Strange mail problem

John J. Boyer john.boyer at
Mon Dec 12 16:15:03 UTC 2016

Hi Janina, Tim and Geoff,

I am using scripts because I have three email accounts. I set them up many rears ago. They worked fine until I installed 
Debian on my new machine a couple of months ago. Each has its own fetchmailrc and muttrc. This may not be the best way 
to do things, but it was working. The script for this address is:

fetchmail -f as-fetchmailrc
mutt -F as-muttrc
killall fetchmail

The as-fetchmailrc file sets fetchmail to daemon mode. I am uising the default mail format, which I suppose is mbox.

This address receives a lot of mail. Mutt gets the first ten if there are more. Mailq shows that the rest are in the 
queue. They are delivered in about half an hour. This is not a mutt problem, because if there are a hundred messages in 
the queue it will handle them once they are placed in /var/mail/president 


On Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 05:29:37PM +0000, Geoff Shang wrote:
> 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
> mailq
> 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 specific.
> 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
> efficient.
> sorry I can't remember the specifics but this might help narrow down your
> problem.
> Geoff.
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