Migrating from Evolution to Gnus + notmuch (part 3/x)

After having migrated my mail from Evolution’s storage to a local dovecot imap server, I’ve now started the migration to Gnus and notmuch.

I’ll then now manage my mail with Emacs 🙂

The migration to notmuch allows me to index all the threads even though they happen to cross the boundaries of the folders I’ve setup with dovecot’s sieve (see previous post). Still, in Gnus, I can still read the contents of the mail folders, for instance each mailing-list at a time. There are quite a few configuration difficulties so that Gnus and notmuch-emacs can work together well, which I’ll try and document if I find enough time.

I’ve also added a notification script that will notify my Gnome desktop of new mail (which will be the subject of a dedicated post).

While at it, I’ve also installed msmtp, which allows me to use different SMTP servers, depending on the different mail aliases I’ve used (in a symetrical way to what fetchmail does to fetch all mail from my different mail accounts).

I’m now able to integrate my mails with my org-mode setup, referencing Gnus mails in org notes, or tagging in notmuch with same tag names as in org-mode.

I’m now fully Emacs operated, and hope to gain in productivity 🙂

Stay tuned for more details

Migrating from Evolution to Gnus + NotMuch (part 1)

I’ve gotten fed up with Evolution‘s bugs and slowness. Even though I experience less problems than some weeks ago since I’ve applied a patch related to locks in e-d-s, Evolution has now become really too slow… and given that my mail flow is not really diminishing, I’ve come to the point when I think about migrating.

I’ve been a user of Gnus for years also (at home, with much satisfaction, as it runs fine inside a GNU Screen), so I could switch to it with moderate damage. Also, as I’m using org-mode, it would be quite complementary of course, staying more in Emacs 😉

One nice (and even priceless) feature of Evolution is the vfolders, that allow me to manage the tons of emails in different contexts, wherever that may be located. AFAIK, Gnus doesn’t offer any comparable feature. But it seems that the most interesting way to have it is to integrate Gnus with NotMuch. Fortunately, my colleague Roland has written a nice howto explaining (among other details of his mail system setup) how to integrate these together.

Now, if I’m able to setup a similar NotMuch + Gnus setup for newly received mail, I’m left with migrating all my piles of old mail, currently stored in Evolution.

It seems that one possible way to do so is through copying Evolution mail folders into a newly setup local IMAP server’s Maildir storage. The copy is supposed to preserve some flags like the read/unread status of the “important” flag.

From the first tests I’ve made, it’s possible to install a local Dovecot IMAPd server, configure it so that the mail is stored in the user’s ~/Maildir/ maildir directory, which can then be recognized by Evolution as a target for copying mail. It seems that nomuch can then be configured so that it doesn’t flag all new mails as unread, and understangs the imap server flags accordingly (unread, important, and such). Needless to say, I’m glad all these useful programs are packaged in Debian 😉

I need to make further tests and also test Gnus + Notmuch integration, but having a possible solution to migrate my existing mail looks like a relief.

I’d be curious to read your alternative ideas for such a migration.

Stay tuned for next iterations.