What would be simplest IMAP server allow Thunderbird to read messages to user@localhost for Ubuntu Linux?

My assumption was that if mailutils could read mail with the "mail" command then IMAP or POP was configured, which was incorrect.

3 Answers 3


If you open the Account Settings menu you should be able to add an new account using Movemail. It should be located in Account Actions under Add Other Accounts. This should then move mail from the spool folder into your inbox.

Personally, I use Dovecot with Maildir format directories populated by proccmail. This allows me to read mail both locally and remotely using the same mailstore. I also provide webmail access using Squirrelmail.

  • 1
    Right you are! It was in file -> New -> Other Accounts for me (Linux).
    – Thufir
    Commented Aug 26, 2012 at 3:42

I'd suggest installing alpine/pine (available in most repositories) if you're looking for a lightweight mail reader that can address locally-delivered mail. Short of that, Thunderbird will need to interface with a POP3 or IMAP server on the host.

  • in this case I'm specifically looking for a GUI and am used to Thunderbird. I'll look into an IMAP server.
    – Thufir
    Commented Aug 26, 2012 at 0:42

My first suggestion would have been to set up a simple POP or IMAP server, but this email suggests that Thunderbird has native support for local mail accounts via the movemail account type. I have never tried this out, and in your position I would probably just set up something like Dovecot (which is a POP/IMAP server).

Actually, to be honest, in your position I would simply use mutt, but that's not necessarily the best choice for all people.

EDIT: Additional discussion about Thunderbird and movemail is here.


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