My Uni account is over disk quota and requesting more quota takes time. Unfortunately, I need disk space now and I noticed that the Trash file in my home directory is quite a large file.

I’m assuming that this somehow relates to my mail inbox? (I do have some doubts, since although his file clearly contains email messages, tail Trash reveals that the last message is from 2006).

Furthermore, my mail client (connected via IMAP) reveals that my trash folder is empty.

Can I just delete the Trash file or do I need to fear dire consequences? The very first message in that file reads as follows:

From MAILER-DAEMON Sun Dec  3 13:40:15 2006
Date: 03 Dec 2006 13:40:15 +0100
From: Mail System Internal Data <MAILER-DAEMON@human>
Message-ID: <1165149615@human>
X-IMAP: 1135694114 0000000927 $NotJunk $Junk JunkRecorded
Status: RO

This text is part of the internal format of your mail folder, and is not
a real message.  It is created automatically by the mail system software.
If deleted, important folder data will be lost, and it will be re-created
with the data reset to initial values.

Furthermore, there’s another file in my home folder called Deleted Messages – what’s the difference between the two?


This Trash file is unrelated to Postfix. It's also probably not what you see over IMAP: while the IMAP server could be configured to serve this file as a mail folder called Trash, it's likely that it's showing a directory called Trash near other directories that you see over IMAP.

The mail you show is an oddity of Pine. It's likely that you used Pine at some point, and that you or your administrator configured it to save deleted mails into this Trash file. Deleting this file is unlikely to cause any trouble (of course, make a backup on your own PC or wherever just in case one of your old deleted mails turned out to be important).

  • 1
    I think uw-imapd also uses that placeholder message -- which might explain why there's a Trash and Deleted Messages folder -- created by a different mail client (Mail.app?) that uses a different folder name.
    – jsbillings
    Feb 11 '11 at 19:39

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