email pop3 question

Frank Shute frank at
Thu Mar 13 03:48:22 UTC 2008

On Wed, Mar 12, 2008 at 04:49:18PM -0400, David Banning wrote:
> I am using dovecot email on my server - Users can connect via IMAP or POP3.
> I have a user who is using pop3 but not removing the email from the 
> server - so the email stays on the server, -and- it is collecting on their
> computer - as the emails build up, will there be a problem with this?

Probably not. But it suggests to me that the user has probably
misconfigured his pop client to not delete email after he's picked it
up. Unless, he's using some peculiar kind of back-up strategy!

> For IMAP it stays on the server, so I assume the server will not be presented
> with any problem - but will the user suffer any problem eventually?  

He could do. The pop3 protocol is painfully slow and deleting
thousands of emails that have built up is no fun. You have to write a
script that deletes them one by one unless dovecot supports a "delete
all" mode for pop3.

You might want to drop them an email to tell them that their email
isn't being deleted after collection.

Here's a script for deleting them, if he wants it:

# Deletes mail off pop3 server
# Usage: e.g: Clear 3000 emails:
#$ clean_pop3 3000 | telnet 110

[ $# -eq 0 ] && exit 1 || :
sleep 2
echo USER $username
sleep 1
echo PASS $password
sleep 2
while [[ $MAX_MESS -gt 0 ]]
sleep 1
(( MAX_MESS -= 1 ))
sleep 2
echo QUIT
sleep 2



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