path: root/imap-dl.1.pod
diff options
authorDaniel Kahn Gillmor <>2020-03-10 17:16:10 -0400
committerDaniel Kahn Gillmor <>2020-03-10 17:16:10 -0400
commit66a987a52a66aa36b3dfdb4ab8fa6af1c0d5ccf2 (patch)
tree36fddba71fa390d05a1b8161a8e277c295a55472 /imap-dl.1.pod
parentf3a9d113fd89db152db9cd2f061fc8f7367f0fc9 (diff)
imap-dl: update documentation to be less explicitly "getmail"y
The fact that imap-dl came out of getmail and borrows a bit of configuration shouldn't be relevant for new users. Make the documentation more agnostic about where they're coming from. Signed-off-by: Daniel Kahn Gillmor <>
Diffstat (limited to 'imap-dl.1.pod')
1 files changed, 37 insertions, 11 deletions
diff --git a/imap-dl.1.pod b/imap-dl.1.pod
index 9fb77c3..901c7e8 100644
--- a/imap-dl.1.pod
+++ b/imap-dl.1.pod
@@ -2,7 +2,7 @@
=head1 NAME
-imap-dl -- a simple replacement for a minimalist user of getmail
+imap-dl -- fetch messages from an IMAP inbox into a maildir
@@ -10,35 +10,61 @@ B<imap-dl> [B<-v>|B<--verbose>] B<configfile>...
+B<imap-dl> tries to retrieve all messages from an IMAP inbox and put
+them in a maildir.
If you use getmail to reach an IMAP server as though it were POP
(retrieving from the server, storing it in a maildir and optionally
-deleting), you can point this script to the getmail config and it
-should do the same thing.
+deleting), you can point this script to the getmail configfile and it
+should do the same thing. While the minimal configuration file
+matches the syntax for common getmail configurations, some other
+options might be specific to B<imap-dl>.
-It tries to ensure that the configuration file is of the expected
-type, and otherwise it will terminate with an error. It should not
-lose e-mail messages.
+B<imap-dl> tries to ensure that the configuration file is of the
+expected type, and otherwise it will terminate with an error. It
+should never lose e-mail messages.
If there's any interest in supporting other similarly simple use cases
-for getmail, patches are welcome.
+for fetching messages from an IMAP account into a maildir, patches are
=head1 OPTIONS
B<-v> or B<--verbose> causes B<imap-dl> to print more details
about what it is doing.
+B<imap-dl> uses an ini-style configfile, with [Sections] which each
+have keyword arguments within them. We use the syntax B<> here
+to mean keyword B<bar> in section B<foo>. B<imap-dl> inherits some
+basic configuration options from B<getmail>, including the following
+B<retriever.server> is the dns name of the mailserver.
+B<retriever.username> is the username of the IMAP account.
+B<retriever.password> is the password for the IMAP account when using
+plaintext passwords.
+B<destination.path> is the location of the target maildir.
+B<options.delete> is a boolean, whether to delete the messages that
+were successfully retreived (default: false).
In addition to parts of the standard B<getmail> configuration,
-B<imap-dl> supports the following keywords in the config file:
+B<imap-dl> supports the following keywords in the configfile:
B<options.on_size_mismatch> can be set to B<error>, B<none>, or
B<warn>. This governs what to do when the remote IMAP server claims a
different size in the message summary list than the actual message
retrieval (default: B<error>).
-If you've never used getmail, you can make the simplest possible
-config file like so:
+This configfile fetches all the mail from the given IMAP account's
+inbox, and deletes the messages when they are successfully fetched:
=over 4