Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Since the hosting service that we use has a paltry 200 mb, we're using gmail as a repository of our mails. It works spectacularly well, for an ugly hack, but there have been incidents where mail has dissappeared off gmail. We haven't been affected, but i'd like to be as sure as possible.

We DO have a spare linux box that runs odds and ends that we can't use as a mail server proper since its on a dynamic ip address.

I'd like to 1) periodically download via imap or pop, email on a gmail account. Sent mails get forwarded there so its a non issue

2) add them to a mail account which can be accessed over IMAP - this will give us the option of using the same mail clients we use, re-export to gmail or other IMAP capable hosts, or an internal web client.

I'm not sure how to go about doing this, since most mailservers are mailservers, not backup boxes.

share|improve this question

Take a look at fetchmail for this kind of thing. You should be able to script it to download new messages and save them somewhere (to another IMAP server may require having an SMTP server in front of it, though).

share|improve this answer

Naturally, you need to install an IMAP server on the Linux server, these days I would recommend Dovecot. Then you can run imapsync periodically from a cron job to keep your local account in sync with the gmail account.

share|improve this answer
this is how I do it – ThorstenS Mar 23 '11 at 9:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.