Email problem

Carl Friis-Hansen ubuntuuser at
Tue Jun 9 19:45:07 UTC 2009

On Tue, June 9, 2009 18:09, Linda wrote:
> Derek Broughton wrote:
>> Linda wrote:
>>> I have a strange email problem and have not had any luck tracking down.
>>> I currently have an imap server using dovecot with maildir. I use
>>> fetchmail and procmail to sort and deliver mail. Periodically we will
>>> have a totally blank email.  When I look in the procmail.log I have an
>>> error message
>>> Couldn't create or rename temp file
>>> "home/username/Mail/new/msg.whatever"
>>> If I go to var/mail/username the message is there and in the users
>>> /home/username/Mail/new directory I have a 0 byte file
>> I would suggest that it's a really bad idea to be delivering mail to
>> ~/Mail
>> - the defacto standard for IMAP is ~/Maildir, and ~/Mail is usually used
>> by
>> your mail client.  I suspect some sort of collision.
> I'm sorry I really don't understand how this works. I set the maildir
> variable in dovecot to  /%h/Mail you are saying it should be set to
> ~/Maildir  (makes sense since this is what the default config has)
> however if mail that is not delivered to a subfolder in /%h/Mail by
> procmail is delivered to ~/Maildir how does the new Mail in ~/Maildir
> get accessed and moved from there to /%h/Mail/cur by firefox when it is
> read?  I read enough to sort of understand how the IMAP server worked
> and to get a working set up, but am very far from really understanding
> the process.
>                     Thanks
>                      Linda

Linda, I am a novice when it comes to procmail and dovecut, but on a
general basis I can say this:
The IMAP folders are normally accessed via port 143 by for example
ThunderBird.  TB cannot manipulate the folder directly, but it can give
orders to the IMAP server via port 143.  Procmail run on the local machine
might be able to do direct manipulation, but this is not the intension
with IMAP.
An MTA like PostFix can deliver to the IMAP server, thus you can send an
email via port 25 to PostFix and it vil subsequently deliver to an IMAP
account if the receiver is located on the IMAP server in question.

My explanation probably doesn't clear anything for you, but at least you
get some response to your question.
                           Carl Friis-Hansen
                           Phone: +46 372 15033

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