Migrating email from another host


Hi There,

I am trying to migrate my sites and emails from a cpanel host to a new Bytemark cloud hosted server.

I am getting there with the sites, but I am really struggling to get my head round the process for email.

I can see what is needed from the instructions at https://www.bytemark.co.uk/docs/symbiosis/email-setup/, and luckily my existing host is using dovecot, so I think that will simplify things - it is more about how I test the system out before I instigate DNS migration. I can’t seem to get access to the mailboxes via the .testing. system for domains on symbiosis. Should I migrate the web dns first, test the mailbox and then once proved, migrate the mail dns MX records?

Might be the sort of procedural help that might be worth adding to the symbiosis guides at some point…

Many thanks



Not sure whether this is of use.

When I moved my mail from one server to another (both plain Debian) I used ‘imapsync’ which worked well but stressed the system during the port, as I remember.

You obviously need to set up the accounts in advance.


I’ve also used imapsync, but as mentioned it does hog a bit of resources while its running.

The other thing I found was to wait a bit after its finished running before doing the next account.


it was a while ago, but I seem to remember having to run it several times to make sure that everything was transferred.

But it was the only ‘easy’ way I could find to do this, without really having to know all the ‘ins and outs’ of doing the job the ‘correct way’. It worked for me!


Thank you for your responses. I will definitely check out imapsync. I think the whole premise of my initial question was wrong though! I think I was panicking a little too much and confused myself!



You should be able to rsync the mail folders across from one server to the other - although they may have a different directory structure.


This is why I used the imapsync tool. I didn’t want to risk scrambling my old emails. Always employ an expert!