mail.gifI am considering putting all my mail on an IMAP server and then sometimes using to read it. I would then be able to read mail while not online. Yay. Usually I ssh to the various servers where my mail is stored and then use pine there. (Go away you fancy mutt users; if I could make myself learn new keystrokes I wouldn't be using emacs anymore either).

Back to my mail plans. I have a lot of mail. Easily 50-100000 mails in a bunch of folders. I wouldn't need to syncronize them all to I can even delete thousands of mails by just junking the junk folders; but there would still be a lot left. I wonder how many mails can deal with before breaking horribly. If it's a bit slow at opening some of the big folders then that's okay; but if it can't deal with 5-8 thousand mails in my inbox then it would be a mess. Or maybe I should just get better at getting rid of old mail. Hmn.

Does anyone have any actual experience with and lots of mail?


Why don't you just test it, as I did when somebody asked me similar questions about KMails ability to big folders? It should be easy to import some 50.000++ messages and see how Mail handles it. Not very scientific, I know - but it give a hint of Mails capabilitiesn si? Also... If Apple want the developers to move to OSX then Mail need to be able to handle big amounts of mails.


I ended up going the IMAP route after the last laptop switcharound. It was getting to be just too much of a pain to deal with moving mail around, and I've had laptops die and eat everything before. So now I keep all my mail on my server, and use Eudora ( to read it, or pine when I'm logged into the server.

While I'm not sure if can handle 100K mail messages, you can always give it a shot and see. (Eudora doesn't like more than 10K messages in a mailbox--things work, but get fairly slow when getting new mail from the server. Accessing existing mail isn't a problem, though)


Start deleting mail dude... do you really need that much email sitting around?

As for an answer to your question, I use in pop mode, and I don't really think it can handle all that much mail quickly... it resorts mail every time I open it, and while that's cool, it can also take a while...

I've never actually used the IMAP functions... test it out sometime, and let us know what you think.

Go the IMAP route. Works great, and you shouldn't run into any volume limitations. I've been running Entourage and Mozilla Mail against an IMAP server for a few months now, with no problems.

IMAP and on 10.1 was a little brain-dead. I haven't tried it on Jaguar again. Hopefully the bugs are fixed now.

Hm. I better put that on the todo list...

Thanks for all the suggestions. I tried filling up ~15000 mails in one of my IMAP inboxes. It does actually sorta work. It's a bit sluggish and did crash a few times in the process.

After trying to use it for a few days I'm not sure I could live without all my super efficient pine key strokes...

The indexed search in is really neat; but I can't search within a search result?

Can I pipe a mail to another process? Probably with some AppleScript magic.

If I got a faster PowerBook then I would go for it. (I am using a 500Mhz Pismo with 1GB ram)

- ask

for piping a mail to another process, try, which lets you do that from any Cocoa app.

If isn't doing it for you, you could always try Mozilla. I use Mozilla for IMAP mail everyday. It's not perfect, but right now it's 'good enough' for my needs...

ive got tons of imported mail in, and it works, slowly, but it works.
but how can i do the following:
select all senders of a mailfolder and add them to the adress book INTO A GROUP?
all adresses are thrown somewhere in the adress book, so that gets very messy.
or should i use entourage for that?
and can i easily transfer all my mail folders to entourage?

On 10.2 Apple's Mail app works pretty well with IMAP. I've used Entourage (the best for IMAP support!!!), Mail and Mozilla. They are all fine. These days I'm using Mail even though it lacks some of the automatic folder synchronization features of Entourage because I like the interface better and the applicaiton seems more responsive.

I'm using on my Powerbook G3/500 with 384MB RAM and it's a little pokey on most things, but when it functions smoothly works well.

My InBox presently has 2500 messages in it, and I have numerous folders with 4000 or 5000 messages in them. crashes a lot, sometimes when replying to messages which use fonts or HTML, other times when (believe it or not) clicking on links in messages. It also tends to mess up the messages stored in my Drafts folder quite frequently, losing the indexing and attributing the wrong headers to files, etc.

It's pretty unreliable, but it's lightweight and fast. And my only other options, really, are Entourage (which reliably dies and corrupts all of your email when its database gets large) and MozillaMail (terrible GUI). I'll never revert to Eudora.

My email service provider, has a good web interface, though.. I'm starting to use it more and more.


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This page contains a single entry by Ask Bjørn Hansen published on October 2, 2002 7:00 AM.

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