Apple not playing nicely with Cyrus on large mailboxes, SOLVED

Gregory Harris gharris at
Thu Jan 20 13:11:30 EST 2005


I have solved the problem.

What I did was telnet to port 143, use the imap commands to manually 
login the user and select the message range that was causing the 
problem.  From there, I then narrowed that range, to determine the exact 
message that was causing the problem and crashing the server.  When I 
determined that it was UID 340, i went to the user's inbox directory 
</var/spool/imap/u/user/username> and moved message 340 to a vacant 
number (you must do this so the reconstruct command purges existing 
headers for that message!), and then modified the headers to prevent 
problems.  I noted that the from address had extra <'s and "'s nested 
and in the wrong places (this is exactly how it was in UW-Imap, I went 
back to the mail spool to double check).  once i fixed these, i called 
the cyrus reconstruct command and went back to the command line and 
telneted to port 143, selecting both the new and the old message numbers 
to verify it wouldn't crash the server.  And it didn't.

The other user using Ximian Evolution had been cc:'d the same message. 
Out of millions of e-mail messages, migrated, these were the only two 
that caused any type of a crash.  And the crash only occured with 
Evolution and, but did not occur with pine and with Mozilla 
Thunderbird.  Looking at the telemetry log, I noticed that there was a 
fundamental difference in the commands used to select the headers of the 

Thanks guys for all your help.


Dan Perez wrote:
> I'm not sure if this is a Mac problem (probably) or a Cyrus problem...
> but I'm running into exactly the same thing.  We just moved to Macs a 
> little while ago, and some of our users have horrible response with the 
> Mail client.  I just built a new mail server (Cyrus 2.2.10-8 & Sendmail 
> running on red hat enterprise linux 3.0) and I'm doing some stress testing.
> At first I sent a 1000's of messages to my mailbox and things seemed to 
> work fine with  (100's of megs worth of data)  Well... worked 
> fine after the initial hour or 2 of caching the headers, downloading the 
> messages, and indexing the local cache.
> Next I migrated one user's INBOX folder (170 megs in 3000+ messages) 
> from exchange to the Cyrus server.  The user's mailbox has 500+ megs of 
> mail but I wanted to start small.  Although my mailbox had more 
> messages, and was larger, the client works a lot better with my 
> mailbox than it does with the first user I tried to test with.
> I copied the mail over using Outlook.  It seemed like the easiest way 
> (right click copy paste) even though it took > 1hr to copy the 170 megs.
> I just read this thread so now I plan on trying to add a telemetry log 
> for that user and do some more testing.  I'll follow up if I learn 
> anything worthwile.
> Dan


Gregory Harris
Network Specialist
Department of Mathematics
The University of Kansas
gharris at
(785) 864-7311

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