[K12OSN] /spool/mail question

Les Mikesell les at futuresource.com
Sun Jun 27 01:16:23 UTC 2004

On Sat, 2004-06-26 at 19:04, Shawn Powers wrote:
> This isn't LTSP specific -- but is there a proper way (or a reason NOT 
> to) to use NFS to export the /var/spool/mail directory from my email 
> server to all my LTSP servers?  It would make email programs a lot 
> easier to set up, since "local mail" would literally be the actual email 
> system mail.
> I'm not sure what happens with someone on machine1 sends local mail to 
> username1 at the same time that username1 gets a *real* email on the 
> email server.  Does NFS locking work in this case?

With old-style unix mailbox format where all messages are appended
together in one big file, locking has always been a problem when
using NFS.  If you really want to use NFS, a better way is
to use Maildir format where each message is a single file.
These normally go in each user's home directory so if you
perform delivery on the server holding the home dirs they
will appear wherever you mount them.  Qmail will default
to maildir format but procmail knows how to do it too and
is the usual local delivery agent for sendmail - you just
need a different .procmailrc.

> Anyone doing this?  Is this a common thing in *nix systems?  Is this an 
> insane idea?

It's probably better to use IMAP on the server holding the home
dirs but direct access with a maildir-aware MUA should also
be safe.

  Les Mikesell
    les at futuresource.com

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