Steps to migrate from current email provider to mailinabox

Hello all,

Currently my domain and mailboxes are hosted by I started last year to learn and test mailinabox and warm up my IP. I am now planning to move everything to a brand new mailinabox system once v60 is released with support for Ubuntu 22.

I am looking for some advice on the best approach to migrate with minimal downtime. Most guides i found are about migrating between two mailinabox systems but never from an external provider.

Currently I’m thinking about following process

  • setup mailinabox instance with mydomain details
  • create the required mailboxes on mailinabox
  • download all emails from the “live” inboxes on my mac
  • initiate the domain transfer from to Gandi
  • add the nameservers and glue records on Gandi
  • export the mac Mail inbox as Mbox
  • import the Mbox files to each mailiabox user

It would appear that I can configure DNS settings at so I could configure it as with external DNS instructions. I guess the process could be as follows in that case

  • setup mailinabox instance with mydomain details
  • create the required mailboxes on mailinabox
  • transfer all emails using imapsync to mailboxes on mailianabox
  • update the DNS settings on to point to mailinabox
  • initiate the domain transfer from to Gandi
  • add the nameservers and glue records on Gandi

Note: this is my personal email domain so i can take ownership of each inbox

Would be grateful for any advice.


I viewed’s support articles and they make it appear that things are more difficult that they are in reality. @eXTric

So I can best give you advice, do you have web hosting with that will continue to stay with them later, or is web hosting not an issue at all here?

What is your motivation to switch domain registrars from to Gandi?

Once I know more about your use case I will give you my input on the best methodology. Which based on what I know will be option 3, which will be simpler than option 2. The methodology I will present will experience no downtime, or lost emails. Option 1 is not realistic in many/most cases.

Two final questions - how many mailboxes and how many domains are we talking about. And which TLD’s?

Hi @alento
Many thanks for taking the time to look into this.

I am moving away from because they started to put 3gb quota limitations on their inboxes and hiking prices year after year. As you need to have domain + hosting as a package I looked into Gandhi to host the domain. I don’t host any website on so it would be a pure email migration. In total there are about 12 inboxes for about 18GB of data. I only have one .net domain I need to move now.


Ok, it will be very simple.

But first let me address one possible misconception:

This is not true, The internet is designed so that each part may run independent of each other. Even respects this though they do not so state in their support articles, but a chat with online support confirms everything.

So you do not NEED to transfer the domain to gandi, but it will be beneficial, and it is a slight bit less expensive for renewals. costs $20.50 per year for renewals and Gandi is $18.96, but Gandi offers free Secondary DNS service, which is very important.

The first problem is an egg before the chicken scenario. Do we transfer the domain first, or last? I am going to suggest that the domain be transferred last.

So the process will be as follows:

  • Set up Glue records with

  • Set up MiaB

  • Create the required mailboxes on MiaB.

  • Transfer all emails using IMAPSYNC.

  • Update the NS records at to point to MiaB. (You’ll have just one name server temporarily.)

  • Wait x time (the TTL of the MX record at and redo the imapsync to pick up any potentially missed emails that arrived during the transition. (As you mentioned having 12 mailboxes, you may prefer to completely stop all incoming emails before you begin the migration. This becomes tricky though due to the timing of the TTL, so I recommend doing a second imapsync.)

  • Initiate the domain transfer from to Gandi.

  • If offered by complete the expedited transfer process, If not, wait the 5-7 days.

  • When the domain is transferred, add to the name servers at Gandi and as a Secondary name server on the Custom DNS page within the admin area of MiaB.

  • Enjoy your new MiaB.

Now it is possible, if you prefer, to transfer the domain from to Gandi first. There may be some issues with downtime doing it this way though unless you set up 3rd party DNS first. So neither option is ideal but the one I laid out is more ideal.

ETA: I just had a very disturbing chat with support and I hope that the agent is just absolutely mis-informed. They are stating that when you initiate a transfer ALL glue records, and name servers are deleted from the registry at the beginning of the transfer. If this is true, you will have a down time of 5 days. Absolutely NO other registrar does this as it is very malicious. You may want to consider registering another domain to run your MiaB instance on due to this malicious policy. Again, I just hope that this rep is absolutely incorrect.

(12:02:31) Nobody
So if a domain has glue records and name servers set, you remove that information before the transfer and do not leave it intact at the registry???
(12:04:21) Jullee
Those records will remain with us that’s why you need to recreate those records again since those records is not part of the transfer

Please feel free to reach out to me on Slack if you want to cover anything in more detail. Also please PM me your domain name so that I can check the TTL and give you a proper time that you must wait.

Hello @alento

I sent some additional information on slack around my domains.

Not sure I grasp as the steps of the process you are proposing:

  1. I can not change glue records on just the DNS records and nameservers so step 1 is not possible for me. Not sure I understand why this is required for the rest of the process. Am I not able to setup my MiaB without it and transfer the email with imapsync?

  2. When the domain is transferred why do I need to use What is the benefit of this? On my test domain I currently have my glue records setup as per default recommendation > VPS IP. My nameservers are and I setup also according to this guide (Setting up Secondary DNS for Mail-in-a-Box - AnyDomain LLC) confirmed I can expedite the transfer using the email confirmation but I also have a 2nd domain I am using for testing currently I can use during the migration. Currently this is already setup using v60 on the VPS box for me to validate the install process.

How would the above impact the process?

Many Thanks

I will be available in about 9 hours to follow up with a reply. @eXTric

I would envision that you’d want DNS to work once MiaB is handling your domain, and for that to happen Glue records are required - if you are using MiaB for your domain’s DNS. As it has not been mentioned otherwise, I have to make that assumption. Since you mention Glue records in your steps, I have taken the liberty to assume that you will be using MiaB for DNS.

Actually states that you can indeed set glue records within your control panel.

One of the benefits of Gandi is that they provide free Secondary DNS service if you have a domain registered with them. The benefit of Secondary DNS is that it prevents a single point of failure that will cause your email to be returned to sender as undeliverable should you have some sort of an outage - be it network issues, or are performing maintenance. Again, I have to make assumptions with the information I have … and until this point I was unaware of the following:

Until you stated this I had no way of knowing if you even had any knowledge of the importance of Secondary DNS. Now that you have stated this, I will comment that using Gandi for secondary DNS is MUCH simpler than using

This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.