Pop 3 server timeouts - Debian

This is a discussion on Pop 3 server timeouts - Debian ; Hi All Some of our customers experience problems downloading e-mail from our POP3 server from a bandwidth constrained 3rd party network. The trouble is, if they have a mailbox with say 100 messages, they download say 80 of them then ...

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Thread: Pop 3 server timeouts

  1. Pop 3 server timeouts

    Hi All

    Some of our customers experience problems downloading e-mail from our
    POP3 server from a bandwidth constrained 3rd party network.

    The trouble is, if they have a mailbox with say 100 messages, they
    download say 80 of them then loose their connection. The POP3 session
    times out, but all 100 messages remain in their mailbox. At the next
    attempt they download the same 80 messages again, often never reaching
    the end of the list.

    We are using Maildir folders with courier-pop as a pop 3 server.

    As I understand it, the POP3 RFC specifies that no mail should be
    deleted from the mailbox unless the entire session is completed
    successfully. I also recall when we used old fashioned mailboxes, that
    one of the popular POP3 servers violated the RFC by allowing individual
    messages to be deleted after they had successfully been downloaded.

    I know this problem should be managed on the client end. But the client
    software (M$ Outlook), the end users and the 3rd party network are
    equally inept and so the problem gets referred back to us as the ISP.

    Has anybody else faced this problem before?

    Can somebody explain the details of the non RFC-compliant "tweak" that
    allowed messages to be deleted individually, after they had been
    downloaded?

    Any ideas how to get courier-pop to behave in this manner?

    Alternatively, are there any other stable, proven, POP3 servers that
    support Maildir's and also support this "feature"?


    Thanks

    Ian


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  2. Re: Pop 3 server timeouts

    On Tue, Oct 04, 2005 at 10:28:23AM +0200, Ian Forbes wrote:
    > The trouble is, if they have a mailbox with say 100 messages, they
    > download say 80 of them then loose their connection. The POP3 session
    > times out, but all 100 messages remain in their mailbox. At the next
    > attempt they download the same 80 messages again, often never reaching
    > the end of the list.


    > We are using Maildir folders with courier-pop as a pop 3 server.


    > As I understand it, the POP3 RFC specifies that no mail should be
    > deleted from the mailbox unless the entire session is completed
    > successfully. I also recall when we used old fashioned mailboxes, that
    > one of the popular POP3 servers violated the RFC by allowing individual
    > messages to be deleted after they had successfully been downloaded.


    > I know this problem should be managed on the client end. But the client
    > software (M$ Outlook), the end users and the 3rd party network are
    > equally inept and so the problem gets referred back to us as the ISP.


    I'm surprised MS Outlook doesn't handle this, I never had such a problem
    when I've used it.

    I'd suggest checking if your POP3 daemon properly supports whatever the
    command Outlook is using in (either UIDL or LAST) except that I was
    running the exact same combination (MS Outlook VS courier-pop) and never
    had it duplicate emails on me.

    Maybe peak in on an Outlook POP session and see if it's doing what it
    should for identifying previously-downloaded emails.

    Otherwise, someone has suggested IMAP, which Outlook does support, give
    or take.

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  3. Re: Pop 3 server timeouts

    > > I also recall when we used old fashioned mailboxes,
    > > that one of the popular POP3 servers violated the RFC by allowing
    > > individual messages to be deleted after they had successfully been
    > > downloaded.


    I think that program was cucipop
    (http://freshmeat.net/projects/cucipop/). I downloaded the tar file and
    had a look through the "FEATURES" it lists:

    "It also supports an optional autodelete mechanism, so that any
    RETReived message is automatically deleted"

    Otherwise the program is old (last updated in 1998), non-free and I
    suspect no longer in Debian.

    On Tuesday 04 October 2005 13:37, Paul TBBle Hampson wrote:

    > I'm surprised MS Outlook doesn't handle this, I never had such a
    > problem when I've used it.


    Most of our customers do not have problems, only a few using certain 3rd
    party networks. The problem only happens if the download is interrupted
    (eg in turning off your modem halfway through downloading mail).

    > Otherwise, someone has suggested IMAP, which Outlook does support,
    > give or take.


    We do support IMAP connections as well as a Webmail interface. However
    making use of these requires some initiative on the part of the end
    user.

    Regards


    Ian

    --
    Ian Forbes ZSD
    http://www.zsd.co.za
    Office: +27 21 683-1388 Fax: +27 21 674-1106
    Snail Mail: P. O. Box 46827, Glosderry, 7702, South Africa


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