During July 2015, we began the process of transitioning MF/PL servers from courier to dovecot. Courier and dovecot are both pop3/imap servers; they allow you to access email hosted by MF/PL. We embarked on this project because dovecot is a faster and more efficient program, and we believe it will improve email performance, particularly for members that have a lot of mail.

We've tried to make this process as unobtrusive as possible. However, there were a couple of unforseen hiccups. This page outlines the hiccups we encountered. It also explains what to do if you were affected.

My mail program is trying to download all of my mail again

Dovecot's documentation warns about scenarios where this might happen. A pop/imap server keeps some information about what messages you've downloaded, and what messages you haven't. Part of the transition involves converting this information from `courier format' to 'dovecot format'. We incorporated this conversion step into the upgrade.

During one upgrade (chavez), we made a mistake, and several of the mailboxes were not converted. This caused the affected user's mail programs to download all of their mail from chavez.

We modified our upgrade scripts before converting any other machines.

Depending on your mail program, there are ways to remove duplicate messages.

For Thunderbird, try

For mutt

  • press "o t" to sort messages by thread
  • press "T ~=" to tag duplicates. Look at what mutt tagged; if it all looks good then,
  • press "; d" to delete tagged message

For outlook versions older than 2010, try

If you use outlook 2010 and above you can use built-in duplicate email removal. Using this feature redundant email messages are removed to Deleted Items. To access this feature select Outlook mail folder, go to Home tab > Delete section > Delete > Clean Up.

Now you should have 3 choices:

  • Clean Up Conversation - Selected Conversation is deduped.
  • Clean Up Folder - All Conversations in the selected folder are deduped.
  • Clean Up Folder & Subfolders - All Conversations in the selected folder and any subfolders are deduped.

Wait -- All my folders disappeared

This was another problem that affected some members who have mail on chavez.

Mail programs have a list of folders that they "subscribe" to -- folders that live on the server, and are made accessible through your mail client. In some cases, the subscription lists got lost. However, the mail is still on the server; all you need to do is to ask your mail program to re-subscribe to them. Here's how to do this in thunderbird.

First, locate the thunderbird account that you use to read MF/PL mail

Subscribe to folder with thunderbird, step 1

Next, right click on the account and choose "subscribe ..."

Subscribe to folder with thunderbird, step 2

Finally, check off the folders you'd to to access via thunderbird, and click "OK".

Re-subscribing to folders via thunderbird, part 3

Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on Jul 27, 2015, 11:22:04 AM

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