Strange mail problem

Geoff Shang geoff at
Sat Dec 10 17:29:37 UTC 2016

On Fri, 9 Dec 2016, John J. Boyer wrote:

> I am using the latest Debian at the command line. For email I use fetchmail, procmail, mutt and msmtp. I have scripts
> that call fetchmail in daemon mode and then call mutt. Fetchmail is then killed. The weird thing is that if there are
> more than 10 messages I can
> see only the first 10. The others show up many minutes later as new mail. What causes this and how can it be fixed?

Like others have said, I don't know why you don't run Fetchmail in daemon 
mode and just leve it running, but each to his own.

I suspect you might be having issues with your SMTP server.  I saw this 
issue when I used Fetchmail.  The SMTP server would get all the messages, 
but would only send on so many.

You can see if this is the issue by running


once you've received the first batch of messages.  If there are others in 
the queue, this is the issue.  The queue will need to be flushed, either 
manually or the next time the server decies to do it, before you will see 
your messages.

It's so long since I used this configuration that I can't remember what I 
did about this, and in any case any solution would be SMTP server 

I know I used exim (the Debian default) but I don't remember what I did, 
and I would use Postfix nowadays if I were to do this again.

Nowadays I just do IMAP directly to the server which is IMHO much more 

sorry I can't remember the specifics but this might help narrow down your 


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