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authorJohn Denker <jsd@av8n.com>2012-06-02 01:58:45 (GMT)
committerJohn Denker <jsd@av8n.com>2012-06-02 01:58:45 (GMT)
commitb732a73bc773789894466b0e5320b2f1fe42c7e9 (patch)
tree385358983f064a1f10a5080b33a3ba13010886db /INSTALL.maildir
parent634d365a03cb0581a062cd3cf4db9ae69f1cde26 (diff)
original, as downloaded from http://www.qmail.org/netqmail-1.06.tar.gz
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+This file points out some reasons that you might want to switch from
+mbox format to a new format, maildir.
+
+
+1. The trouble with mbox
+
+The mbox format---the format of ~user/Mailbox, understood by BSD Mail
+and lots of other MUAs---is inherently unreliable.
+
+Think about it: what happens if the system crashes while a program is
+appending a new message to ~user/Mailbox? The message will be truncated.
+Even worse, if it was truncated in the middle of a line, it will end up
+being merged with the next message! Sure, the mailer understands that it
+wasn't successful, so it'll try delivering the message again later, but
+it can't fix your corrupted mbox.
+
+Other formats, such as mh folders, are just as unreliable.
+
+qmail supports maildir, a crashproof format for incoming mail messages.
+maildir is fast and easy for MUAs to use. Even better, maildir works
+wonders over NFS---see below.
+
+I don't want to cram maildir down people's throats, so it's not the
+default. Nevertheless, I encourage you to start asking for maildir
+versions of your favorite MUAs, and to switch over to maildir as soon as
+you can.
+
+
+2. Sun's Network F_ail_u_re System
+
+Anyone who tells you that mail can be safely delivered in mbox format
+over NFS is pulling your leg---as explained above, mbox format is
+inherently unreliable even on a single machine.
+
+Anyway, NFS is the most unreliable computing environment ever invented,
+and qmail doesn't even pretend to support mbox over NFS.
+
+You should switch to maildir, which works fine over NFS without any
+locking. You can safely read your mail over NFS if it's in maildir
+format. Any number of machines can deliver mail to you at the same time.
+(On the other hand, for efficiency, it's better to get NFS out of the
+picture---your mail should be delivered on the server that contains your
+home directory.)
+
+Here's how to set up qmail to use maildir for your incoming mail:
+
+ % maildirmake $HOME/Maildir
+ % echo ./Maildir/ > ~/.qmail
+
+Make sure you include the trailing slash on Maildir/.
+
+The system administrator can set up Maildir as the default for everybody
+by creating a maildir in the new-user template directory and replacing
+./Mailbox with ./Maildir/ in /var/qmail/rc.
+
+Until your MUA supports maildir, you'll probably want to convert maildir
+format to (gaaack) mbox format. I've supplied a maildir2mbox utility
+that does the trick, along with some tiny qail and elq and pinq wrappers
+that call maildir2mbox before calling Mail or elm or pine.