Mass convert and migrate mails from mbox to maildir destination

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Published on February 4th 2014 - Listed in Mail Linux


A couple of days ago I have had an issue on a mail server. Incoming mails have the following flow on this server:

Postfix -> Procmail -> Spamassassin -> Dovecot LDA -> Maildir of user

After a system reboot the logfile of Dovecot's LDA (Local Delivery Agent) didn't have correct permissions and dovecot couldn't write into it anymore.
Luckily I have the procmail log enabled, so I saw the following error message appearing since the reboot:

From mail@example.com  Sat Feb  1 17:09:13 2014
 Subject: *****SPAM***** =?UTF-8?B?RWlud2FuZGVydW5nOiBFcyBnZWh0IHVtIDIgVmVyZmFz
  Folder: /var/mail/web90p7                                               64318
Can't open log file /var/log/dovecot/dovecot-deliver.log: Permission denied
procmail: Program failure (75) of "/usr/lib/dovecot/deliver"

This caused that Dovecot LDA refused to deliver the mail. Instead the mail was saved into /var/mail/web90p7 in mbox format.

To fix the issue, I temporarily chmodded the dovecot logfile (/var/log/dovecot/dovecot-deliver.log) to 777. Incoming mails then were correctly delivered into the maildir destination again.

But I needed to find a solution for the mails stored in mbox format: I needed to place them into the correct maildir destination.
In the past I already had to do mailserver migrations from mbox to maildir, so I knew the script mb2md (mailbox to maildir) would probably help me.

To automate the task, I copied all mbox files to a save place (into /tmp/mailrestore) and then launched this one-liner:

for mbox in $(ls | grep web); do /tmp/mailrestore/mb2md-3.20.pl -s /tmp/mailrestore/$mbox -d /tmp/mailrestore/mailrestore-$mbox-maildir/; chown -R $mbox:poponly /tmp/mailrestore/mailrestore-$mbox-maildir; find /tmp/mailrestore/mailrestore-$mbox-maildir/ -type f -mtime 0 -exec mv {} /home/mail/$mbox/Maildir/new/ \; ; done

1. Go through all files found containing "web" -> all the mbox files
2. For each found mbox file, launch mb2md with the source (-s) path of the mbox file and the destination (-d) path where to store the found mails. I chose to stay in /tmp/mailrestore (I could've used the real destination path, too).
3. Set correct ownership of the created maildir
4. Search for files (mails) created within the last 24 hours in the created maildir and move them into the user's real maildir path. I placed them directly in the "new" subfolder so the mails would appear as unread for the user.

Done :-)


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