
&OfflineIMAP; makes sure that the message was properly uploaded before deleting it,
so there should be no risk of data loss.
</para>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>Mailing List</title>
<para>There is an OfflineIMAP mailing list available.
To subscribe, send the text "Subscribe" in the subject of a mail to
offlineimap-request@complete.org. To post, send the message to
offlineimap@complete.org. Archives are available at
<ulink url="http://lists.complete.org/offlineimap@complete.org/"></>.
</para>
</refsect2>
<refsect2>
<title>Bugs</title>
<para>
Reports of bugs should be reported online at the
&OfflineIMAP; homepage.
Debian users are encouraged to instead use the
Debian
bug-tracking system.
</para>
</refsect2>
</refsect1>
<refsect1 id="upgrading.4.0">
<title>Upgrading to 4.0</title>
<para>
If you are upgrading from a version of &OfflineIMAP; prior to
3.99.12, you will find that you will get errors when
&OfflineIMAP; starts up (relating to ConfigParser or
AccountHashGenerator) and the
configuration file. This is because the config file format
had to change to accommodate new features in 4.0. Fortunately,
it's not difficult to adjust it to suit.
</para>
<para>
First thing you need to do is stop any running &OfflineIMAP;
instance, making sure first that it's synced all your mail.
Then, modify your
<filename>~/.offlineimaprc</filename> file. You'll need to
split up each account section (make sure that it now starts
with "Account ") into two Repository sections (one for the
local side and another for the remote side.) See the files
<filename>offlineimap.conf.minimal</filename> and
<filename>offlineimap.conf</filename> in the distribution if
you need more assistance.
</para>
<para>
&OfflineIMAP;'s status directory area has also changed.
Therefore, you should delete everything in ~/.offlineimap as
well as your local mail folders.
</para>
<para>
When you start up &OfflineIMAP; 4.0, it will re-download all
your mail from the server and then you can continue using it
like normal.
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Copyright</title>
<para>OfflineIMAP, and this manual, are Copyright &copy; 2002 - 2006 John Goerzen.</para>
<para>
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
</para>
<para>
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.
</para>
<para>
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA</para>
<para>imaplib.py comes from the Python dev tree and is licensed under
the GPL-compatible PSF license as stated in the file
<filename>COPYRIGHT</filename> in the &OfflineIMAP;
distribution.
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Author</title>
<para>&OfflineIMAP;, its libraries, documentation, and all included files, except where
noted, was written by John Goerzen <email>jgoerzen@complete.org</email> and
copyright is held as stated in the COPYRIGHT section.
</para>
<para>
&OfflineIMAP; may be downloaded, and information found, from its
<ulink url="http://software.complete.org/offlineimap">homepage</ulink>.
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>See Also</title>
<para><application>mutt</application>(1),
<application>python</application>(1)
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>History</title>
<para>
Detailed history may be found in the file ChangeLog in the
&OfflineIMAP; distribution. Feature and bug histories may be
found in the file debian/changelog which, despite its name, is
not really Debian-specific. This section provides a large
overview.
</para>
<para>
Development on &OfflineIMAP; began on June 18, 2002. Version
1.0.0 was released three days later on June 21, 2002. Point
releases followed, including speed optimizations and some
compatibility fixes.
</para>
<para>Version 2.0.0 was released on July 3, 2002, and
represented the first time the synchronization became
multithreaded and, to the best of my knowledge, the first
multithreaded IMAP syncrhonizing application in existance.
The last 2.0.x release, 2.0.8, was made on July 9.
</para>
<para>
Version 3.0.0 was released on July 11, 2002, and introduced
modular user interfaces and the first GUI interface for
&OfflineIMAP;. This manual also was introduced with 3.0.0,
along with many command-line options. Version 3.1.0 was
released on July 21, adding the Noninteractive user
interfaces, profiling support, and several bugfixes. 3.2.0
was released on July 24, adding support for the Blinkenlights
GUI interface. &OfflineIMAP; entered maintenance mode for
awhile, as it had reached a feature-complete milestone in my
mind.
</para>
<para>
The 3.99.x branch began in on October 7, 2002, to begin work
for 4.0. The Curses.Blinkenlights interface was added in
3.99.6, and many architectural changes were made.
</para>
<para>
4.0.0 was released on July 18, 2003, including the ability to
synchronize directly between two IMAP servers, the first
re-architecting of the configuration file to refine the
notion of an account, and the new Curses interface.
</para>
</refsect1>
</refentry>
</reference>
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