Migrating from Mail.app to Gnus

So you want to move your mail out of Mail.app and into Gnus, the great Emacs news reader. These are the quick notes I took when I did it, and could not find a description of how to do it that actually worked. Please handle with care.

Export your mailboxes from Mail.app

Select all the emails in the mailbox, and Save as. Chose a resonable name, and select Raw Message Source as the Format. This will create an mbox mailbox.

Import into Gnus

  1. In the Group buffer type C-u G f to create a new nndoc group. The prefix is important: without it Gnus would not ask for the format of the mailbox it is subscribing to, and it would fail to read your messages properly. Select the file name of the mailbox when prompted, and mbox as the file type.
  2. Visit the nndoc buffer just created, and mark all the messages for processing with M P b.
  3. Type B c to copy all the marked messages to their final destination group. When asked for the group’s name you can either select an existing group create a new one, like nnml:my.newmailbox. Note that the dot in the name will make my a directory, and a newmailbox mailbox in it.
  4. You can now kill the nndoc group with S k.
  5. The mailbox you just imported might be an archive, and you might prefer to keep the email in archive groups unread. If this is so, make sure that you don’t have auto-expire nor total-expire set for the new mailbox, visit it and type M C to mark all articles as read.
Juan Reyero Barcelona, 2009-11-01


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