[Dovecot] any idea why the mail downloading is slow?

Timo Sirainen tss at iki.fi
Thu Nov 2 21:44:18 UTC 2006

On Sat, 2006-10-21 at 11:37 +0200, LeVA wrote:
> Hi!
> I'm using rc10, but had this problem with previous releases too. Not 
> sure if this is a dovecot problem, but I can not think of anything 
> else. The mail downloading with pop3 is ~very slow, approx. 20 Kbyte / 
> sec. no matter how many mails I've got in my mailbox, or how big are 
> the mails. My ISP provides me a dedicated 100mbit line, and everything 
> else works as fast as expected eg. http, ftp, scp...
> The OS is OpenBSD 3.9-stable and the system is not under heavy load at 
> all. I've tried to turn off TLS but there was no change.
> Is the pop3 protocol this slow by design or there is something wrong 
> with my setup?

There's something wrong in your setup..

You could check what Dovecot is doing by tracing the process.

It probably shows that Dovecot spends most of its time in poll() (or
kqueue()). But it could be either waiting to be able to send more data
to the client, or waiting for a command from the client.

With POP3 each mail is downloaded with a separate RETR command, so the
problem could just be that the client is sending them too slowly. Or
does this same happen even with one large mail?

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