[CentOS] Dovecot .99 Bug - LF not found where expected

John Hinton webmaster at ew3d.com
Sat Jun 2 19:12:09 UTC 2007

After about three years of this, it seems I have finally gotten 
somewhere near to the bottom of this.

The symptom:

Suddenly a user cannot download their email. Checking again through 
SquirrelMail, I get an error which says a log was written.

Going to the logs I see

"imap(username): Error indexing mbox file /var/mail/username: LF not 
found where expected"

Using Webmin's read mail module, I can see the messages. So, I move them 
to another account, but this is not yet the end of it. I was at first 
having to delete the mbox and then I'd send a test message in to 
recreate the mbox. But today, I tried a different tack.

I opened the now empty mbox in vi and found one blank line (LF). I 
deleted that line and then moved the mail back in and everything was 
fixed. So the line was still left behind.

The next time this happens, I'm going to try to delete a LF from the top 
of the mbox file to see if it is fixed without moving the mail.

I have read several places, although this is extremely difficult to 
track as there seems to be a multiple from address issue for some 
releases.. but anyway, I did finally find that dovecot .99 has an issue 
with leaving behind an extra linefeed at the beginning of the mbox. 
Deleting this linefeed fixes the problem. Supposedly dovecot 1 has fixed 
this problem.

I have found many reports of problems on Fedora and RedHat. Also, Debian 
has a closed bug report regarding this issue as they have moved forward 
to dovecot-1.0 and it doesn't have this bug. The issue seems to not have 
any relation to the mailserver, as I saw both reports of problems on at 
least Sendmail and Postfix.

Why are we still bugged with this? Seems that this is a bug that RedHat 
should be aware of?

The problem is it only rarely happens. I have no idea how to repeat the 
issue. It always seems to be an Outlook user, although that is by far 
the most prevalent email client in use by our users and it might just be 

So, what to do from here? Bug report to RedHat? This is most irritating! 
I can't even guess how many times I've fixed these mboxes. I'm about 
ready to toss dovecot in the trash until 1 becomes the RH standard 
unless there is a fix or upgrade from Redhat.

John Hinton

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