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Re: Converting to Gnus

From: Ted Zlatanov
Subject: Re: Converting to Gnus
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 11:26:19 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.110003 (No Gnus v0.3) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

On Wed, 28 Jul 2004, address@hidden wrote:

> I would like to convert my current news and mail setup to Gnus.
> Currently I use fetchmail, fetching my various mail sources (POP3) via
> my local exim, which then calls procmail to sort my mail into a spool
> directory under ~/Mail into various incoming mbox files, which are
> then in turn read and displayed by my current MUA, mutt. The
> ~/.procmailrc is mostly used to create mailboxes for subscribed
> to mailing lists. It also has some (fairly basic) spam filtering
> included.
> Reading the Gnus tutorial at, it suggests reading from the
> various POP3 sources directly.
> I've been putting off converting to Gnus for some time, since I'm
> unsure how to proceed.
> Which is better - using my current mail setup above, (ie
> fetchmail->procmail, with possible slight modifications), or
> converting to using the direct Gnus method(s)?

Fetchmail has some advantages over Gnus for fetching mail: it's a
daemon that always runs, it's probably a little faster, and it's built
only for fetching mail.

Gnus, on the other hand, will give you a complete solution so you
don't have to depend on external software to fetch your mail.  I think
the difference is mostly convenience at this point; I do plan to add
encryption to the netrc.el code soon so you can encrypt your mail
passwords instead of putting them plainly in the fetchmail
configuration or ~/.authinfo file.  But this is not available right

> Can I integrate spamassassin into the latter, or would ifile (and
> ifile-gnus-el) be a better solution.

You can mix them.  Pass all mail through SA first, then if it's not
spam send it to ifile.  You can do this inside Gnus with spam.el, or
outside Gnus with procmail.  As with fetchmail, the procmail solution
may be slightly faster but you won't have an all-in-one setup.  In
addition, if Gnus splits your mail there are small advantages to using
spam.el and the registry.

For both your fetchmail and procmail setups, I recommend getting Gnus
running without them and then gradually converting if you don't know
Gnus well yet.  It will be a less stressful conversion.

> I understand using the nnml backend is the recommended (and fastest)
> method.

If you plan to run something else that will access the mail outside of
Gnus, especially for writing (e.g. an IMAP server), you should use
nnmaildir.  It's built for concurrent access.  nnml is fast, sure, but
nnmaildir is not significantly slower in my experience.


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