is there a program out there that can download mail from an imap account to a local machine for local reading with a program like mutt? I'm finding the whole fetchmail/sendmail/procmail pipeline setup to be a bit much, but I still want to use the maildir or mbox format that unix is designed around. I also don't want to use the built in imap code mutt has because I don't want to have mutt running constantly just to check my mail.



There is no alternative. The only thing you can do is to eliminate Sendmail. Fetchmail and procmail is everything you need. See this excellent post on how to accomplish this: http://www.ioncannon.net/system-administration/97/using-fetchmail-and-procmail-for-maildir-style-storage-from-a-pop3-account/

Important edit:

There is an alternative called getmail.

  • getmail was the solution for me. It doesn't clear the 'unread' flag after retrieving messages from the server, whereas fetchmail does.
    – Steve HHH
    Mar 8 '13 at 17:23

There is a very good and easy-to-use IMAP synchronization tool called offlineimap.

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