Mailing List CGatePro@mail.stalker.com Message #100634
From: Wiley Sanders <wms2@stmarys-ca.edu>
Subject: Users are losing the INBOX
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2010 15:16:26 -0700
To: CommuniGate Pro Discussions <CGatePro@mail.stalker.com>
Hello all,

This is a problem that we have been having for a long time with both Communigate 4.X and the current 5.3 version. About twice per month, one of my 10,000 users loses all messages in their INBOX. All messages are alleged to disappear.

The problem is made more difficult because the users are usually my most clueless, and they usually cannot describe when the problem occurred or what actions they were taking when it happened. In many cases it happens overnight. At first I was convinced it was just clueless users, but I think at least some of them are victims of some kind of bug or another and not just accidentally selecting messages for deletion. In only a very few cases do I actually find "lost" email in their trash.

The one thing they all have in common is that they are all legacy users with MBOX-format mailboxes (all new users have been MDIR for several years.) They are almost certainly not using multiple clients on the same INBOX. The INBOX.mbox file is truncated to zero length, and new mail begins showing up right away in it. In come cases the INBOX.bdx file disappears. Most victims seem to be using the Webmail interface, in fact I have not been able to confirm that any are using Thunderbird or an IMAP client. Of course it is a PITA to restore an MBOX file since it has to be restored in its entirety and usually cannot just be prepended to the existing INBOX.mbox file.

Both the old and new versions of CGPro were running on Linux, the current on a brand-new up to date RHEL 5.X server, the older on SuSe Enterprise 9.

My question is: Is there a setting in CGPro, the Linux OS, or EXT3 I can make to do more aggressive file caching, and perhaps more atomic file locking?

Alternatively, is there a tool I can use to migrate a user from MBOX to MDIR format? This problem doesn't seem to happen with MDIR format inboxes.

Thanks,
-W Sanders
 St Marys College of California
 http://wsanders.net
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