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

John Hinton webmaster at ew3d.com
Thu Jun 7 16:30:43 UTC 2007

John Hinton wrote:
> 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 chance.
> 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.
> Thanks,
> John Hinton
Having had yet another of these errors, I was able to test deleting the 
first line in the mail file. Removing that single LF fixed the problem.

Still wondering what I should do as this is obviously something that is 
now very old and very irritating. It is a bug.

John Hinton

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