[Dovecot] Dovecot "open files" (again?)

falz me at falz.net
Fri Dec 15 16:05:54 UTC 2006

I'm a new dovecot user, just began using it last week. I switched from
courier because my research showed that Dovecot did indexes, and allows me
to store them anywhere I chose. I did this, and it fixed some severe disk IO
issues that my server had. (25k horde only webmail install using imap

I'm using quotas, and by default had it set to 'dirsize'. my postfix is
already creating 'maildirsize' files, so I opted to change dovecot to use
this instead.

However, when I do, I run into the "too many open files" issue that's been
reported many times on the list. I've seen a lot of mention of too many open
files, but I haven't seen it related to the quota type used. It's possible
that simply my using 'dirsize' as the quota type slows things down enough to
not have the issue? I don't really know.

Anyhow. I doubled my max open files in FreeBSD's /boot/loader.conf to:
kern.maxfiles="24656", but to no avail. When I have it set to maildirsize,
the open files on the system grows uncontrollably. Under normal use, it's
somewhere below 5k:

sysctl -a | grep openfiles
kern.openfiles: 4415

I looked into the patch mentioned here:

- http://www.dovecot.org/list/dovecot/2006-November/017536.html
- http://dovecot.org/list/dovecot-cvs/2006-November/006776.html

Those patches already appear to be in rc15, which I'm already running (Via
FreeBSD's ports). I also applied the patch mentioned here awhile back:

- http://www.dovecot.org/list/dovecot/2005-June/007647.html

and rebuilt, but it didn't help out either. There are also freebsd specific
notes on forcing a limit on dovecot itsself using login.conf, but that
wouldnt really fix anything, it would just cause dovecot to not interfere
with other running daemons.

- http://www.mail-archive.com/ports@openbsd.org/msg08646.html

Any thoughts? TSS, you mention a few times in these notes that you're unable
to reproduce this. Perhaps try with the maildir as quota?

More details about my setup:

- FreeBSD 4.8 (yea, I know)
- Imapproxy (http://www.imapproxy.org/)
- Postfix to create maildir++ maildirsize folders
- MySQL backend

The work of this is spread out between several servers, dovecot is running
on the server that's the final SMTP delivery location, and has local disks
with the maildirs.

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