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qmail + courier-imap problems Outlook 2000 client

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Dave Falloon
Trusted Contributor

qmail + courier-imap problems Outlook 2000 client

I am running into a problem with one of my win2k clients when it connects to my mail server. Here is some background info:

Server:

Debian woody
qmail 1.03
courier-imap 1.4

Client:

windows 2000 service pack 4 plus all recent virus patches
outlook 2000
client checks mail via pop3

The user exists and qmail-inject will populate the users maildir with no errors. I can check the users mail with our webmail client that uses IMAP. If I set the client up to use IMAP there is no problem, he can check his mail all he wants. Here is the problem, this user is a road warrior he is only connected to the web every couple of days. Because of this it makes imap less attractive as every time you access a message your client tries to contact the server and this user needs access to messages when he is offline. I know you can download all messages from the server with IMAP so that a copy is local to your machine but I have found outlook 2000 is not really 100% compliant in this, suprise suprise.

So to side step the whole issue I set this user up to use pop3 and leave a copy of his messages on the server. This worked fine up until the last OS reinstall, win2k seems to quit for this guy every 6 months or so. Now when he connects it tries to download all of his old messages as expected, and it chugs away at it for over half an hour, and just as the last message is being downloaded bam this message happens,

an error has occured could not download 11369 messages of 11369 messages, this usually occurs if the server becomes unreachable

On the server in the mail.log I get:

LOGOUT, user=gupta, ip=[::ffff:192.168.1.39], top=0, retr=850032709

The retr number is huge but I can't find any documentation anywhere that tells me what it means. I have a hunch that it is part of the pop3 protocol but I am not 100% about it. I have tried about ten different google searches for an explaination of the mail.log syntax but I have found nothing conclusive. I have found about three different meanings for the something called retr, one was in a patch for qmail, another was someones short hand for retrying connection, and the last one was about writing a qt pop3 mail client.

I am still unable to download messages with outlook for this user.

Can anyone suggest a fix that will get pop3 working again?

Thanks,

Dave
Clothes make the man, Naked people have little to no effect on society
6 REPLIES
Stuart Browne
Honored Contributor

Re: qmail + courier-imap problems Outlook 2000 client

For an explination of what 'RETR' is, look at the RFC for the POP protocol (1939). For the record, it stands for 'Retrieve'.

Now, the user has 11369 messages in their mail box. Theoretically, the pop client should only ever be attempting to retrieve up to message 11369.

The fact that the RETR value is out-of-whack seems to indicate that Outlook is doing funny things at this point. Have you installed all of the service packs for Outlook/Office?

Simple test:

telnet popserver 110
USER
PASS
STAT

How many messages does it report?
One long-haired git at your service...
Dave Falloon
Trusted Contributor

Re: qmail + courier-imap problems Outlook 2000 client

Thanks,

The clients Outlook is service pack three with a language package. I haven't looked for any hotfixes for this yet.

Here is the text of the telnet session:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

+OK Hello there.
USER gupta
-ERR Invalid command.
USER gupta
+OK Password required.
PASS
STAT
+OK logged in.
+OK 15294 1092350796

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So it looks like he has received a few more emails since my original post but he is still well within the realm of possibility. So the retr=850032709 could be outlook downloading the same messages again and again, maybe?

It doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. I can't do much diagnostic work on the client machine right now as the user is out on the road until next monday, but when he is back I will run a tcpdump on the server to watch what outlook is actually saying to the server.

Thanks again.

Dave
Clothes make the man, Naked people have little to no effect on society
Stuart Browne
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: qmail + courier-imap problems Outlook 2000 client

He's using POP, trying to download in excess of 15,000 messages, which amounts to over 1GB of data... and you don't see an issue with this?

yikes.

In all honesty, I'd start searching Microsoft's knowledge base for Outlook, and iddues downloading over 1Gb of data via POP. I'm picking you'll find a few issues.

I know that I usually have issues when trying to POP my mailbox in Outlook when my mailbox gets over 200MB!
One long-haired git at your service...
Dave Falloon
Trusted Contributor

Re: qmail + courier-imap problems Outlook 2000 client

Oh I see the problem with this situation as clear as day, I just don't have a good solution formulated right now. I was thinking since all of his mail is in his maildir I could move all the messages out and then put them back 50 at a time, to buffer the broken outlook pop3.

Do you think that will work? What are the dangers of moving messages out of a maildir?

Thanks for all your help by the way,

Dave
Clothes make the man, Naked people have little to no effect on society
Stuart Browne
Honored Contributor

Re: qmail + courier-imap problems Outlook 2000 client

Using QMail and the ~/Maildir/*/ structures makes this easy. Yes, you can do exactally as you've suggested. MOve a whole batch out of the way, throw a few hundred back at a time (I come in monday mornings and pop 3000 or so without batting an eyelid).

The spool directories is where you have to worry with QMail (as it ties things down to inodes (quite trippy!)).

The other angle is to get Outlook to ask which messages to download. The old pre-2000 versions used to have a tool that allowed you to download headers, and mark which messages to download. I've not seen it in 2000 or 2002's outlook, but I haven't really looked that hard.

Anyway, good luck.
One long-haired git at your service...
Dave Falloon
Trusted Contributor

Re: qmail + courier-imap problems Outlook 2000 client

Thats exactly what I wanted to hear. I have to wait until next monday before I can try it out as the user is away until then. But I have my script ready to rock and roll as soon as he returns.

As far as the qmail queues are concerned I don't think I will have to monkey with them as these messages have already made it into the maildir/cur/ dir, unless I don't understand qmail which is definately a possibility.

Thanks,

Dave
Clothes make the man, Naked people have little to no effect on society