Mail Server Migration

I'm moving my domains and mails from Slicehost to Linode.

Current mail setup is postfix+courier+sasl

Would appreciate your inputs on following:

1. How do I move my mailboxes without bothering the users? I'm told I could use IMAPSync. However, since it's not free anymore, I was hoping for any other suggestion

2. Linode's library seems to promote Dovecot, does NOT have any updated documentation on Courier. Is there any reason for it, or is just because the person writing doc is more comfortable with Dovecot? (I don't mind using either)

Thanks in advance.

4 Replies

I wrote a script that can help out with this, somewhat. It, in essence, does a copy from an IMAP folder to a maildir folder. I use it to keep my Gmail backed up locally, in case of emergency, but it should be able to download multiple mailboxes/users with some creative looping.

That said, since you've already got filesystem-level access to the mail (and are, presumably, using maildir), rsync would do an even better job of moving the mail.

I was looking at OfflineIMAP for another purpose, but it seems like it may be usable for this. > 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. I have also seen isync mentioned, but really don't know anything about it…

Thanks for your help so far guys. I've decided to go with rsync.

(Since the Linux on my old box isn't supported anymore, I'd to build rsync but I'm hoping it to be worth it)

So, from what I understand:

  • I can configure the mail server (Postfix etc.) and make things as close as the old box

  • Sync users (and their home directories) on both boxes

  • Sync mail dirs.

On old box, I use Courier and am planning to use Dovecot on the new. Considering that rsync with "-a" attribute preserves the file attributes, including timestamp, I'm hoping that everything else will go smoothly.

Are my assumptions correct?

Okay, I found some more information on Dovecot site:

Apparently, IMAP UIDs and POP3 UIDLs need to be preserved (and converted). Will take this guide into consideration as well and appreciate if anyone has anymore inputs/pointers.


Please enter an answer

You can mention users to notify them: @username

You can use Markdown to format your question. For more examples see the Markdown Cheatsheet.

> I’m a blockquote.

I’m a blockquote.

[I'm a link] (

I'm a link

**I am bold** I am bold

*I am italicized* I am italicized

Community Code of Conduct