How to move ~/Mail from one computer to another?

chombee chombee at
Tue Jul 20 02:33:16 BST 2010

On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 06:07:14PM -0700, Patrick Morris wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 5:03 PM, chombee <chombee at> wrote:
> > I already have my IMAP accounts synced to a ~/Mail folder on computer
> > A. I now have a new computer B, and I don't want to have to start
> > again on B by using offlineimap to download all my mail from scratch,
> > that would take ages.
> >
> > If I sneakernet the ~/Mail folder from computer A to computer B and then
> > run offlineimap on computer B, should everything work as expected (i.e.
> > offlineimap will continue syncing from where it left off the last time
> > it was run on computer A)? I don't want to run offlineimap and see it do
> > something terrible, like upload every mail to the IMAP server again and
> > duplicate them all, or erroneously delete emails.
> >
> No, that would not work, at least not the way you're describing. You would
> also need to move your configuration, and all of the OfflineIMAP data
> associated with those mailboxes. On my system those files are kept in
> ~/.offlineimap.  Yours may reside somewhere else.

Ok. So I should copy the .offlineimaprc file and the .offlineimap
directory also. No problem.

Will offlineimap do the right thing even if the hostname and username on
the new machine are different?

Will it do the right thing if file metadata (such as modification and
creation times) of the mail files gets changed in the transfer?

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