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Thunderbird Can Not Share a Maildir With Notmuch

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I've tried to set up a Xubuntu Linux host with Thunderbird as graphical mail client and notmuch as Emacs mail client.

My plan was, that they both share the same maildir hierarchy to store emails since Thunderbird offers maildir as a beta feature since years.

So far, I failed to accomplish so.

As Thunderbird states, this is not a standard maildir format that is OK to be shared. I took a closer look.

After activating the maildir feature in Thunderbird (68.2.2 64bit) and setting up a new profile that is using the maildir format for storing emails I set up notmuch (0.29.1) using this maildir folder. Thunderbird is set up to fetch the emails. Notmuch is using its own SMTP mechanism to send emails.

Thunderbird and notmuch both are able to access and read the emails. However, notmuch is storing newly composed and sent emails differently:

vk@host ..release-1/ImapMail/mail.example.com % l
total 128
drwxr-xr-x 8 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:25 .
drwx------ 3 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:18 ..
drwxr-xr-x 3 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:25 .notmuch
-rw-rw-r-- 1 vk vk  1170 Jän 13 16:19 Archives.msf
-rw-rw-r-- 1 vk vk  1167 Jän 13 16:18 Drafts.msf
drwxr-xr-x 4 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:22 Drafts-1
-rw-rw-r-- 1 vk vk  2742 Jän 13 16:30 Drafts-1.msf
drwxr-xr-x 4 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:20 INBOX
-rw-rw-r-- 1 vk vk  5886 Jän 13 16:30 INBOX.msf
drwx------ 2 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:20 INBOX.sbd
-rw-rw-r-- 1 vk vk  1165 Jän 13 16:18 Sent.msf
-rw-rw-r-- 1 vk vk  1538 Jän 13 16:30 Sent-1.msf
-rw-rw-r-- 1 vk vk  1173 Jän 13 16:18 Templates.msf
-rw-rw-r-- 1 vk vk  1620 Jän 13 16:35 Trash.msf
drwxr-xr-x 5 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:36 archive             -> notmuch "archive" emails (+ subfolders)
-rw-rw-r-- 1 vk vk 52492 Jän 13 16:30 archive.msf         -> thunderbird "archive" emails
drwx------ 4 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:38 archive.sbd         -> thunderbird emails for sub-folders of "archive"
-rw-rw-r-- 1 vk vk   198 Jän 13 16:18 filterlog.html
-rw-r--r-- 1 vk vk    25 Jän 13 16:18 msgFilterRules.dat
vk@host ..release-1/ImapMail/mail.example.com % l archive.sbd
total 60
drwx------ 4 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:38 .
drwxr-xr-x 8 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:25 ..
drwxr-xr-x 4 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:22 2019
-rw-rw-r-- 1 vk vk 29606 Jän 13 16:30 2019.msf
drwxr-xr-x 4 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:22 2020
-rw-rw-r-- 1 vk vk 10657 Jän 13 16:30 2020.msf
vk@host ..release-1/ImapMail/mail.example.com % l archive/
total 28
drwxr-xr-x 5 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:36 .
drwxr-xr-x 8 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:25 ..
drwxr-xr-x 2 vk vk 12288 Jän 13 16:30 cur
drwx------ 2 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:36 new
drwxr-xr-x 2 vk vk  4096 Jän 13 16:36 tmp
vk@host ..release-1/ImapMail/mail.example.com %	  

One msf archive file for all emails of the "archive" folder? I double-checked in the Thunderbird account settings: "Server Settings" is showing me Message Store Type: File per message (maildir). So this weird format is considered maildir by Thunderbird.

If you do find out how to fix this or when Thunderbird is changing its behavior, please drop me a line. For now, I have to give up on notmuch since I rely on it occasionally which does not give me the option to use notmuch exclusively.

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