Bug#1710: popclient can't read my mail box
Andrew Howell writes ("Bug#1710: popclient can't read my mail box"):
> popclient fails to read my mailbox whether the following error
> [kryten:/home/andrew] popclient -u andrew localhost
> Enter mailserver password:
> kryten POP3 Server (Version 1.004) ready.
> cannot open mailbox /var/spool/mail/andrew
This would appear to imply that popclient has been compiled to dump
mail in the standard incoming mailbox by default. However, I see from
The retrieved messages are normally appended to your
default system mailbox on the local disk, using the local
Mail Delivery Agent (MDA), usually /usr/bin/mail(1), so
that when you invoke your mail reader it can manipulate
the retrieved messages like any other mail you receive on
the client machine.
Using the -o option, you can specify a different mail
folder to which the retrieved messages will be appended.
If you prefer, for example, to have your POP mail from a
machine called 'mailgrunt' stored in the mbox file in your
home directory, you would start popclient as follows:
popclient -o $HOME/mbox mailgrunt
Note that the folder specified with -o is not locked or
otherwise protected from other processes writing to it
while popclient is writing to it.
I don't find this reassuring. Could the popclient maintainer please
check that the correct locking *is* done for the system mailbox (it
doesn't imply that it isn't, but it doesn't say that it is), and then
document this ?
If it does lock the mailbox correctly you may well find that the
problem with `popclient localhost' is that popclient and in.pop3d are
clashing over the lock on the mailbox. `popclient localhost' is an
inherently silly thing to do.
Furthermore, the manpage coontains the following example, which
purports to describe how to use the `-c' (squirt to stdout) option
popclient -k -c mailgrunt | myfilter
popclient -c mailgrunt > /dev/null
This won't work correctly, because it has a race condition. It would
appear that there is no safe way to use the -c option except in
conjunction with the -k option. Could this fact be documented,
I'm pleased to see, though, that popclient appears to spot write
errors on the output file.