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#26 2017-12-25 03:22:42

BLizgreat!
Resident Babbler - vll!
Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

Been abstaining from this cause seems you/Schwim tend to go through this type of phase every few years or so. Remember a similar theme in #! forum. Not that there's anything wrong with it. Still may as well throw in 2 cents. Just personally don't mind using Google Inc's stuff. Tends towards good quality, lots of features, free but yep, that comes with the understanding that you/we are the product in the scenario.

To me it's mostly reasonable, I mean the no free lunch and nothing's free theme. Still tend to just go ahead and use the resources they provide, habit, convenience ... for whatever reasons. I'm not one of the privacy obsessed nixers of the world though, don't devote much time to worrying about that or learning about it either. Tech security is an entirely different thing in my view, the privacy angle in terms of xyz-organizations monitoring/logging netizens activities online I don't lose any sleep over.

I mean I don't see a major problem in setting up a personal SMTP/mail-server if someone is really concerned, vps's in many cases are dirt cheap if you don't want to do it on your personal systems and local networks. I mean as long as the senders software knows where to send it and the receiving party's software knows how to store it and they can retrieve it when desired ... sky's the limit.

Which the above might be a cool opportunity for whoever, a vps = couple buck$/mnth, you get a private mail-server AND the opportunity to learn remote admin'ing skills to boot. That's a win/win in this topic.

Last edited by BLizgreat! (2017-12-25 03:23:50)

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#27 2017-12-25 17:27:46

martix
Kim Jong-un Stunt Double
Registered: 2016-02-19
Posts: 1,267

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

BLizgreat! wrote:

Just personally don't mind using Google Inc's stuff.

For me it's really fun to avoid ALL of g*evil Inc's stuff! I mean how on earth would I have discovered something like googol.warriordudimanche.net? Or the add-on Lightbeam? It's the same with e-mails like protonmail, posteo, mailfence, etc.

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#28 2017-12-26 02:04:27

martix
Kim Jong-un Stunt Double
Registered: 2016-02-19
Posts: 1,267

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

As a sidenote: Somehow mailpile.is was not mentioned yet in this thread. There is v. 1.0.0rc1 available.

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#29 2017-12-26 14:34:32

BLizgreat!
Resident Babbler - vll!
Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

If anyone doesn't want to use their services for any reason, can't see anything wrong with that. It's definitely each persons choice. Esp if you enjoy learning about alternatives. smile

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#30 2020-04-19 21:46:47

christopherisnow
Member
Registered: 2018-05-19
Posts: 36

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

Hoping to cull some more recent opinions on this evergreen topic...

I too am looking to ween myself off Gmail. The trouble is 15GB of old messages to deal with. Like this chap, I'd prefer to retain the old messages in local searchable form without a giant .mbox file. And I'd like to develop a routine for backing up new emails (locally and/or on the cloud) to avoid clogging both the server of my new non-Gmail account and my laptop.

Related issue: currently my email client is Mailspring, which looks sharp and works reasonably well. But it doesn't do offline IMAP (or any kind of archiving really), so I suspect now might be the moment to take up Mutt in pursuit of greater autonomy and digital hygiene.

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#31 2020-04-19 22:44:58

schwim
Member
From: Western NC, US
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 297
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

I'm still gmail free for all new mail.  The old mail is still there but instead of using the service to search, I used Thunderbird to download all the messages(many gigabytes worth) which I can search through when needed.  All new mail is routed to my VPS(like it always was) but instead of just forwarding to gmail in the past, it now just acts as a normal IMAP account.  When I'm home, I use Thunderbird to access that as well and when traveling, I use Afterlogic Webmail Pro to access the IMAP account, which works great.

I just got tired of trying alternative services and figure this way, if the mail goes away, it will be my fault and not because Bob the webmail provider got bought out and shuttered by Apple or Google.


Schw.im! A social site with an identity crisis.

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#32 2020-04-19 23:37:28

christopherisnow
Member
Registered: 2018-05-19
Posts: 36

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

Good to hear @schwim. How do you manage/store all the old emails? Are they all living in local folders that Thunderbird loads directly? That would seem to eat up a lot of space. Do you still use your Gmail account to route any incoming mail, or is it completely deactivated?

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#33 2020-04-20 01:36:31

schwim
Member
From: Western NC, US
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 297
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

The GMail account is still active(I'm an Android user and it gets used for a lot of stuff related to that) but nothing gets routed through it any longer.

As for the storage, the Thunderbird app does use local storage for my GMail history.  I have the space so that's not an issue.  My active mail account is stored both remotely and locally.


Schw.im! A social site with an identity crisis.

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#34 2020-04-22 10:01:12

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,877
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

Doesn't TB archive old messages? I'm sure it could be configured to

  • download all messages locally

  • archive them as soon as the size exceeds 1kB or so

  • then remove the smtp & imap server details from the account

christopherisnow wrote:

this evergreen topic...

...wilts and withers quickly once you make the change.


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#35 2020-04-29 17:23:28

christopherisnow
Member
Registered: 2018-05-19
Posts: 36

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

Neomutt and mbsync -- esp. when automatically configured by the fabulous mutt-wizard -- seem to be an ideal way to organize and migrate accounts.

I haven't got everything set up yet (on account of mutt's famously steep learning curve), but the promise of some degree of digital hygiene is worth it. I'll post my workflow when finished.

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#36 2020-05-04 15:58:42

christopherisnow
Member
Registered: 2018-05-19
Posts: 36

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

In 20 steps (couldn't do it in 12), here's how I cleaned up a decade of Gmail chaos, backed it up locally, transfered the important bits to a new non-Gmail account, and moved to mutt over the last couple weeks. This is all trial and (a LOT of) error, so please don't take it as a universal tutorial.

1. Install neomutt (I did it in the Buster repos -- on Stretch you have to build it from source) and friends:

sudo apt-get install neomutt isync msmtp pass notmuch abook

2. Install the genial mutt-wizard, which nearly automatically takes care of mail directories, config files, passwords, and mbsync/notmuch/abook integration for what follows.

3. Set up Gmail account and new account (in my case hosted on Dreamhost) with `mw add`.

4. Log onto Gmail through the browser and where possible delete labels. Unfortunately mbsync backs up labels as separate IMAP folders, so a single labeled message gets triplicated locally in INBOX (or Sent or whatever), in a [label] folder, and by default in Archive. (AFAIK Gmail does not duplicate the messages on the server). So if you use a lot of labels, this creates a LOT of redundancy in your local backup. I learned this the hard way.

5. If you intend to keep the Gmail account transitionally, renaming the local folders and syncing them as separate channels in .mbsyncrc may help keep things straight later on. See here.

6. Create a Gmail/migrate label through the browser and copy any messages to it that should go in the new account INBOX. (Since I wanted to copy over my Gmail/Archive directly, which contains a copy of everything, I did not want to transfer all the INBOX or Sent content, rather just a few important recent messages.)

7. In .mbsyncrc add this line *before the MaildirStore line* to throttle mbsync and avoid Gmail's OVERQUOTA error when backing up Gmail.

PipelineDepth 50

Learned this one the hard way too.

8. Back up Gmail:

mbsync -a

9. Copy local Gmail/Archive and /migrate folders to main [new_account] folder.

10. Strip metadata from [new_account]/Archive and /migrate as described here ("Preparing for Upload").

11. Copy messages from [new_account]/migrate into /INBOX and delete /migrate folder.

12. Edit new_account line in .mbsyncrc to prevent uploading 11GB [new-account]/Archive folder to the server:

Pattern * !"Archive"

13. Sync both accounts:

mbsync -a

14. Open neomutt, make sure everything looks peachy in both accounts. Find any unnecessary oversized message attachments in [new-account]/Archive by limiting with `~z [min. size-max. size in bytes]` and delete.

14. Configure search index with `notmuch setup` and `notmuch new`

15. Export Google contacts from webmail as Vcard file and import contacts.vcf into abook.

16. Autoforward incoming Gmail to new address.

17. Back up local Gmail directory as tarball and save to external hard drive.

18. Delete local Gmail directories. Remove relevant bits from muttrc and .mbsyncrc with

mw delete

19. Spend a couple weeks gettings used to neomutt.

20. Enjoy freedom from Gmail and fry Gmail account to taste. In my case, that will involve removing all old messages from the server once I've lived without them a few more weeks and am confident the new setup is working properly. I will probably hang onto the Google account itself indefinitely to retain mailing list subscriptions, my Gmail address-linked non-Gmail services, etc.

Last edited by christopherisnow (2020-05-04 16:09:45)

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#37 2020-06-08 20:36:39

MsMattie
Member
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 98

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

Linux Thunderbird is something you may want to look into. Since you have cpanel running on a shared hosting or server environment, Thunderbird is pretty easy to set up. I started messing with it a few months ago when I needed to do a bit of mass emailing.

I'm kind of in the same thought-scape as you as far as finding gmail, outlook.com etc distasteful with their ability to spy and monitor every thing in those emails for years-on-end. But I haven't switched to Thunderbird for my main email account.

Two possible disadvantages:

* I use it only on Linux desktops. That is fine for me because I never use a mobile phone for anything important, including my primary email. Only for secondary email that is of not much importance should those android devices get a security breach.

* Secondly, I'm not sure how to deal with the inevitable spam that would be coming in while using Thunderbird for a primary email account. Outlook.com or gmail can mostly handle spam. Thunderbird alone I think does absolutely nothing in that regard. The spam will just come flowing in, unchecked.

Last edited by MsMattie (2020-06-08 20:41:34)


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#38 2020-06-08 22:05:24

twoion
ほやほや
Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 2,932

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

MsMattie wrote:

* Secondly, I'm not sure how to deal with the inevitable spam that would be coming in while using Thunderbird for a primary email account. Outlook.com or gmail can mostly handle spam. Thunderbird alone I think does absolutely nothing in that regard. The spam will just come flowing in, unchecked.

Thunderbird has junk classification, but that's just naive bogospam or suchlike. For effective email spam combat, you need to handle more than half of it on the SMTP server itself: check incoming connections against DNSBL, check reverse IP lookup, check reputation of incoming IP address, accept email, verify ARC/DKIM/SPF/DMARC, scan using a milter/filter before even delivering to the user's inbox and possibly discarding the email based on content, deliver to user inbox but train the spam filtering heuristics based on user input/ex-post classification.

I can recommend postfix + rspamd (which is all-in-one: DNSBL, DKIM verifyer and signer, DMARC, ARC, bayes spam filter, spam-detecting neural network) for the process but you need some time to set it up. I have decommissioned this setup a while ago though and moved to full-service email hosting (not google, not microsoft) because email is career-, business- and finance-critical for me so I'd like to have somebody else take care of it, for me.


Per aspera ad astra.

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#39 2020-06-09 03:08:37

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 7,292
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

Thunderbird has quite good spam filtering in my experience, but it has to be trained. Every time you mark a mail as spam it learns a bit better what to look for. You can also add your own custom mail filters to catch any patterns that you often get. I get very little spam these days. I expect my ISPs are doing some basic filtering too, but I haven't done any server-level tweaking myself.


...elevator in the Brain Hotel, broken down but just as well...
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#40 2020-06-09 08:29:21

Jimbo_G
Member
From: France
Registered: 2017-05-12
Posts: 177

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

For my own email I'm with twoion on full-service hosting. For work stuff, I struggled for several years using Thunderbird (on a Windows machine) and have finally switched to Outlook and it really is... just better overall.

There seem to be a lot of bugs and minor annoyances with Thunderbird that have never been fixed, I don't know why, but it's depressing to look for solutions online and find people with exactly the same problem as me back in 2011. Long-term I can't see there being much of a future for this kind of email client.

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#41 2020-06-10 06:56:00

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,877
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

MsMattie wrote:

inevitable spam

I guess that's the price one pays for using gmail in the first place.
OTOH, shouldn't googlemail already handle spam in a rather too-enthusiastic manner?


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#42 2020-06-10 14:11:40

twoion
ほやほや
Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 2,932

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

johnraff wrote:

Thunderbird has quite good spam filtering in my experience, but it has to be trained. Every time you mark a mail as spam it learns a bit better what to look for. You can also add your own custom mail filters to catch any patterns that you often get. I get very little spam these days. I expect my ISPs are doing some basic filtering too, but I haven't done any server-level tweaking myself.

The reason why I keep an archive of all spam I have EVER received. About 1G of spam here right now, uncompressed. Good for training mail filters. I can recommend using public spam corpus / collections for training mail filters if you don#t have enough data, works well enough to establish a baseline, works best for English. Because now training machine learning models using lots of data, a lot of data has been made available the past couple of years. There was some sort of spam corpus draught where all you could find was from like 2005 or earlier, but that looks like it's over.


Per aspera ad astra.

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