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Awesome Open Source

imapcopy

imapcopy is a command-line tool written in PHP to recursively copy all e-mail messages and folders from one IMAP account to another.

The purpose of imapcopy is either to be run directly on the source or the destination mail server, or at least remotely on a data-center server with a very high bandwidth. This allows you to do a fast server-to-server migration instead of using a client like Thunderbird, first downloading everything and then uploading it again through a relatively slow home DSL connection.

imapcopy has successfully been tested with a Courier IMAP-to-Gmail migration of multiple IMAP accounts, one of which was 17 GB in size containing over 30,000 e-mail with lots of huge attachments stored across over 450 folders.

Features

  • Recursively copy all e-mail messages and folders across servers
  • Copy multi-part messages including all their attachments
  • Preserve the date and status of messages including
    • Unread/read
    • Answered
    • Flagged
    • Deleted
    • Draft
  • Optionally preserve user-defined flags (also known as "IMAP keywords" or "tags")
  • Optionally auto-remove invalid spaces from folder names
  • Support different folder separators for source and destination, e.g. . and /
  • Exclude specific folders from being copied
  • Re-locate the folder structure as a whole
    • Get it out of a sub-folder from the source
    • Put it into an arbitrary sub-folder in the destination
  • Map individual source folders to different destination folders
  • Merge multiple source folders into one destination folder
  • Start/continue copying at a specific folder or message
  • Copy only specific folders or even specific messages in folders
  • SSL support
  • Optionally ignore invalid SSL certificates
  • Perform a test run with no changes made to the destination
  • Generous console output showing the progress and details for logging and debugging

Requirements

  • PHP 5.3.2+ command-line interpreter
  • PHP extensions: IMAP and Multibyte String (mbstring)
  • On the user:
    • Knowledge about the JSON notation (see Configuration)
    • Shell access (although it is possible, better not run imapcopy from your browser... ;-) )

Download

You can download the latest version as a ZIP file from GitHub.

Usage

imapcopy is run from the command-line using the PHP command-line interpreter. The configuration is passed as a mandatory file name parameter, pointing to the configuration file (see Configuration).

This would load the configuration from the file config.json:

php imapcopy.php config.json

With the optional parameter -test, a test run will be performed with no changes made to the destination:

php imapcopy.php config.json -test

A test run still produces all the console output of a regular run.

The second optional parameter -info leads to an output with information about the folders, i.e. the names and numbers of folders found at the source, and counts the messages inside the folders:

php imapcopy.php config.json -info

No changes will be made to the destination either.

Important Tip

Avoid any change made to the source IMAP account, until you have completely copied it to the destination, especially if you need to run imapcopy several times to get the job fully done, e.g. due to errors. This also includes new incoming messages being delivered to the source IMAP account.

The reason is, that imapcopy counts all folders and their messages in the source IMAP account, before it actually starts copying them. The folder and message numbers are used to indicate the copying progress. But you can also use the numbers to start/continue copying at a specific folder or message or copy only specific folders or even specific messages in folders. If you make changes to the source IMAP account, the folder and message numbers might change and you will have a hard time to do things like that if you are in the middle of a migration.

For more information see also Migration Best Practice.

Configuration

The configuration is provided as a file written using the JSON notation.

Example:

{
    "src": {
        "hostname": "127.0.0.1",
        "port": 143,
        "username": "john.doe",
        "password": "*****",
        "ssl": false,
        "sslNovalidateCert": false,
        "readOnly": true,
        "folderSeparator": ".",
        "flags": true,

        "excludedFolders": [
            "INBOX.Drafts",
            "INBOX.Spam",
            "INBOX.Trash"
        ],
        "onlyFoldersNum": [1, 2, 3],
        "onlyFolderMessagesNum": {
            "2": [7],
            "3": [8, 9]
        },
        "startFolderNum": 1,
        "startFolderMessageNum": 1
    },
    "dst": {
        "hostname": "imap.gmail.com",
        "port": 993,
        "username": "[email protected]",
        "password": "*****",
        "ssl": true,
        "sslNovalidateCert": false,
        "readOnly": false,
        "folderSeparator": "/",
        "flags": true,

        "trimFolderPath": true,
        "mappedFolders": {
            "INBOX/Sent": "[Gmail]/Gesendet"
        },
        "popFolder": "INBOX",
        "pushFolder": ""
    }
}

You can also find the above example in cli/example.json.

NOTE: The JSON must have a src and a dst object, otherwise imapcopy will exit with an error.

Source and Destination Settings

Both the source (src) and the destination (dst) have these settings in common:

hostname, port, username, password

Set the hostname (or IP address) and the port to connect to the mail server and add credentials to login to the IMAP account.

NOTE: If no port is specified the default IMAP port 143 is used.

ssl, sslNovalidateCert

To connect via SSL set ssl to true. If your mail server certificate is invalid (e.g. self-signed), you can set sslNovalidateCert to true so the certificate is not validated on connect.

readOnly

It is a good idea to keep this setting set to true for the source account at any time. Of course, keep it set to false for the destination. ;-)

NOTE: When doing a test run using the -test command-line option, then the readOnly setting of the destination is overwritten with true.

folderSeparator

Set the folder separator used by the mail server. Typically it is a dot . (e.g. Courier IMAP) or a slash / (e.g. Gmail).

flags

To preserve user-defined flags (also known as "IMAP keywords" or "tags") in messages, set flags to true for the source and destination.

Source-specific Settings

excludedFolders

List folders that you want to exclude from being copied using their full name.

This will exclude Drafts, Spam and Trash under the inbox (INBOX):

        ...
        "excludedFolders": [
            "INBOX.Drafts",
            "INBOX.Spam",
            "INBOX.Trash"
        ],
        ...

If you do not want to exclude any folders, set excludedFolders to empty:

        ...
        "excludedFolders": [],
        ...

NOTE: Excluded folders will not get a folder number for the current run of imapcopy (see also Folder and Message Numbers).

onlyFoldersNum

If you want to copy only specific folders, then list the numbers of the folders you want to copy here.

This will copy only the folders number 1, 2 and 3:

        ...
        "onlyFoldersNum": [1, 2, 3],
        ...

If you want to copy all folders, set onlyFoldersNum to empty:

        ...
        "onlyFoldersNum": [],
        ...

NOTE: If you use onlyFoldersNum in combination with excludedFolders, keep in mind, that excluded folders will not get a folder number for the current run of imapcopy (see also Folder and Message Numbers).

onlyFolderMessagesNum

If you want to copy only specific messages of a folder, then list the number of the folder and of its messages you want to copy here.

This will copy only message number 7 of folder number 2 and messages number 8 and 9 of folder number 3:

        ...
        "onlyFolderMessagesNum": {
            "2": [7],
            "3": [8, 9]
        },
        ...

If you do not want to copy only specific messages of folders, then set onlyFolderMessagesNum to empty:

        ...
        "onlyFolderMessagesNum": {},
        ...

Combining onlyFoldersNum and onlyFolderMessagesNum

If you want to copy only specific folders and from some of these folders only specific messages, then you can combine onlyFoldersNum and onlyFolderMessagesNum.

This will copy only messages from folders number 1, 2 and 3. Folder number 1 will be copied with all its messages, but imapcopy will copy only message number 7 of folder number 2 and messages number 8 and 9 of folder number 3:

        ...
        "onlyFoldersNum": [1, 2, 3],
        "onlyFolderMessagesNum": {
            "2": [7],
            "3": [8, 9]
        },
        ...

NOTE: If you combine onlyFoldersNum and onlyFolderMessagesNum, make sure that all folders used in onlyFolderMessagesNum are also listed in onlyFoldersNum. The following setting will not copy any message from folders number 2 and 3:

        ...
        "onlyFoldersNum": [1],
        "onlyFolderMessagesNum": {
            "2": [7],
            "3": [8, 9]
        },
        ...

startFolderNum, startFolderMessageNum

If you want to start/continue copying at a specific folder or message, then set these settings to the appropriate folder or message number.

This will start/continue copying at folder number 3:

        ...
        "startFolderNum": 3,
        "startFolderMessageNum": 1
        ...

This will start/continue copying at folder number 3, and in folder number 3 at message number 9:

    ...
    "startFolderNum": 3,
    "startFolderMessageNum": 9
    ...

NOTE: Using startFolderNum or startFolderMessageNum will not change the counting of folders and their messages for the current run of imapcopy (see also Folder and Message Numbers).

Destination-specific Settings

trimFolderPath

Setting trimFolderPath to true will remove unnecessary whitespace from folder names before they are created in the destination:

  • Remove whitespace at both the beginning and end
  • Successive spaces are reduced to just a single space

NOTE: If you are migrating to Gmail, you need to set trimFolderPath to true.

mappedFolders

Using mappedFolders allows you to map individual source folders to different destination folders or merge multiple source folders into one destination folder.

This will copy messages from the source folder Sent in the inbox (INBOX) to the folder Old Sent Mails in the destination:

        ...
        "mappedFolders": {
            "INBOX/Sent": "Old Sent Mails"
        },
        ...

This will merge the source folders Trash and Deleted Messages in the inbox (INBOX) into the folder Old Deleted Mails in the destination.

        ...
        "mappedFolders": {
            "INBOX/Trash": "Old Deleted Mail",
            "INBOX/Deleted Messages": "Old Deleted Mails"
        },
        ...

NOTE: You must use the folder separator of the destination also for the source folder names!

If you do not want to map any folders then set mappedFolders to empty:

        ...
        "mappedFolders": {},
        ...

popFolder, pushFolder

Using popFolder and pushFolder allows you to re-locate the source folder structure as a whole. popFolder can remove parts from the beginning of the folder name to get it out of a sub-folder from the source. After that, pushFolder can add parts to the beginning of the folder name to put it into an arbitrary sub-folder in the destination.

This will re-locate all source folders inside the inbox (INBOX) to the root level in the destination:

        ...
        "popFolder": "INBOX",
        "pushFolder": ""
        ...

So for example INBOX/Newsletters becomes Newsletters.

This will re-locate all source folders to the sub-folder Old Folders in the destination:

        ...
        "popFolder": "",
        "pushFolder": "Old Folders"
        ...

So for example Sent becomes Old Folders/Sent.

You can also combine popFolder and pushFolder. This will re-locate all source folders inside the inbox (INBOX) to the sub-folder Old Folders in the destination:

        ...
        "popFolder": "INBOX",
        "pushFolder": "Old Folders"
        ...

So for example INBOX/Newsletters becomes Old Folders/Newsletters.

NOTE: popFolder and pushFolder are processed after folder mappings using mappedFolders.

Folder and Message Numbers

(work in progress)

Migration Best Practice

(work in progress)

License

This software is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License v3.


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