I want to setup a mail collector, imap server and web mail viewer on my portable quantal ubuntu, and need some guidances to exactly which components is best and most efficient to serve the purpose.

I am not familiar with the mail system and DNS, so please be gentle.

The purpose of this is keeping all mails offline and platform independent for a frequent traveller like myself, so I may access the mails from any devices (tablet, smartphone, computer, etc.) anytime I want within my private network. Think of me traveling, got my very own hotspot router, connects the portable ubuntu to it, get on the internet, grabs emails from different accounts, keep them offline. Then any other devices I connects to this router, whether router on internet or not, I get to access this portable ubuntu anytime and view my emails anytime.

Here are the main highlights I need to achieve:

  1. aggregate emails from different pop-based mail accounts to the imap server
  2. separate emails by account and categorize them in view (message filters)
  3. keep # of downloaded mail count per retrieval per email account
  4. port existing pst, dbx and thunderbird mails to this portable ubuntu
  5. view these emails from web UI
  6. possibly SMTP (optional if DNS is required)

After some studies in stackexchange and internet tutorials, I think the following may work but unsure: nginx, dovecot, mysql, php-fpm, getmail4, roundcubemail. The intent for dovecot is imap server, with web interface served by roundcubemail. Using getmail4 to retrieve mails into imap server, then using roundcubemail to access them.


  • how to implement message filtering (pt.2 above)?
  • if they are within private network, can I skip DNS setup, and access my portable server via IP or hostname set in dnsmasq within my private network router?
  • how to configure getmail4 to aggregate mails from different accounts and set them up so I could view them like the account profile in thunderbird client?
  • what is the best way to convert pst and dbx into mbox or maildir readable by dovecot?
  • how to port thunderbird mbox mail into dovecot?

1 Answer 1

  1. Message filtering is performed by pidgeonhole - dovecot's plugin that realize sieve-engine. RoundCube have a corresponding plugin managesieve

  2. Yes, you can omit full-scale DNS if you want

  3. You can create account profile and then route certaing messages in it by message filter (#1)

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