deleting old mails

Eric Crist mnslinky at
Sun Jun 3 15:20:37 UTC 2007

On Jun 3, 2007, at 8:05 AMJun 3, 2007, Thierry Lacoste wrote:

> On Sunday 03 June 2007 14:01, Christopher Hilton wrote:
>> Thierry Lacoste wrote:
>>> I'm running a postfix server on FreeBSD 6.1 and I'd like to have
>>> a cronjob which deletes old mails from mboxes in /var/mail.
>>> I tried mail/archivemail but it cannot create it's lock file
>>> in /var/mail because it runs as the user owning the mailbox
>>> on which it operates.
>>> I also tried mail/archmbox but I'm wondering if it is safe
>>> to use it while postfix is running. Quoting the manual:
>>>        A few words about locking. There has been a discussion  about
>>> archmbox handles  file locking. The answer is simple: no mailbox  
>>> is ever
>>> locked. The reason behind this behavior is that I want archmbox  
>>> to be as
>>> least invasive  as  possible, so other kind of checks are  
>>> performed to
>>> ensure that no data is lost (mailbox has changed/mailbox is in  
>>> use by
>>> another program). I will surely add some locking mechanism in the  
>>> future.
>>> Any help would be appreciated.
>> Have you consider using Maildir/ format instead? A switch to Maildir/
>> format would allow you to use the "find" program to weed out your
>> mailbox and locking is not an issue.
> AFAICS the Maildir/ format implies that mails are delivered to the  
> home
> directory of the users.
> On the mail server the home diretory is NFS-mounted read-only just to
> be able to see the .forward files.
> Users are required to use only pops to read their mail (qpopper is  
> on the
> mail server) and I wanted to avoid unnecessary network traffic:  
> from the
> mail server to the NFS server upon mail receipt and in the other  
> way when
> readind mail with pops.

That's not true.  My particular mail system saves to a mail-specific  
directory, under /usr/local.  Not in the user's home directory.

If you're worried about disk space, try enabling quotas in your  
postfix configuration.  There's a great postfix how to at to help you set all this up.  Personally, I don't  
try to tell users what email they can have, I just limit their space  
- they'll decide what's important and what's not.

However, maildir is the way to go if you want to search for delete  
certain mail.


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