copying offlineimap-managed maildir across machines

Dominic LoBue dominic.lobue at
Thu Jun 3 16:09:57 BST 2010

On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 7:16 PM, Richard Cobbe <cobbe at> wrote:
> I use offlineimap v6.2.0 with two email accounts, one GMail and the other
> standard IMAP, syncing both with a maildir repository on the local machine.
> Actually, I do this on *two* local machines, each with an independent
> maildir repository, stored on the respective machines' local disks.
> (Should it matter, the machines are MacOS: one 10.6, and one 10.5 shortly
> to be upgraded.)
> I'm in the process of doing some fairly significant and overdue spring
> cleaning on the mail accounts that will involve the deletion of lots of
> messages and folders.  Since the process for deleting a folder is a little
> laborious (delete the folder from the maildir repository, delete the folder
> from the IMAP server, delete the account metadata in ~/.offlineimap, run
> offlineimap to resync & recreate the metadata), I'd like to do all of this
> on just one of the two client machines, and then copy the Maildir and
> .offlineimap directories onto the other client machine, using rsync or
> something like that.
> Assuming I copy both, will that be safe?  Will offlineimap just pick up
> with the new repository on the second client machine?
> Or should I just rsync the maildir repository, delete the offlineimap
> metadata on the second machine, and rerun offlineimap to regenerate it?
> All suggestions welcome.
> Thanks,
> Richard
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So long as you use rsync's --delete flag, there's no technical reason
why what you're asking about should fail.

I won't say there's no way it can go wrong, but there's nothing in the
code that will flip out if you copy everything over from one machine
to another.

Good luck!

Dominic LoBue

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