[Dovecot] Out of memory problem

Neil Wilson neilw at dcdata.co.za
Tue Feb 7 12:00:38 EET 2006

Hi Timo,

The user has over 1000 messages in his inbox, and about 150 folders, and 
  I'm not sure how many emails he has in the rest of the folders.

It's only the one folder that isn't responding when I click on it, and 
it either logs me out straight away when I click on the folder, or sits 
for about 20 seconds, and then logs me out.

I am using Horde/IMP/ to view the messages, but his email client 
Thunderbird also does a similar thing.

I tried to delete the index files, and I still get the same error in my 
mail log.

I see that I am getting the following in my mail.err log.

Feb  7 11:45:38 mail dovecot: imap(ralphs): pool_system_malloc(): Out of 
Feb  7 11:45:38 mail dovecot: child 32473 (imap) returned error 83 (Out 
of memory)
Feb  7 11:47:26 mail dovecot: imap(ralphs): Corrupted index cache file 
/home/ralphs/Maildir/dovecot.index.cache: Duplicated field in header: 

This is with the current dovecot.index.cache file, and not the old one 
that I backed up and then deleted.

Should I send just the index.cache file to you?
I don't think overwriting the headers will be necessary.


Neil Wilson

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Timo Sirainen wrote:
> On Mon, 2006-02-06 at 11:29 +0200, Neil Wilson wrote:
>>Hi guys,
>>Running SuSe 9.3 with dovecot 1.0.alpha3 source installation.
>>One of the users has quite a lot of important email in a folder, but 
>>when he trys to view this folder, it either sits and waits, and then 
>>times out, or just logs out straight away.
> How many messages does the mailbox have?
>>Feb  6 09:22:08 mail postfix/qmgr[27221]: 198B96D1CE: removed
>>Feb  6 09:22:08 mail dovecot: imap(ralphs): pool_system_malloc(): Out of 
>>Feb  6 09:22:08 mail dovecot: child 23018 (imap) returned error 83 (Out 
>>of memory)
> You could try increasing mail_process_size to larger than the default
> 256MB. Although that should have been enough for even mailboxes with
> tens of thousands of messages..
> One possibility would also be that the mailbox's index files are broken
> and Dovecot tries to allocate too much memory, which fails. You could
> try deleting them and reopening the mailbox. But please make a copy of
> those files first and if deleting them helps, send them to me so I can
> try to fix that bug permanently.
> dovecot.index and dovecot.index.log files don't contain any sensitive
> information, but dovecot.index.cache may contain message subjects,
> from/to/etc. fields, so you might not want to send that without
> overwriting that data (I could write a program to do that).

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