stuck vacation ghost message

Oliver Sommer o.sommer at
Thu Mar 3 13:16:24 EST 2005

Henk.Roose at wrote:
> Oliver,
Henk, thank you that you give me an answer!
Unfortunately I am still at the same point where the problems started.
Also, I did an update last week (I forgot to mention), from 2.2.3 to 
2.2.12, just to see if that fixes the problem, but it didn't.

(kept my text for completeness)
>>every now and then a user who is sending a mail to that specific account 
>>gets his old vacation message. Many times we tried to get rid of it. I 
>>scanned all the folders in the /var/sieve directory. we installed a new 
>>vacation note and removed them - like everything you can do except for 
> Install a new vacation and see what exactly changes on the cyrus box.
> Check 'sievedir' in imapd.conf and check for a 'default' softlink to
> a script in that location ($sievedir/f/foo/my.script).
We did this already. But I did it again and the results are the following:

before doing anything, the users directory (under the sieve dir) was 
empty; after installing a new vacation msg, the users directory 
contained the script, the compiled script and the default link;
after removal of the new vaction message, the users sieve directory was 
completely empty again.

I double-checked that useing the following way:

# for I in `find $sievedir`; do md5sum $I >> list_before
  ... then install new vacation msg ......
# for I in `find $sievedir`; do md5sum $I >> list_after_install
  .... then remove the vaction again .....
# for I in `find $sievedir`; do md5sum $I >> list_after_removal
..then I diffed it. simple and clear:
- list_before and list_after_removal are exactly equal
- list_after_install contains only the three named items: source script, 
compiled script and "default" symlink

so, this part looks exactly as it should - no abnormal behaviour seen here.

>> And it's not easy to 
>> debug, because it doesn't send the vacation notice every time. 
> Because of the interval between repeat replies to the same sender.
First of all, I thought this too. But I must say, it isn't the case. 
Many times I used a "fresh" email address from an external site - 
without getting a vacation response. just as it should. but sometimes, 
one of my co-workers suddenly gets one. out of nowhere. only one, not 
all of them! and the "intervals", if to speak so, go far beyond our 
normal resend-vaction-notice interval (wich is 7 days):
maybe once in two months if at all! I know this sounds really strange, 
but I honestly tell you the truth!

> Are you sure there's no .forward with a unix vacation pipe in that specific
> account's home? Check that, also look for a .vacation.msg.
it is a virtual setup and the specific account has no homedir at all. 
it's cyrus/postfix/ldap setup using saslauthd.
But anyway, I did a "find / | grep -i vacation | less". I found nothing 
of interest.

>>If anybody could give me a hint or something so look after - I would be 
>>glad. this thing drives me totally crazy. I wonder: where is the 
>>vacation notice actually stored if not in /var/sieve?
> It should be the 'sievedir' path in your imapd.conf
somehow, I am sorry to say, I believe this is not the only location. 
Maybe somewhere a copy in the mailboxes or so. I just don't know but I 
monitored the $sievedir several times while installing a new vacation 
notice, looking, and then removing it afterwards. And, hey, it definitly 
comes - I just don't know where from.

actually, I can't believe what happens here. Isn't there any developer 
reading this who knows the sieve code a bit? Is there a cache, a copy 
left somewhere..... anything?

>>any help: totally appreciated.
henk, thanks for your mailing. do you have another idea about this?

regards, Oliver Sommer


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