reconstruct not seeing empty subfolders with messages

Simon Matter simon.matter at
Sat May 31 05:15:46 EDT 2008

> I'm new to Cyris IMAP but I do have some experience with Sun's IMAP,  so
> I know some of the commands.
> We have Cyrus IMAP Server 2.1.13.  I did not set it up, but I've been
> asked to add some more messages to a person's IMAP account.  We acquired
> a tar file of some email messages from another location.  The message
> store appears to be the right type of each message number followed by a
> dot (.).  I've untarred these messages in to a user's area as a
> subfolder.  There are many subfolders in this original folder as well as
> sub-subfolders.
> Here's a representation of the issue.
> username -> user account folder
>    norne    -> top level folder
>       foo    -> sub folder (usually does not have messages but might)
>          bar   -> sub-sub folder (may or may not have messages)
> If there are messages  at the "foo" level, they are seen fine.  But if
> the "foo" level is empty of messages, but has sub-folders, none of the
> sub-folders are seen and thus none of their messages are seen.
> As the cyrus user, I've done a "reconstruct -r -f
> user.username.username.norne".  (To get us started on making things
> work, we did a "touch cyrus.index" in each directory to make things work
> with the reconstruct.).  It looks like all the "cyrus.index",
> "cyrus.cache" and "cyrus.header" files are created appropriately.
> However, the IMAP client (in this case Thunderbird) does not see any
> folders beyond the "foo" level folder -- that is all the sub-sub-folders
> at the "bar" level (and below) are not see -- and those are the ones
> that contain most of the messages.
> The message base is very large. There are about 480,000 messages in all
> the folders totaling almost three gig of disk space and about 3500 folder
> Is there any way I can get the folders to be seen?  I noticed someone in
> a previous post asking about a "reconstruct -m" capability which the Sun
> IMAP uses to get the list of all the folders in an IMAP structure.  Is
> that what may be needed here? Thoughts and suggestions welcome.

I don't know what exactly you did and what your config looks like. Seems
like you treated cyrus like a file server and expected everything to work
after running reconstruct. I don't know exactly why it fails because there
are different ways why it can fail. Are the folders subscribed, what are
the ACL's on it and so on.

You said your message base is very large. However, if it's ~3Gb, it looks
quite small to me - I mean 3Tb would be large. So if that's your total
amount you have to migrate (and not only per user and you have thousands
of users), then I really suggest doing it using a tool like


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