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#1 2022-03-04 23:45:18

Marjorie
Member
From: Teignmouth, UK
Registered: 2019-06-09
Posts: 133  

[SOLVED] Local mail issue after upgrading from Beowulf to Chimaera

I've just upgraded my desktop PC and my mail server from Beowulf to Chimaera following the Devuan guide on how to do this and having checked the Release Notes first.

Both upgrades largely went well. The mail server, that was updated over ssh continued running through the update. One omission from the Guide is what to do if you need contrib and non-free as well an main: I did the upgrade with the sources list as described in the guide then repeated with the augmented sources.

I did have some small problems with apache php, where 7.4 was installed by the upgrade but 7.3, which wasn't, was the one enabled. This temporarily borked my web server. Also an issue with directory ownership for chrony, where I needed to identify an apparmor config. change that I had missed as I had stayed with my (amended) old Beowulf apparmor config. instead.

Unattended upgrades inherits a Debian config, which I needed to correct so that it will install devuan-security upgrades instead.

Anyway the problem I still have is with reading my local mail (var/mail/marjorie) on my desktop PC. I use local mail to check any root messages from anacron, unattended upgrades, apt-listchanges, etc.

On my mail server I can log in via ssh and then use mutt. Everything works OK, as before.

On my desktop PVC I have one of my evolution mail accounts set up to read local mail . This worked fine on Beowulf. On Chimaera I can read the headers but when I try and open a message it complains

Unable to retrieve message. Could not lock “/var/mail/marjorie”

I get a similar error message when it tries to refresh the folder.

If I start mutt then I can see the headers but if I try and open a message it complains

Could not create temporary file!

I can't see any differences between the relevant directory or file ownership or permissions between the two computers.

I'm using postfix as my local mta.

Any help in sorting this would be appreciated.

Last edited by Marjorie (2022-03-04 23:46:19)

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#2 2022-03-06 13:53:20

Marjorie
Member
From: Teignmouth, UK
Registered: 2019-06-09
Posts: 133  

Re: [SOLVED] Local mail issue after upgrading from Beowulf to Chimaera

The problem with mutt is now solved. The problem with evolution isn't.

When displaying or composing emails the most recent version of mutt need to store temporary files in /var/tmp. It used to store them in /tmp, and that is what it still tells you if you look at the man page. On my PC, but not on my mail server the file permissions for /var/tmp were wrong (40755 not 41777). Correcting this solved the problem with mutt.

I still have no solution as to why my evolution mail user agent is unable to open my local mbox mail file (/var/mail/[myusername]), reporting a locking error instead.

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#3 2022-03-06 18:20:37

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,045  

Re: [SOLVED] Local mail issue after upgrading from Beowulf to Chimaera

Hello:

Marjorie wrote:

The problem with evolution isn't.

You may want to try disabling apparmor temporarily to see if the problem subsists.

I also found this post which may have the answer (or some indication) as to how to solve the problem you are having.

https://github.com/netblue30/firejail/issues/3478

Cheers,

A.

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#4 2022-03-06 22:19:26

Marjorie
Member
From: Teignmouth, UK
Registered: 2019-06-09
Posts: 133  

Re: [SOLVED] Local mail issue after upgrading from Beowulf to Chimaera

Hi Altoid. Thanks for the suggestion.

I had considered apparmor as a possible cause as I've previously had to modify apparmor profiles that were too restrictive in the past.

However I had checked the list of loaded apparmor profiles and they didn't include one for evolution. I also found the github firejail discussion, but again I wasn't using firejail to confine evolution (albeit the firejail profile is loaded).

What I hadn't done is actually stop apparmor to check if that was the cause of the problem.
Unfortunately the problem persists even when I stop apparmor.

Does anyone have evolution working in Chimaera and it reading their local mbox files OK?
As it did work in evolution in Beowulf (3.30.5-1.1) and it doesn't now in Chimaera ( 3.38.3-1) I wonder if it could be a regression in this version of evolution.
I'm aware there is another problem with this version (syncing with google contact/calendar) that is allegedly fixed in the version in Debian testing ( 3.43.2-2).

Last edited by Marjorie (2022-03-06 22:20:28)

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#5 2022-03-07 11:05:24

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,045  

Re: [SOLVED] Local mail issue after upgrading from Beowulf to Chimaera

Hello:

Marjorie wrote:

Thanks ...

You're welcome.

Marjorie wrote:

... had considered apparmor as a possible cause ...
... didn't include one for evolution.
... wasn't using firejail to confine evolution ...
... problem persists even when I stop apparmor.

I see.

From my limited understanding of the problem at hand, there is something (could be a bug) that is not allowing access to your mailbox.
My gut tells me that the issue is like the one that was affecting mutt.

Maybe there's something in the /var/log/auth file that could be of use.

Is there a log file for evolution you could look at?

I've seen that version 3.2.3 has/had a debug setting you can enable to start it from the command line:
See: https://askubuntu.com/questions/301665/ … -a-logfile

I do not use apparmor or any of the other 'security' applications like tomoyo that are quietly enabled by default (!) in Linux these days, so my kernel command line includes security=none apparmor=0.

You may want to try adding the same stanza at boot time to see if it has any effect as as well as temporarily disabling firejail while you are at it.

Hope that helps, can't think of anything else.

Best,

A.

EDIT:

It would seem that it's a bug ...

https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugrepo … 1006603#10

... albeit with a temporary workaround:

post #10 wrote:

Probably the same as https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugrepo … ug=1004484
which points to the possible problem source and also a temporary solution.

Best,

A.

Last edited by Altoid (2022-03-08 01:14:20)

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#6 2022-03-08 20:51:22

Marjorie
Member
From: Teignmouth, UK
Registered: 2019-06-09
Posts: 133  

Re: [SOLVED] Local mail issue after upgrading from Beowulf to Chimaera

I never did get to the bottom of the inability of Evolution to get a lock on the /var/mail/marjorie Mbox folder after the Chimaera upgrade.

However I have solved the problem, by moving my local mail from Mbox to Maildir format and configuring Postfix, Mutt and Evolution to use it.  As it stores individual emails in separate files, Maildir doesn't need file locking.

As a mail storage solution Mbox is of course obsolete, however it was what was installed, I think by default, when I first installed Ascii and at that point it did work with both Evolution and Mutt without the file locking issues so I never bothered to change it.

Converting to Maildir was pretty simple, once I had tracked down how to do it.
However I remain a bit puzzled why the Debian/Devuan installation defaults local mail to use mbox.

Last edited by Marjorie (2022-03-08 20:54:04)

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