[Dovecot] dovecot is confused about mail_location

Eric Raymond esr at thyrsus.com
Thu Nov 25 09:50:28 EET 2010

Noel Butler <noel.butler at ausics.net>:
> So, do we conclude from this your issue is now resolved?

Possible, but not verified. If I mess with the mail system for
diagnostic purposes I risk breaking it before my wife has caught up
with her week's backlog of email.  This would make her more unhappy
than the diagnostic information can justify.  So I am not, not, *not*
going to touch it for a few days.

I can say that I think I have narrowed the problem down to one of two causes:

(1) mail_location being misconfigured, with diagnostic problems
bedeviling me because dovecot.conf is a persistent daemon that has to
be SIGHUPped to read its config, rather than an inetd plugin.

(2) Some weird permissions problem scewing up location autodetection, 
which I solved shotgun-fashion by adding Cathy to all the groups I'm 
a member of.

The evidence for theory (2) is that I was able to fetch mail even when
mail_location was misconfigured. At some point I'll back Cathy out of these
groups and see if her fetches break.

Matters were not helped by the fact that Thunderbird is fluky and
overcomplicated. When you have a fetch failure with one of these
GUIfied MUAs like Thunderbird or KMail it can be difficult to tease
apart client-side problems from IMAP server issues.  Fetchmail plus
mutt is way superior from a troubleshooting point of view.

I shall probably blog a rant about this latter issue soon.
		<a href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/">Eric S. Raymond</a>
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