FOSS equivalent of PST file

Anyone used or heard of something like a PST file, but for FOSS email clients?

e.g. I’d like to do some housekeeping on two of my gmail accounts (I have 5 in total - but really only use 2 of them, the first one I got in 2003, and one I created in 2012). I’m actually paying google $2.50 a month to get 100 GB (on the 10 year old account), as I started pushing perilously close to the 15 GB limit for freebies…

What most of it is - is multiple copies of the same attachments and stuff, and the web client offers no way (surprise surprise! why would they make it simpler for you to NOT pay them $$$?) to delete just attachments - and its unbelievable they don’t implement dedup - but anyway (they probably do, but refuse to pass those storage savings onto the “customer”).

I’d like to download all stuff say, more than 3 years old, and archive it into something like a PST, but NOT a PST, if that makes sense. Hmmm… then I can delete ALL my email somehow, from say before 2019 or something?

I actually have PST files on my NAS of emails going back to 1995, so maybe PST might also be a solution for my gmail? But I’d rather something less Microsofty… And easier to open up on Linux…

I guess also - if I pointed some kinda IMAP mail client at my Gmail - it might make it easier to housekeep? Thunderbird seems overkill to me - Geary seemed a bit more low impact, and trimmer, last time I tried a “fat client” (but even so - I prefer to use the thin “web client” for ANY email system).

Just tried to get geary (not “geany”) to connect to my Gmail, but, since I last used it - I’ve considerably locked down my google account, with a 2FA token (FiDo USB thingie) and Geary won’t work with that (or any other MFA process it seems) - so I give up on Geary, Thunderbird looks like a gigantic monolith, so I shan’t look at that either… In fact - I think I’ll give up on the whole idea… Just keep paying $2.50 as an insurance policy that my inbox gets full and blocks incoming and outgoing… I use it often to share data (e.g. music and video files) with my brother in Melbourne, via G-Drive…

Curious why you use your email service for storage. That’s what external drives and NAS installations are for, not to mention cloud storage like MEGA. Any large attachments I get are stored and the email is deleted. Not a criticism, just curiosity.

I use Yahoo Mail like you use Google. Never was a fan of GMail and when they updated the interface several years ago it made it even less attractive to me.

I use Outlook to retrieve all my Yahoo/ISP/AOL/Google email and save in PST files for each year.

'cause it’s convenient… I don’t have to even think about that when rebuilding a PC - and I usually rebuild my Linux machines every few months… I don’t actually even mind paying google $2.50 a month for 100 GB…

I have a NAS and a self hosted P2P “cloud storage” solution (Resilio Sync) - but - even so - it’s more convenient to let google take care of my email storage… Same goes for work email - even if I’ve got a Office 365 installed, and an Outlook.exe on a Windows machine, I still use the O365 web client - 'cause for me it’s way more functional than the “fat client”.

Also - even when using fat clients, I still mostly do “imap” - i.e. the mail server / service still hosts the data… I haven’t done POP since FOREVER…

Odd - most “punters” out there, whether they’re using Outlook, or Gmail - are probably using IMAP - and NOT downloading their emails to other storage.

15 years ago - I was still using my ISP email address as my primary - and - I used IMAP and POP, but I also left the original copies on their servers so I could access them from any client (i.e. any web browser fron anywhere).

Ok, makes sense. I use external storage for attachments and leave the emails on the server as well. Just like all my games are housed in Steam, so I can flush Windows without concern. However, as a retired person, I find joy in flushing my Inbox every month, just because I can!

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Why not use Thunderbird, which allows you to detach the attachments? I now do it systematically on my personal account (not a Gmail one, but with the same limitation), otherwise I would be over the authorised 15 GB.
And I move part of my mails in local folder for the same reason…

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Actually, I’m beginning to like Evolution more than Thunderbird, part of my continuing exercise in trying new stuff. As I think about it and look over my folders, most of the emails that accompanied attachments amounted to ‘cover letters’ and can easily be deleted. Staying on top of the inbox keeps me from missing important things, something I’m still working on the wife to do. Still, good advice.

Yes, the inbox is supposed to be for new stuff requiring attention.

I dont understand why one would want to routinely store attachments away from the email folders? For special cases like receipts, I take a copy, but the rest of it I leave in there., and it ends up in the local folders. Some day I will have to have a cleanout.

There’s NO WAY I’d use something as ugly as Thunderbird… If I wanted something that ugly that yells at me “Hey - the 1990’s called, they want their UI back!” - I’d use Pine or Mutt or Elm!

In fact - I’d 10,000x rather use Mutt than Thunderbird… and I was using it some ~5 years ago or so… But it’s a PITA to configure, and given most of my Linux desktop builds are lucky to last 3 months, I really couldn’t be arsed configuring it every time I setup a new build…

Took me a bit - but - I got Geary working (turns out - to let it work - you have to go to the “online accounts” settings in Gnome Setting and allow Google to be the default for Mail). Geary at least feels like it was written and UI designed this millennia, not the last one… It’s fairly “featureless” - as in, somewhat limited, but it feels no different from using the Apple “Mail” util in MacOS to access my Google Mail…

I also used this search item in the Gmail WebUI : “has:attachment larger:10m” and located some large stuff and was able to delete old stuff with large attachments…

I may yet check out Evolution one of these days…

One thing that cheeses me off about doing stuff like this in Gnome - I’m reasonably security conscious, I have a USB security keyfob to do MFA for google account access, but it only ever works via web browser access e.g. Brave and Chrome and maybe Edge - but - it also DOES NOT work on anally retentive corporate (I call it coprolite) Stalinist Windows builds - started back at my old job on Thursday, but it’s not quite my old job, they’ve been taken over by a vast multi-national conglomerate (I’m not going to name them), and the SOE / MOE they enforce on Windows laptops is basically CRIPPLEWARE - FFS - I can’t even install Brave! And when I tried to point Chrome at my g-mail - the “Falcon Crowdstrike” big-brother piece of crap prevented USB access to my MFA dongle!

So - I was told I could order a MacBook to use instead of Windows 10 crippleware (they do some Falcon Crowdstrike stuff on the Mac SOE too - but - my previous role (where I lasted 5 months) also had Falcon enforement on MacOS, but at least it let me install ResilioSync, Brave, and Synergy KVM - I NEED Synergy KVM for WFH - I AM NOT having multiple fucking keyboards and mouses on my desk, and a physical KVM is a PITA (I actually have a couple of them - bought one recently - don’t use the “V” part however, so its just a K_M). So - that’s awaiting approval (request for a MacBook 13" - I could have asked for a 16" - but that’s overkill and not very portable). Unfortunately - the new mob don’t offer Linux laptops (the old mob did - and - I got one on trial but was NEVER EVER able to get it to connect to their VPN - so it was useless).


It amazes me how these corporate entities pay lots of money for an OS that is worse than freeware, then pay more money to install all sorts of crippling security tricks, then pay more money again for people like you to come and waste time trying to grapple your way into the system.

I don’t get how this is specific to Windows.
If they would impose those same restrictions to Linux and you would be allowed to use Linux instead, you would get the same or an even worse experience.
So, it’s not directly related to Windows, is it?

Weird, that it works differently. Maybe macOS has other additional security features.

OK - tomorrow’s gonna be my first WFH day in my new, old, job…

Brought the HP laptop home - put it on charge, wifi’d to my home LAN, connected to their VPN - but - I don’t think I’ll even need their VPN.

  1. MS Teams works from my Linux desktop
  2. I find that using Outlook in MS Edge (on Linux) is more to my taste than the overblown windows executable that feels like it’s 10-15 years old in terms of UI design.
  3. I can run the MS Remote Desktop Client for Macintosh and connect to my customers via this ASG (don’t ask me what that acronym means) thingie “Client Delivery Environment” from my MacBook - so I’m guessing this will still work if / when they approve my request for a MacBook instead of a Windows laptop.
  4. I will probably leave the HP Win10 laptop at work from now on - when I worked there before, we got our own dedicated desks, but now it’s all “hot-desking” but I’ve got a locker I can dump it into for when I’m not there.

All this modern communication, and you still have to attend the office?
traditional workpractices die hard
Best of luck with this new venture.

100% WFH over the last 5 months was too much for my taste… especially as I was mostly doing buggerall while waiting for access (government clients, absolutely GLACIAL)…

I don’t mind commuting - it’s only a 15 minute train journey (well 5 minutes on the bus to the station, then 15 minutes on the train, then 15-20 minutes walk to the office)… and it’s good to catch up with colleagues face to face… I kinda missed it… And as it’s sorta my old job, but with a different name, most of my colleagues and customers are the same as six months ago…

Yes, that side of the worksite is actually helpful… Interactions produce good results, usualy better than lone efforts.
The down side at my worksite was endless useless meetings . Managers seem to feel they need to rally everybody on a regular basis.

Since retiring, I had a lot of success working with an old colleague just using emails. I also had some success writing software, entirely on my own… well almost, I did email with a guy doing postgrad work .

Just make the most of whatever opportunities come before you.