GMail Migration & Backup

GMail Migration & Backup

There are several different ways to think about using iRedMail with regard to GMail:

1) Export your GMail to iRedMail and don’t look back. Rely on Amazon AWS snapshot backups or one of the listed IMAP backup solutions for redundancy. This is probably the path that steps you furthest away from PRISM.

2) Begin using iRedMail as your new email server but use RoundCube plug-ins to access all of your GMail accounts from your iRedMail server to ease the transition.

3) Continue using GMail, but forward your GMail messages to iRedMail as an always-available backup to Google services. Or, use one of these other backup services described below for redundancy. Or, vice-versa, use iRedMail as your primary server but forward copies to a backup GMail account. Neither of these approaches address privacy.

Migrate Your GMail to iRedMail

Here are three approaches for migrating your GMail to your new iRedMail Dovecot IMAP server. Be aware that the label feature in GMail and its additional All Mail, Starred and Important Folders make it more difficult to import your GMail without getting duplicate copies of messages.

1. Use imapsync described here and an example in the iRedMail forums.

2. Use Dovecot’s dsync migration described here and here.

3. Buy Horcrux for $14.99 (Mac only). It can backup your GMail to a browsable local store and restore it to any IMAP server. (see FAQ)

Approaches to Backing Up Your GMail

Here are three resources for backing up your GMail:

Jeff Reifman

I’m a technology consultant and writer living in Seattle. If you found this tutorial helpful, please consider sharing it on Twitter. You can follow me at @reifman. You may also be interested in my AWS tutorial for WordPress.

1) MacWorld’s How to Back Up Your GMail outlines several different approaches to making a backup of your GMail including using your own mail client and commercial services such as Backupify.

2) GMVault provides a downloadable solution for syncing your GMail to your local computer and encrypting it. It works on multiple platforms.

3) GetMail is another downloadable solution for backing up remote email accounts. Here’s Google’s Matt Cutts’ tutorial to use GetMail to migrate GMail accounts or back it up: How to back up your Gmail on Linux in four easy steps.

4) GizModo’s Back Up Your GMail the Easy Way or Cheap Way also describes some similar options including using Backupify, Thunderbird and FetchMail.

Here’s information about moving between mbox and Maildir storage formats.

Backing Up Your iRedMail Server

You can use Amazon EC2 snapshots to backup your mail. But, you might also want to browse some of the above backup solutions to create secondary redundancy.

Once you move away from GMail, you are responsible for the reliability of your data.

Accessing GMail Accounts from RoundCube

If you’d just like to experiment with the RoundCube interface to access your existing GMail account, follow these instructions once you install iRedMail: Access GMail with RoundCube.

Please feel free to post corrections, questions or comments below. You can also reach me on Twitter @reifman or email me directly.

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