5

I have Postfix + Maildir + Dovecot + IMAP on my mailserver. I am accessing my mailbox remotely over IMAP with one or more clients (Thunderbird). Additionally, on the server I have mutt configured for local (Maildir) access.

When I am connected over IMAP with Thunderbird, and simultaneously start mutt locally on the server, Mutt seems to be confused. When I move a message in Thunderbird (over IMAP), Mutt notices something has changed and reports:

Mailbox was externally modified.  Flags may be wrong

The problem seems to be one-sided. When I manipulate a message in Mutt, Thunderbird registers the change and has no problem with it.

Thus my question:

How can I make remote IMAP client and local Mutt client acccess Maildir without any conflicts/data corruption/errors?

Important:

I am looking for a solution where the Mutt access is local. For reasons beyond this discussion, I don't want Mutt to access the Maildir over IMAP.

Sidenote:

I don't understand why Mutt complains that mailbox was externally modified. After all, Postfix also modifies the mailbox when it delivers new emails.

  • 3
    FYI: Mutt does the same thing when its connected over IMAP and a different IMAP client modifies the mailbox. – derobert Jul 25 '14 at 21:47
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Maildir store some data in the message filename. That data include message ID, sizes (with and w/o newlines) and flags. When unread message is opened, it is moved from new to cur and its name changes from

1406379300.M375059P35208.R93M.lan,S=679,W=699

to

1406379300.M375059P35208.R93M.lan,S=679,W=699:2,S

IMAP server can track that changes cause it use maildir's index file to access certain message. When mutt access messages directly from filesystem collisions are unavoidable.

  • But as @derobert says, mutt still does the same thing when using IMAP. – James O'Gorman Jul 26 '14 at 13:16
  • 1
    But you has wrote that mutt access maildir locally and IMAP access is inappropriate? – Kondybas Jul 26 '14 at 13:19

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