performance of imap_open: is 5-15 secs normal?

Bill McCoy Bill.McCoy at
Tue Apr 22 17:37:59 EDT 2003

I am hoping to migrate from Exchange to "real" IMAP for an application that
combines normal mail client use with a custom PHP presentation of certain
mailboxes. On a vanilla RedHat 8.0 install on a half-decent machine (dual
PIII 800Mhz, 1gig RAM)  I have removed UW imapd and installed Cyrus from
Simon Matter's RPMs. However, I noted that imap_open is very very slow
against this system, taking close to 5 secs from IIS+PHP running on a
Windows machine on the same local network and a whopping 15 secs from
Apache/PHP running on the same machine (localhost). Whereas it's only .06
secs to imap_open from the same Windows machine against a local (but not
same machine) Exchange server. Other imap calls (imap_getmailboxes,
imap_fetchoverview) are a bit slower against Cyrus than against Exchange but
are certainly in the same ballpark and are sub-second not multi-second: e.g.
a series of imap_fetchoverview's totals.49 secs against Exchange and .58
secs against Cyrus, which is no biggie.
I have ensured (I believe) that plaintext authentication is being used. My
/etc/imapd.conf looks like:
allowplaintext: yes
cleartextloginpause: 0
sasl_pwcheck_method: saslauthd
sasl_mech_list: PLAIN 
tls_cert_file: /usr/share/ssl/certs/cyrus-imapd.pem
tls_key_file: /usr/share/ssl/certs/cyrus-imapd.pem
and when I login from my PHP code "/var/log/messages" logs lines like 
"Apr 23 05:23:47 login: (domain)[] (user) plaintext"'
my call to imap_open doesn't even select a mailbox, it looks like:
imap_open("{localhost/imap/notls}", $imap_user, $imap_password,OP_HALFOPEN)
I don't think it's a basic DNS issue; pings to the server name or localhost
are all sub-ms response.
So I'm a bit puzzled and my questions include:
1) is 5-15 secs. for imap_open normal for Cyrus? It sure doesn't seem
reasonable to me, esp. since this is a fresh DB with only 2 users and a
handful of mailboxes. I removed UW imapd in favor of Cyrus for several
reasons (e.g. ACLs) but one was that I thought Cyrus was supposed to
outperform UW. 
2) if not, can someone diagnose suspected problem(s) from the above?
3) what would cause imap_open from a remote host to take 5 secs while from
the same machine it takes 15 secs?
Thanks in advance,
--Bill McCoy
bill.mccoy at <mailto:bill.mccoy at> 
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