I recently moved extricate.org to sit on Amazon EC2. This meant I had to decide what to do with my email. Should I just leave it on Dreamhost and access it via IMAP?
In the end, I decided to enable Google Apps for my domain. Free for 10 users or less so that will do nicely. GMail has a fantastic interface nowadays and after using it for a while I was happy that I would use it instead of IMAP, although IMAP is on offer should it ever be needed.
Getting up and running was straightforward, with the main element being to point my DNS to the new servers. Google walk you through all this via their setup wizard, so well played to them there. One immediate issue was that my new email address already existed as a ‘personal’ Google account, and that conflict needed to be resolved. In the end I renamed that account, started a ‘blank’ new one, and migrated the data across.
I transferred most of my email from Dreamhost by using Thunderbird. Having enabled IMAP on GMail, the folders could be consolidated and dragged between accounts. This wasn’t particularly fast as it was reliant on my home broadband connection. When it came to larger folders, I needed a better way!
Take it to the cloud…
It made sense to perform the copying via my Amazon EC2 server, as it wouldn’t be constrained by my home network connection. It did mean finding some suitable Linux command-line software. I decided upon imapcopy. I downloaded it straight from the home site.
However, this software is quite old and does not support secure connections, as required by GMail’s IMAP servers! This is where stunnel came in, which may be installed from the Amazon Linux AMI repositories:
sudo yum install stunnel
Configuration guide: stunnel and imapcopy.
I then just needed to configure imapcopy (ImapCopy.cfg). Naturally, the DestServer had to be sent to ‘localhost:1143’ so that the routing occurred through the new tunnel. I also explicitly stated what I wanted to happen:
It was then just a case of running imapcopy and away it went! It worked flawlessly which meant that all my email was now accessible within GMail.
A successful migration!