CalMail Nirvana


How to Make, Pine, and Webmail all Happily Play Together

This mini-guide will get you up and running with all the mail systems of your heart's desire, simultaneously, through the magic of IMAP.

  1. Get your CalMail account configured as your primary email account.   Colby has some good instructions for this; see the section "Combining Calmail with Astro E-Mail". With this done properly, you can use either,, or, all equivalently.

    You'll almost certainly want to increase your available storage space in Calmail, by paying a small fee.

  2. Configure your Mac's to access CalMail. Again, Colby comes to the rescue with these instructions.

  3. Configure your Pine to access CalMail. This time, the instructions are mostly written by me, but Colby kindly put them on his web page. Here are some alternative instructions for doing this through the Pine GUI; they were written for Pine users on, but apply equally well to

    An important note re Pine: The default version of Pine on the astro network Solaris boxes is ancient and lacks the security features needed for CalMail. You'll need to install your own more recent version, or use mine from ~mperrin/software/bin/pine. The version installed on (most/all of?) the astro Linux boxes is fine.

  4. A potentially tricky bit is getting everything to agree on common folders for your Sent, Drafts and trash mailboxes. The easiest way to deal with this is to configure to match the folders which Pine wants to use. This is done with the Mailbox menu in In the left-hand mailbox window, select the mailbox you want to use for a given task (such as 'sent-mail' or 'postponed-msgs'), then from the Mailbox menu select the desired task ('Sent' or 'Drafts', in those cases). Now and Pine will happily share sentmail and saved drafts.  Here's a screen shot:

    Screen Shot

  5. (Optional, but highly recommended) Now you can transfer all your old saved messages from Pine's local storage into CalMail.  In my experience, Pine does this better than does. My method was, for each folder "foo", move into the folder Astron/foo, select all messages, apply "save as" to all messages into folder CalMail/foo, check that it worked, then delete the folder Astron/foo.  Note that you'll need to have enabled Pine's 'aggregate command set' in the Advanced menu to do this, but you should do that anyway since it's so useful.
  6. (Also optional) Configure filters on your Calmail account to sort incoming mail into various folders. is good about noticing which folders get new mail added to them; in Pine you can configure the 'incoming-folders' option so you can quickly tab through each folder with new mail.
The above works well enough for my purposes, but is not without a few imperfections.

Last updated by Marshall Perrin, 2006-03-14