Struggling with the general concepts, is offlineimap even the right tool?

Nicolas Sebrecht nicolas.s-dev at
Sat Sep 19 09:54:28 BST 2015

On Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 09:01:23PM -0700, Scott Haneda wrote:
>    Hello,Â
>    I have a few simple goals:
>    - Backup my email
>    - Be able to edit subjects and have then synced with live and backup to
>    fix threading issues
>    - Be able to edit headers if needed, though just the subject seems
>    enough
>    I know offlineIMAP can do the backup part, but do I even need a mail
>    client like mutt or similar to edit the subjects?  I assume
>    offlineimap will download and sync, and they are plain text files, or I
>    will configure it to be plain text files.  I can simply edit those in
>    my favorite text editor, save, and re-sync?

The file name of the mail must change according to the maildir format so
that the mail is uploaded back to the server. Changing a mail locally
means removing the old mail and creating a new one.

OfflineIMAP will only sync. No mail reading/edition.

>    I am on OS X Yosemite 10.10.5, has anyone gotten offlineimap to work
>    with the OS X keychain using the /usr/bin/security command?  I fail
>    to see how any has gotten that to work, as I get nothing back of any
>    value, certainly not a password.  I have taken the command out of the
>    python file and just run it in the terminal with the appropriate
>    values, and nothing.

I don't know Mac enough, sorry.

>    I see all the tutorials on how to get the SSL data or the fingerprint
>    for gmail, but no one tells how they got that data. They just say, oh,
>    gmail changed their certs, I am going to have to update my dot file and
>    here is what I pasted in.  How they got the fingerprint of new cert, I
>    have no idea.

You're not the first and I think someone should update the documentation
about that. This looks more a Google fault in the first place, FMPOV.

>    Thanks, I have a feeling this thread is going to go on for a while as I
>    wrap my head around it all, but backup IMAP mail has been on my
>    checklist for way too long, and if I get the bonus of being able to
>    manage the threading of my emails from everyone's broken ZenDesk
>    installs, all the better.

mutt has good threding handling and dedicated key bindings to fix those
broken (# and & here).

Nicolas Sebrecht

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