Shared folder, COPY, OK, message nowhere to be seen

Bron Gondwana brong at
Fri Apr 22 09:27:40 EDT 2016


On Fri, Apr 22, 2016, at 21:47, Janne Peltonen via Info-cyrus wrote:
> Hi!
> I've always thought that IMAP COPY should only say OK once the message file is
> safely on the disk. So that it should block, should another imapd process be
> holding a write lock to the folder.
> Now today I experienced something very weird. There was a shared folder. If I
> tried to copy a message to it (speaking raw imap), I immediately got an OK. And
> the folder metadata reflected the change. However, the message wasn't on the
> disk. And wasn't retrievable using IMAP.
> I tried this multiple times. Frustrated, I ended up killing the active imapd
> processes of all other users that had ACL rights to the folder. My messages
> immediately appeared on disk and were retrievable by IMAP. As if they'd been
> in-core of my imapd process and waiting for a chance to be flushed to disk.
> Even if the imapd process had returned OK, which I'd thought would've meant
> they'd already been written to disk.
> Now, apparently, one of the users had copied mission critical messages to said
> folder and they had disappeared. Disappeared from the original folder and not
> shown up in the destination folder. Which was the reason I started
> investigating this.
> Now, after having killed the imapd processes, I seem to have permanently
> deleted all the messages that might have been in-core of any of those processes
> (that had told their clients that the messages would've been on disk, i.e.
> COPY -> OK). I killed the imapd processes while thinking that 1) there could in
> no way be the slightest possibility that the messages hadn't been flushed to
> disk from the core of the imapd processes after COPY, as the imapd had answered
> OK to the client's COPY command, SO 2) one of the other users' clients must
> have had a rule that immediately moves the messages away. But apparently, this
> wasn't the case.
> Has anyone else encountered something like this?
> --Janne Peltonen
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