[Dovecot] 1.2.11 nfs_flush_file_handle_cache_dir problems

Ade Fewings ade at techniumcast.com
Thu Mar 25 19:12:45 EET 2010

>>>> Error: nfs_flush_file_handle_cache_dir: rmdir(/var/mail) failed: Device busy
>>> Dovecot tries to flush NFS cache by doing this rmdir(). It is intended
>>> to fail, but not with EBUSY. I guess /var/mail is your NFS mount root?
>>> That's why this is failing. There's really no good way to solve this.
>> Hmm....sorry, I should have mentioned - /var/mail is actually local -
>> only the /home bits are NFS mounted.  Is that even more concerning?!
> /var/mail is still a mount point I think?
It is indeed!

> Anyway, if your INBOXes are on local server, I guess there's only a
> single server accessing users' mails then? If that's the case, just set
> mail_nfs_*=no and be happy.
I think this is where our some what complicated system is an issue -
mail that goes into /var/mail is only because the user's home directory
is over quota and so the mail cannot be delivered into ~/Mail/inbox.  We
used to have a script that would go round daily and rescue /var/mail
bits (when we also used UW-IMAP), but the mbox_snarf plugin is a nice
way to do this in a more user-friendly manner.  No users are reporting
any issues here, even those referenced with the
nfs_flush_file_handle_cache_dir errors, so we'll ignore that one for now.

BTW, and I'm sure you know and have heard this before - but the
difference in the demands on the hardware between Dovecot with its
indexes and UW-IMAP accessing some huge mboxes is huge - insanely so.
All the theory in my head from reading about Dovecot said it should be,
but nice to see that played out in reality.   Quote of the day: "my
inbox is quicker than its ever been".  :-)

Thanks for your time

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