Restored mail folders conflict with renamed original ones

Nikolaos Milas nmilas at
Mon Feb 20 21:42:11 UTC 2023


We are running Dovecot 2.3.18 (together with Postfix) on CentOS 7. It 
uses a Maildir structure.

We have a user who has organized his mailbox as shows up at the end of 
this mail. The user had forgotten that he had renamed his "Grants Active 
\ European" (.Grants Active.European) folder to "Grants Active \ 
International" (.Grants Active.International), he thought that it was 
lost and requested a restore of "Grants Active \ European" (with all of 
its subfolders) from backup.

Since we did that (using a simple "cp -rp" from a backup, observing 
timestamps, ownership and permissions), mail client software won't see 
"European" mail folder in "Grants Active" mail folder; "International" 
mail folder shows up but only with two folders, those which do not exist 
in "European" branch (obviously, these were created later).

I have tried to run the command "doveadm index -u userx Grants\ Active" 
and likewise for each and every mail subfolder under "Grants\ Active"; I 
have also tried deleting the dovecot.index.cache and dovecot.index.log 
from the latter ("Grants\ Active") and then run:

    doveadm -vD force-resync -u userx Grants\ Active

but it didn't do the trick: Mail clients are still stuck as I explained.

In the end, I thought that the snag might be that mail folders that are 
not appearing have identical (duplicate) UIDs; As an example:

    [root at mailx .Grants Active.European]# cat dovecot-uidlist
    3 V1548680759 N1 G64e70a1130343f61003c0000715faa8d
    [root at mailx .Grants Active.European]# cd ..
    [root at mailx Maildir]# cd .Grants\ Active.International
    [root at mailx .Grants Active.International]# cat dovecot-uidlist
    3 V1548680759 N1 G64e70a1130343f61003c0000715faa8d

If so, how should we overcome this issue?

I guess I could simply delete the restored folders to return to an 
acceptable state? If nevertheless we need to restore the ".European" 
mail folder from a backup (as it was before getting renamed), what would 
be the right way to do so?

Is there another way to resolve the issue without deleting the restored 
mail folders?

Here is the list of mail folders in this mailbox (I have intentionally 
removed lots of them, to reduce irrelevant content; this mailbox 
includes a large number of mail folders):

    # doveadm mailbox list -u userx
    IGARSS 2024
    Junk E-mail
    Grants Active
    Grants Active.European
    Grants Active.European.URBAN RELEAF
    Grants Active.European.SMURBS
    Grants Active.European.SMURBS.In Kind
    Grants Active.European.SMURBS.Final Reports
    Grants Active.European.RI-URBANS
    Grants Active.European.QA4EO
    Grants Active.European.ATMO-ACCESS
    Grants Active.European.IGOSP
    Grants Active.European.GAUSS
    Grants Active.European.E-SHAPE
    Grants Active.European.CIROCCO
    Grants Active.European.InCASE
    Grants Active.European.EIFFEL
    Grants Active.European.ARSINOE
    Grants Active.International
    Grants Active.International.2324
    Grants Active.International.GAUSS
    Grants Active.International.CIROCCO
    Grants Active.International.IGOSP
    Grants Active.International.ATMO-ACCESS
    Grants Active.International.URBAN RELEAF
    Grants Active.International.InCASE
    Grants Active.International.ARSINOE
    Grants Active.International.RI-URBANS
    Grants Active.International.E-SHAPE
    Grants Active.International.EIFFEL
    Grants Active.International.QA4EO
    Grants Active.International.SMURBS
    Grants Active.International.SMURBS.Final Reports
    Grants Active.International.SMURBS.In Kind
    Grants Active.International.India
    Grants Active.Urban ReLeaf
    Grants Active.National
    Grants Active.National.ΑΓ ΠΑΡΑΣΚΕΥΗ
    Grants Active.National.ΠΕΤΡΟΥΠΟΛΗ
    Grants Active.National.CLIMATTICA
    Grants Active.National.ΝΑΥΠΛΙΟ
    Grants Active.National.ΕΔΒΜ
    Grants Active.National.PANGEA
    Grants Active.National.ΕΛΙΔΕΚ
    Grants Active.National.ΕΛΙΔΕΚ.OXONIAN - Δέσποινα
    Grants Active.National.ΕΛΙΔΕΚ.Νασια PhD
    Grants Active.National.CLIMPACT

Please, provide some guidance on what we should do to make these mail 
folders work correctly again.

Sorry, I am not very knowledgeable on mail inner architecture and 
operations; please let me know if you need additional info.

Thanks in advance,

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