Linuxy Stuff: DavMail

So I actually have a few things I’m working on here, but I’ll focus this on just 1 topic. In talking with a coworker a couple weeks ago, he introduced me to some great software that acts as a proxy to Microsoft Exchange. I’ve tested it with Exchange 2010, but I’m sure it works in previous releases as well. The name of the software is DavMail and it works pretty damn well.

I do hate POP mail, since you can only sync the Inbox folder. So if your already existing Exchange account has multiple folders setup and rules moving mail around, have fun with that. For sanity, I separate my mail quite a bit. For projects and certain people I get a lot of mail from, I create folders. For people or departments I don’t get much mail from, I make folders for them. It makes searching and archiving much easier.

So after I tested out the POP connector, I promptly switched to IMAP (not that I like IMAP any better, but it can sync multiple folders). The sync still isn’t blazing fast, but it’s not a “push” service either. Your system will check every 10 minutes (that setting is configurable) and allow your mail client to download the mail from DavMail. The process for syncing every folder if quite lengthy, but once everything is setup it’s pretty nice after that.

The main shining point here is for people who use mail clients and phones that don’t support Exchange integration. Evolution, Thunderbird, some older Android phones, etc… That’s what I’m using it for (Thunderbird). I have multiple VMs that I’m in all day long, and I cant keep switching back and forth with my Windows VM running Office 2010. So when I’m in my Linux Mint VM, I can still get updates to mail while I’m working.

At the end of the day, I’ll be honest, I’m not sure how happy I’d be exposing this to the Internet to publish for mobile phones. By all means, please try to connect first with your phone to the Exchange server. There’s no need to throw more middle-ware out there and open up more ports inbound to your organization (even if you’re just a home user).

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