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Re: Gnus and multiple Email servers

From: Eric Abrahamsen
Subject: Re: Gnus and multiple Email servers
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2021 21:10:49 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50 (gnu/linux)

David Masterson <> writes:

> Eric Abrahamsen <> writes:
>> David Masterson <> writes:
>>>> Michael Heerdegen wrote:
>>>>>> [...] see (info "(gnus) Mail Source Specifiers")
>>>>> Also (info "(gnus) Select Methods"), and in particular
>>>>> `gnus-secondary-select-methods'.
>>> 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.
> I didn't know a select-method was storage!  I thought it defined a place
> to get mail from.

Well they *can* update themselves with new messages, but I'd say the
defining characteristic is that they're a message store.

>> 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).
> I take it then that mail-source is not used with an IMAP select method,
> right? So, let me repeat the original question -- how do you setup Gnus
> to get mail from multiple IMAP servers (so I can read all of my families
> email accounts, but leave their email in their IMAP server for them to
> read also).

Add multiple nnimap servers to `gnus-secondary-select-methods'. Mine
looks something like:

'((nnimap "CHB"
         (nnimap-address "")
         (nnimap-stream network)
         (nnimap-authenticator login)
         (nnimap-user ""))
  (nnimap "EA"
         (nnimap-address "localhost")
         (nnimap-stream network)
         (nnimap-authenticator login)
         (nnimap-user ""))

And many more. Each of those is a separate IMAP account.

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