Deleting messages "marked for deletion" older than X days

Gerard Beekmans gbeekmans at
Mon Aug 18 17:35:20 EDT 2008


I am looking for a way to run a daily script on the Cyrus IMAP server 
that processes every user's mail folders and deletes every message 
marked for deletion older than X days.

I realize the proper way to do this is client-side and have the client 
program purge/expunge the mailboxes periodically in some fashion.

Unfortunately in the corporate world there are many clients who still 
use old versions of Outlook that only marks a message for deletion and 
will not automatically purge the folder.

To force users to manually purge every single folder they have, one 
folder at a time as some versions of Outlook can't do this recursively, 
is not a feasible option. Users just stopped doing this because it 
becomes too time consuming a task.

So I'm looking for a server-side solution that analyzes every mail 
folder on the system, finds marked messages older than X days and 
purges/deletes them on the client's behalf.

Some pointers are appreciated. I can write the scripts (shell, perl, 
whatever) myself if need be, just need to know how to start going about 
obtaining such a specific list of messages.


Gerard Beekmans
IT Manager
Achilles Media
Tel: 403-678-1216 ext. 102
Email: gbeekmans at

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