Re: Debian's mail daemons
> On Wed, 18 Jun 1997, Philip Hands wrote:
> > I think we should also consider switching to Maildir/ format for mail
> > drops, since it seems to be the only way for delivering mail securely
> > over NFS.
> procmail does also deliver mail securely over NFS.
> (At least this is what the documentation says, I have not tested it
To quote the maildir(5) man page:
A machine may crash while it is delivering a message. For
both mbox files and mh folders this means that the message
will be silently truncated. Even worse: for mbox format,
if the message is truncated in the middle of a line, it
will be silently joined to the next message. The mail
transport agent will try again later to deliver the mes
sage, but it is unacceptable that a corrupted message
should show up at all. In maildir, every message is guar
anteed complete upon delivery.
A machine may have two programs simultaneously delivering
mail to the same user. The mbox and mh formats require
the programs to update a single central file. If the pro
grams do not use some locking mechanism, the central file
will be corrupted. There are several mbox and mh locking
mechanisms, none of which work portably and reliably. In
contrast, in maildir, no locks are ever necessary. Dif
ferent delivery processes never touch the same file.
Procmail solves the locking over NFS problem, but does not address the crash
problem described above (AFAIK). This means that mbox mail folders are not
reliable for local delivery, let alone over NFS.
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