Using xfer to migrate mailboxes to a new server

Kevin Kobb kkobb at
Mon Feb 15 09:21:38 EST 2010

On 2/15/2010 8:25 AM, Elver Loho wrote:
> Hi,
> We've got Cyrus running fine on our old server since 2006. Now we're
> setting up a new server and would like to migrate all the mailboxes
> over to the new one before replacing the old server. For this task the
> "xfer" command seems relevant.
> I've coerced Cyrus on the old server to a point where cyradm gives the
> following error when I try the xfer command:
> localhost.localdomain>  xfer user.elver
> xfermailbox: Server(s) unavailable to complete operation
> I'm sure I'm doing something wrong here. I might even be doing
> everything wrong here. I've googled and it seems like xfer is a common
> headache for Cyrus admins with no easy solution. However, it also
> seems to be a particularly bad headache -- most old e-mails I've found
> about this topic seem to have gone unanswered.
> So I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with getting xfer
> to work in a migration scenario that they'd be willing to share.
> Anyone?
> Best,
> Elver
> elver.loho at
> +372 5661 6933
> skype: elver.loho
> Sent from Tartu, Estonia
> ----
> Cyrus Home Page:
> Cyrus Wiki/FAQ:
> List Archives/Info:

The last time we moved to new hardware, I used imapsync to migrate all 
the mailboxes to the new hardware. We moved from a different IMAP server 
to Cyrus, and this worked great. I don't know if this work as well now 
moving from Cyrus to Cyrus, as I don't think it would pick up quotas and 
believe xfer will.

When it comes time to move to new hardware, (probably in a another year 
or two) I was thinking about temporarily enabling replication on both 
boxes and getting things in sync that way. I am not sure if this is the 
way to go, and I haven't actually tried it, but perhaps it is worth 
looking at.

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