A Python package for creating full backups of IMAP mailboxes
python3 -m pip install --user imapbackup3
Command line usage
usage: imapbackup3 [-h] [-y] [-f FOLDERS] [-e] [-k KEY] [-c CERT] -s HOST [-P PORT] -u USER [-p PASSWORD] [-m MAILBOX] [-t SECS] [--thunderbird] Back up E-mail messages from an IMAP server. mbox files are created in the current working directory. optional arguments: -h, --help show this help message and exit -y, --yes-overwrite-mboxes Overwite existing mbox files instead of appending -f FOLDERS, --folders FOLDERS Specifify which folders use. Comma separated list. -e, --ssl Use SSL. Port defaults to 993. -k KEY, --key KEY PEM private key file for SSL. Specify cert, too. -c CERT, --cert CERT PEM certificate chain for SSL. Specify key, too. Python's SSL module doesn't check the cert chain. -s HOST, --server HOST Address of server (without port) -P PORT, --port PORT Server port (defaults to 143 without and 993 with SSL) -u USER, --user USER Username to log into server -p PASSWORD, --password PASSWORD Prompts for password if not specified. If the first character is '@', treat the rest as a path to a file containing the password. Leading '' makes it literal. -m MAILBOX, --mailbox MAILBOX Local e-mail storage format. Possible values: mbox (default), Maildir -t SECS, --timeout SECS Sets socket timeout to SECS seconds. --thunderbird Create Mozilla Thunderbird compatible mailbox
Minimal example (using SSL on port 993):
from imapbackup3 import IMAPBackup with IMAPBackup(host='mail.example.com', user='myuser', password='mypassword') as imb: imb.download_all_messages()
from imapbackup3 import IMAPBackup with IMAPBackup( host='mail.example.com', user='myuser', password='mypassword', port=993, usessl=True, keyfilename='my_key.pem', certfilename='my_cert.pem', thunderbird=False, folders=['INBOX', 'INBOX.Sent'], fmt='Maildir', ) as imb: imb.download_all_messages()
Usage of the message filter
msg_filter can be passed to the
that takes an
email.message.EmailMessage instance as input and either
returns the same instance again (which will not change anything), returns
None (which will filter out the message) or returns a modified instance
(which will store the modified message). (Stupid) example:
def my_filter(msg): if 'SPAM' in msg['subject']: return None msg['subject'] += ' (no Spam)' return msg imb.download_all_messages(msg_filter=my_filter)
This package is based on a script by Rui Carmo. Original description:
This was first published around 2007 (probably earlier) on my personal site, and it was originally developed to work around the then rather limited (ok, inconsistent) Mac OS X Mail.app functionality and allow me to back up my old mailboxes in a fully standard
mboxformat (well, at least as much as
mboxcan be considered a standard...).
Somewhat to my surprise it was considered useful by quite a few people throughout the years, and contributions started coming in. Given that there seems to be renewed interest in this as a systems administration tool, I'm posting the source code here and re-licensing it under the MIT license.
- ZERO dependencies.
- Copies every single message from every single folder (or a subset of folders) in your IMAP server to your disk.
- Does incremental copying (i.e., tries very hard to not copy messages twice).
- Tries to do everything as safely as possible (only performs read operations on IMAP).
- Is completely and utterly free (distributed under the MIT license).
- Python 3 compatible
- Supports mbox or Maildir formats
- Can be imported and used as library
- When used as a library, messages can be filtered or modified on the fly
This package requires Python 3.6.