Offsite email backup

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WARNING

This no longer works due to a system change as of April, 2008.
New and existing email address may no longer be tied to a shell user if they are not already, though email may be forwarded to a shell account.
See Shell-linked E-mail for details.

The use of automated snaphsot directories is being discontinued.
Procedures relying on the availability of these snapshot directories should be considered deprecated.

While snapshot directories may be available on your server at the present time, as accounts are moved to new servers these directories will no longer be available

This functionality is being replaced by our new "Domain Restore" feature that is already available for all accounts.

If you are now relying on these automated snapshots, server changes may cause them to become unavailable to you at any time.

Dreamhost tries, but does not guarantee, to backup your email through the regular snapshot mechanism. The following from Dreamhost support:

For e-mail addresses that were created along with a user account, for example:

user --> me@domain.com
user2 --> me2@domain.com

...you will be able to access your /Maildir folder and backup the messages that are on the server. Because they are tied to the user account, your data and messages are mounted to both the hosting server and your mail server. Backups can be found in the .snapshot folder.

For e-mail addresses that were created individually, they were given user names that looked like "mXXXXXXX"... for example:

m7179999 --> joe@domain.com
m6429999 --> mike@domain.com

Since there isn't any kind of user account tied to these addresses, their messages are stored strictly on the mailserver. Backups are located in the typical ".snapshot" fashion, but all of our mailservers are inaccessible to customers, therefore preventing you from accessing the backups.

If you're interested in backing up all mail data offsite, it is recommended that you use a mail client to download all of your messages to your personal computer. From there you should be able to locate the messages and back them up accordingly.

In short, Dreamhost tries to backup, and can restore everything (if a backup exists). For files in user accounts, including associated email, it can be downloaded to guarantee the backup. For email not associated with user accounts, one must fetch a copy through IMAP or POP3.