cyrus db files

Patrick Goetz pgoetz at
Sat Oct 16 10:47:19 EDT 2010

Hi -

No one ever responded to this.  If I can find out what db files in 
/var/lib/cyrus are necessary for a successful transfer of metadata to to 
a new server, I'll write up a wiki entry for this procedure.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: messages in mailbox aren't\H\H\H visible
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2010 16:46:42 -0500
From: Patrick Goetz <pgoetz at>
To: info-cyrus at <info-cyrus at>

This brings back the issue of a safe, canonical procedure for moving a
(single server) cyrus mail system to a new server.  Since particularly
new users frequently have problems with this (including me, when I first
started using cyrus).

I'm thinking something like this. Suppose there were a command, say
called ctl_cyrusdb2, which offered the same features as ctl_mboxlist,
but could be used on any cyrus db file, e.g.
   ctl_cyrusdb2 -d cyrus_db
dumps the cyrus_db database.. (The following also assumes ssh
authorized_keys have been set.)

   On the old_cyrus_server:
   stop cyrus
   for i in `cat /var/lib/cyrus/cyrus_db_list`
     ctl_cyrusdb2 -d $i | ssh new_server "cd /var/lib/cyrus &&
ctl_cyrusdb2 -u -"
     (cd /var/spool/cyrus; tar cf - .) | ssh new_server "cd
/var/spool/cyrus && tar xpf - "

    start cyrus on new_server and you're done -- a total of 4
command-line commands (viewing the for as a single command).

There are a few problems with this in addition to the absence of a
ctl_cyrusdb2, namely it's still unclear what cyrus db files are created
and why.  On my system, I have:
   annotations.db deliver.db mailboxes.db tls_sessions.db
but also have
    __db.001  __db.002  __db.003  __db.004  __db.005  __db.006
log.0000000001  skipstamp
   user/[a-z]/{user_name.seen, user_name.sub}

Are the contents of db important for migration?  And why isn't the stuff
in /var/lib/cyrus/user stored in the appropriate location in
/var/spool/cyrus?  From the file names, this seems like important
metadata that users would want to see preserved.  I suppose all this
could be handled with no extra knowledge on the admin user's part by
populating the /var/lib/cyrus/cyrus_db_list file only with the database
names necessary for successful replication of metadata.

Finally, I see many instances of the following error message in

Oct 14 16:33:01 www cyrus/imap[32001]: IOERROR: opening
/var/lib/cyrus/user_deny.db: No such file or directory

    touch /var/lib/cyrus/user_deny.db
is not a solution, either:

2 questions about this:

I have rsyslog configured to log all mail stuff to /var/log/mail.*; e.g.
        mail.none,news.none     -/var/log/messages

So why is anything from cyrus being written to syslog at all?  This
message should be going to /var/log/mail.err, as far as I can tell.  Is
this a compile-time error?

Under any circumstance, shouldn't this error message be written to the
log files only when cyrus is started?

Patrick Goetz
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