VM User's Manual. Node: IMAP Spool Files

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1.3: IMAP Spool Files

VM can also use the IMAP protocol to access a mailbox on a remote host. As with POP, instead of specifying a spool file name in the vm-spool-files definition, you would give a string that tells VM host to access to remote maildrop.

An IMAP maildrop specification has the following format:


HOST is the host name of the IMAP server.

PORT is the TCP port number to connect to (should normally be 143).

MAILBOX is the name of the mailbox on the IMAP server. This should be `"inbox"', to access your default IMAP maildrop on the server.

AUTH is the authentication method used to convince the server you should have access to the maildrop. Acceptable values are `"preauth"' and `"login"'. `"preauth"' causes VM to skip the authentication stage of the protocol with the assumption that the session was authenticated in some way external to VM. The hook vm-imap-session-preauth-hook is run, and it is expected to return a process connected to an authenticated session. The other value, `"login"', tells VM to use the IMAP LOGIN command for authentication.

USER is the user name sent to the server for `"login"' style authentication.

PASSWORD is the secret shared by you and the server for authentication purposes. If the PASSWORD is `*', VM will prompt you for the password the first time you try to retrieve mail from the maildrop. If the password is valid, VM will not ask you for the password again during this Emacs session.

By default VM will retrieve all the messages from a IMAP maildrop before returning control of Emacs to you. If the maildrop is large, the wait could be considerable. If you set vm-imap-max-message-size to a positive numeric value, VM will not automatically retrieve messages larger than this size. If VM is retrieving messages because you invoked vm-get-new-mail interactively, then VM will ask whether it should retrieve the large message. If VM is retrieving messages automatically (e.g. vm-auto-get-new-mail is set non-nil) then VM will skip the large message and you can retrieve it later.

The variable vm-imap-messages-per-session controls how many messages VM will retrieve from a IMAP maildrop before returning control to you. Similarly, the variable vm-imap-bytes-per-session limits the number of bytes VM will retrieve from a IMAP maildrop before returning control to you. By default, the value of both variables is nil, which tells VM to retrieve all the messages in the IMAP maildrop regardless of how many messages there are and how large the maildrop is.

After VM retrieves messages from the maildrop, the default action is to delete the messages from there. If you want VM to leave messages in the remote maildrop until you explicitly request their removal, set vm-imap-expunge-after-retrieving to nil. Messages will not be removed from the maildrop until you run vm-expunge-imap-messages; only those messages that VM has retrieved into the current folder will be expunged.

The variable vm-imap-auto-expunge-alist gives you a way to specify on a per-maildrop basis which IMAP maildrops have message automatically removed when retrieved and which ones leave the messages on the IMAP server. The value of vm-imap-auto-expunge-alist should be a list of IMAP mailboxes and values specifying whether messages should be automatically deleted from the mailbox after retrieval. The format of the list is:


MAILBOX should be an IMAP maildrop specification as described in the documentation for the variable vm-spool-files. If you have the IMAP password specified in the vm-spool-files entry, you do not have to specify it here as well. Use `*' instead; VM will still understand that this mailbox is the same as the one in vm-spool-files that contains the password.

VAL should be nil if retrieved messages should be left in the corresponding IMAP mailbox, t if retrieved messages should be removed from the mailbox immediately after retrieval.

Here is an example:

(setq vm-imap-auto-expunge-alist
     ;; leave message on the server
     ("imap:odin.croc.net:143:inbox:login:kyle:*" . nil)
     ;; expunge immediately
     ("imap:hilo.harkie.org:143:inbox:login:kyle:*" . t)
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