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Re: Gnus and multiple Email servers

From: Eric Abrahamsen
Subject: Re: Gnus and multiple Email servers
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2021 22:26:29 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50 (gnu/linux)

David Masterson <> writes:

> Emanuel Berg via Users list for the GNU Emacs text editor
> <> writes:
>> Michael Heerdegen wrote:
>>>> [...] see (info "(gnus) Mail Source Specifiers")
>>> Also (info "(gnus) Select Methods"), and in particular
>>> `gnus-secondary-select-methods'.
>> That's right, I have `gnus-select-method'
>>   (nntp "")
>> and `gnus-secondary-select-methods' is
>>   ((nntp "") (nnml ""))
>> then one just adds groups with `gnus-group-make-group' in the
>> Group buffer.
>> Actually it should be a matter of doing it/something once, and
>> input data... and then do it again, and again.
>> It doesn't feel like it is like that tho ... but maybe it is,
>> or could be?
>> Hey, nobody said it was supposed to be easy, right?
>> But actually it is pretty easy! Even if the process is either
>> just a little bit wide (Norwegian) or not entirely
>> streamlined (Swedish) :)
> What is the relationship (or difference?) between a select-method and a
> mail-source?  Can you use a mail-source without setting up a
> select-method?  Are split-methods the equivalent "select method" to
> mail-source?
> The manual is not clear (to me) on this.

A mail source is an external "place" that mail comes from. Gnus doesn't
own or manage that source, it simply fetches the mail from there, then
stores it in a select method. As Gnus is storing the mail, it might also
split it.

So no, you can't use a mail source without a select method, because once
Gnus has got mail from the source, it has to put it somewhere.

A mail source is most often a POP server, or a mail spool.

It's confusing because some select methods essentially act as their own
mail sources, most notably IMAP and NNTP servers. An nnmaildir select
method can also be configured to find new mail "in place", if it's being
delivered there by some other process. In these cases, you won't be
using mail sources at all (I don't have any mail sources).

Hope that helps!


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