IMAP server to pull from other servers?

Posted on 2006-07-11
Last Modified: 2008-03-06
I have e-mail coming in through several servers, but more importantly, being received on various clients. Because of this, my mail ends up scattered across:

- My desktop PC, under Windows
- My desktop PC, under Ubuntu
- My laptop, under Windows
- (etc)

Does anyone know if there is an IMAP server available (for any platform) that can pull from various other POP3 and/or IMAP servers so I could point all my clients to one server and keep all my mail in the one place?

Alternately, has anyone else come up with an effective solution to this problem some other way?

Thanks! :)
Question by:PsychoBrat
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

upul007 earned 250 total points
ID: 17079871
There is no IMAP server capable of doing this. I'd like to be proved wrong....dont know whether there are any new discoveries.

If you have email coming from several email accounts, the solution is not straightforward.

there are two options for you to try, three if you need to separate emails.

the common stuff to do.
1. Check whether all your accounts have email forwarding and pop access.

Solution 01.

1. Forward all emails to one email account. Preferably with web access.
2. Configure outlook to download the emails.
3. In the email account settings accessible through web access, set up the server to retain or delete messages after download (gmail provides this service).

Solution 02.
1. Set up Outlook accounts for all email accounts you have.
2. On server setup all the email accounts that you have on Outlook.
    Since outlook allows you to have multiple accounts in one profile, you can adapt this so that all the emails come to that program. In settings, you should select the setting to leave the messages on server.
3. set up the email accounts using outlook in the same way on all other pc's.

Solution 03.
You can use separate profiles for separate accounts.

Whilst all your emails will be there in the inbox, your replies will not get replicated. Hence you will not have access to all your data at your fingertips.

My advice to you:
Dont use pop or IMAP. Go with webaccess only.

Well thats about it......sorry I cant be of more help.
LVL 31

Accepted Solution

rid earned 250 total points
ID: 17081062
Hmmm, it would be interesting to solve this. there are 2 steps:

1. Get mail froim main incoming mail server and place in intermediary server. This is done with POP3 protocol, probably some function is available (fetchmail?) on ordinary Linux distros. Perhaps it needs to be combined with a mail server like postfix, dunno...

2. Get mail from intermediary server. Most Linux distros come with an IMAP daemon. Start this and you're all set.

This is a theory... but might be workable.

If you don't want Linux, take a look at Mercury (
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 17081107
Other solution:

Set only one client to remove mails from server; in this way you sort of "flush" your mailbox only when this client is used.
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 17131804

Author Comment

ID: 17136150
Unfortunately none of these really seem adequate to me as a real solution. I'd consider having only one client that actually removes mail from the server, but a few things make me wary of this: I don't want to sort through the same spam thrice or more (and I get a LOT), neither of my machines is 'dominant' and some of the servers I'd be pulling from aren't happy to hold mail for very long (pathetic, I know, but I can't get out of using them).

RPPreacher: That certainly looks interesting, but I don't think I'm willing to invest in Exchange just so I can make use of that product.

If nothing mind-blowing comes up, I'll distribute the points and probably write my own server or module for an existing server to fill this niche.

LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 17136173
Did you look into the Mercury suggestion? Seems it can do approximately what you ask in your Q, but perhaps you found a snag somewhere?

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