Cyrus IMAP Readonly partitions

Rudy Gevaert Rudy.Gevaert at
Thu Mar 29 16:18:37 EST 2007

Ken Murchison wrote:
> Michael D. Sofka wrote:
>> I am working on a way to recover deleted (and purged) messages in Cyrus
>> IMAP.  This is not as silly as it may at first sound.  On Exchange there
>> is a setting whereby deleted items are not deleted from the server until
>> they are backed up.  Before this time, they can be ``recovered'' from
>> the deleted items folder.  (Why not, they're still available to the
>> system.)
>> Likewise, in our AFS file space (those were the days) we mount the
>> read-only backup volume in a directory called "./yesterday" so that
>> "oops, I didn't mean to delete that!" did not result in a phone call to
>> operations to restore a file.  In AFS the backup volume is a "copy on
>> write" snapshot of the volume created for backup.  Mounting these gave
>> access to the contents prior to the start of that day's backup.  (And,
>> AFS and Cyrus IMAP share a mother, if only by adoption.... :-)
>> With that as background, our Cyrus IMAP servers use LVM snapshots for
>> backups.  We make the snapshot, mount it, back it up, and unmount it.
>> Fairly standard.  After a couple calls to restore "oops" inboxes, I
>> thought maybe the snapshot could be mounted as a read-only IMAP
>> partition.  Users could access this to recover accidentally deleted
>> messages.
>> Alas, it is not quite that simple.  The snapshot would just appear
>> to Cyrus IMAP.  The mailboxes database would then have to be updated
>> with this new information, the access information would need to be
>> set, etc.  However, I am wondering if there isn't some trick,
>> latent, in Cyrus IMAP to allow this feature. (If not, it goes on
>> my way to long projects list---and I wouldn't mind if somebody
>> beat me to it.)

Have you tried taking a snapshot of your configuration directory and 
contants of /var/imap (e.g.).  If you start cyrus on the snapshots what 

I haven't tried that, because we had some problems with LVS snapshots.

I haven't got a clue how cyrus reacts on read only filesystems.  Maybe 
Ken can answer that.


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Rudy Gevaert          Rudy.Gevaert at          tel:+32 9 264 4734
Directie ICT, afd. Infrastructuur  Direction ICT, Infrastructure dept.
Groep Systemen                     Systems group
Universiteit Gent                  Ghent University
Krijgslaan 281, gebouw S9, 9000 Gent, Belgie     
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