7.4.8 Incorporating Old Mail

Most people have lots of old mail stored in various file formats. If you have set up Gnus to read mail using one of the spiffy Gnus mail back ends, you’ll probably wish to have that old mail incorporated into your mail groups.

Doing so can be quite easy.

To take an example: You’re reading mail using nnml (see Mail Spool), and have set nnmail-split-methods to a satisfactory value (see Splitting Mail). You have an old Unix mbox file filled with important, but old, mail. You want to move it into your nnml groups.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to the group buffer.
  2. Type G f and give the file name to the mbox file when prompted to create an nndoc group from the mbox file (see Foreign Groups).
  3. Type SPC to enter the newly created group.
  4. Type M P b to process-mark all articles in this group’s buffer (see Setting Process Marks).
  5. Type B r to respool all the process-marked articles, and answer ‘nnml’ when prompted (see Mail Group Commands).

All the mail messages in the mbox file will now also be spread out over all your nnml groups. Try entering them and check whether things have gone without a glitch. If things look ok, you may consider deleting the mbox file, but I wouldn’t do that unless I was absolutely sure that all the mail has ended up where it should be.

Respooling is also a handy thing to do if you’re switching from one mail back end to another. Just respool all the mail in the old mail groups using the new mail back end.