Move To Staffmail

Important: throughout this document TWiki helpfully obfuscates email address by adding NO_SPAM to things that look like email addresses, please try to see through these when reading email address examples - yes I know I could put a <nop> in front of them - but please try pretend they are not there.

Essentially the process of moving your mail account from mail.inf to staffmail.ed is simple:

  • Place a forwarding rule in your current mail.inf filters to forward all mail to your address.
  • Update your mail client to access the IMAP server, rather than

Though these minimum of steps will basically work, there is more work involved if you want to preserve your existing mail folder(s), filters and (if you change your outgoing, SMTP, server) your "From" identity.

The EUCS already provides documentation on using the staffmail.ed system, This document will cover notes specific Informatics users, and what they might want to do to migrate their existing mail folders and "From" identity. We will assume that you continue to use and publicise your email address, yet actually use the EUCS (IS) service. We'll also assume you know how to access your account via the interface, and that you normally use an IMAP aware mail client.

Moving your existing mail

Before proceeding, you should also be aware that there is a current hard limit of a 2000MB mail quota on staffmail.ed. so if you are currently using more than 2000MB on mail.inf (send mail to quota@inf to find out your usage), you should stop now. The EUCS are in the process of removing this hard limit, but until that is done (and you are using more that 2GB of mail on mail.inf), you will not be able to move all our existing mail folders to staffmail.ed.

You should also be aware, that some mail clients may (though usually this can be rectified in the client) show the date that you move the messages, rather than the original date they were sent, when showing you your list of messages.

Also, that for mail clients that have the concept of "subscribed" folders, all your moved folders will be initially "unsubscribed". This includes the staffmail web interface.

The tool we'll use to move all your existing mail to staffmail.ed is imapsync there is a man page, and imapsync --help gives a brief help to all of its options. There is a --dry option, which will report what it would do, but not actually change anything, which you may want to experiment with.

To move all your existing mail from the server to, issue the command:

imapsync --host1 --user1 neilb  --ssl1 --host2 --user2 neilb -ssl2 --noauthmd5

You will be prompted for your mail.inf and your staffmail.ed passwords.

There seems to be an issue for those people who have some punctuation in your passwords, I think the problem chars are: % " * . Until there is a fix, you could try surrounding your password with double quote " characters.

Depending on the amount of mail you have, this could take a while. I had 32000 messages, across 280 folders, totalling 240MB of mail. It took 100 minutes to imapsync that to staffmail.

It is safe to interrupt the process and rerun the command to complete an interrupted transfer.

If you have existing folders on, then these will be preserved. Any with common names will just have your mail.inf messages appended to them. There are options you can give to imapsync to automatically mark for deletion (and optionally expunge) messages on either the source or destination. You may only want to use these (probably the --delete2 option) if you don't go straight to the next part of migration to staff mail, ie the "Forwarding your mail" section.

eg I left it a few days between doing the first imapsync and setting up the forward, so prior to setting up the forward I did:

imapsync --host1 --user1 neilb --ssl1 --host2 --user2 neilb -ssl2 --noauthmd5 --delete2

and then after checking the updated folders on staffmail.ed, did the expunge of the deleted messages in my mail client.

Forwarding your mail

First, log in to, and check your existing staffmail.ed filters, to make sure you are not currently forwarding UUN@staffmailREMOVE_THIS.ed mail to, otherwise a mail loop will be created. Perhaps send yourself a message to and make sure it doesn't arrive in your mail.inf INBOX, but that it does arrive in your INBOX on staffmail.

Assuming you are not forwarding mail from staffmail.ed to mail.inf, then login to the web interface and insert a filter at the top of your existing filters to "Select on From: containing *" and "Forward to", and then enable the rule. From now on, any mail sent to your UUN@inf address will be forwarded to your UUN@staffmailREMOVE_THIS.ed. Make sure you typed your UUN@staffmailREMOVE_THIS.ed address correctly, or someone else may end up getting your mail!

Configure your mailer

Due to the number of mail clients in use, we can't go into details here, just the principles. Check out the EUCS documentation on configuring the supported mail clients. But simply, where your currently mail client is set to fetch mail via IMAP from, you should change this to If your mail client has stored your mail.inf password, then you will need to tell it to forget what it stored.

It is strongly recommended that you do not store either your Informatics or EASE passwords in your mail client.

That's the minimum you have to do, and for some mailers it will be enough. You don't need to change your outgoing SMTP server, in fact you may prefer to keep using or the older as non-fully qualified addressee's will continue to work as expected. However, it would be advisable to tell your mail client to which domain it should assume if you don't specify a domain.

Kerberos Authentication

DICE machines have been configured to do cross realm authentication with EASE, so if you add your Informatics Kerberos principal to the staffmail ACLs then you will automatically get access to your mail (if your mail client supports Kerberos, pine does) without having to enter your EASE password. To do this, follow the instructions below.

Log into the http:/ web front end and go to Options -> Share Folders
Options Screen

and add the user <UUN>@INF.ED.AC.UK with the required access permissions (though you'll probably want them all) the most important one is the a - Administer. A la:
Share Screen

After setting the options as above, click create and your screen should look something like:
Share Screen Completed

Once this is set, and you have pine configured to access your mail from, then it will all "just work", providing you have current Informatics kerberos credentials.

Make sure you read the note on the StaffMailDifferences page about giving other people access to your INBOX before doing so.

Differences between mail.inf and staffmail.ed

There are several differences, features and gotchas between mail.inf and staffmail.ed, you should see StaffMailDifferences for them.

One thing you'll have to do, is re-implement any filters you had on mail.inf, in the new filtering system on staffmail.ed. Also check you enable the spam filter on staffmail.ed, and copy any white lists you had across.

Once you are happy that all your mail has copied, and working as expected. You should contact support and they can remove your old mail.inf folders (or you can delete them yourself).

-- NeilBrown - 11 Mar 2007

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
pngpng options-grab.png manage 122.6 K 01 Jun 2007 - 10:29 NeilBrown Options Screen
pngpng share-done-grab.png manage 88.5 K 01 Jun 2007 - 10:30 NeilBrown Share Screen Completed
pngpng share-grab.png manage 188.6 K 01 Jun 2007 - 10:29 NeilBrown Share Screen
Topic revision: r12 - 13 Sep 2007 - 08:59:18 - NeilBrown
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