cyrus-imap 2.5.3 - `lost' messages

Dirk-Willem van Gulik dirkx at
Tue Aug 14 04:20:45 EDT 2018

> On 14 Aug 2018, at 09:38, Michael Menge <michael.menge at> wrote:
> Quoting Dirk-Willem van Gulik <dirkx at <mailto:dirkx at>>:
>> On a smal cyrus imap 2.5.3 setup (freebsd ports, default settings, 5k users, 300 Gb mboxes) we are seeing very sporadic `loss' of messages (once every few months; 1 or 2 messages; out of a few 100k to a million going through perfectly fine in the same period).
>> They disappear; but are still present as a /var/spool/imap/user/X/12345.
>> files.
>> But cannot be found; even when searching through IMAP on message-ID or otherwise unique elements. Searches in the same veign for the messages before/after the lost one work and return those.
>> A grep through the cyrus.index shows its unique message ID.
>> A full  reconstruct with /-r/-R/-G does not seem to bring it back as visible.
>> The mesaages lost are otherwise normal; fully valid mime; and when
>> re-injected - pass through and surface.
>> What is the right way to debug this ? We suspect it may have something to do with either (al)pine and thunderbird; as it seems to hit users that mix those two clients - during periods they use both. All else seems normal.
> Do you use delayed expunge mode (man imapd.conf see expunge_mode)?
> If yes, "unexpunge -l user/X" will show you the mails that have been deleted but are still on the disk.
> You will also see the time the mail was deleted.

Yes we do. And did not know about that command.

Where is this recorded / what rebuilds this file (and no - in this case - it was not deleted, we do use delayed expunge) ?

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