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Long title, I know. Here’s how I did it…

sudo apt-get install fetchmail postfix
nano -w .fetchmailrc

Add the following to the file (replacing everything in CAPS appropriately):

poll with proto POP3 and options no dns
user 'YOUR_GMAIL_ADDRESS' there with password 'YOUR_PASSWORD' is \
'YOUR_UBUNTU_USERNAME' here options ssl


chmod 710 .fetchmailrc
sudo nano -w /etc/crontab

Add the following to your crontab file:

10 7 * * 1 YOUR_UBUNTU_USERNAME fetchmail -k

This will run fetchmail every Sunday and grab your email. It seems either fetchmail or gmail limits each connect to something around 400-500 messages, so to get started, you can run “fetchmail -k” a few dozen times to download all your mail, then let crontab do the rest on a weekly basis.

Your mail is downloaded to a single mbox file in /var/spool/mail/YOUR_UBUNTU_USERNAME. Being a single file makes it nice for backing up, moving, etc. I hear Thunderbird can easily read the file, and I think Apple can as well.

Just makes you feel good having all your mail backed up, now doesn’t it?


One Comment

  1. Oh, and you’ll have to enable POP downloading of your messages from your Gmail account.

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