Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 117034
strange error message Couldn't create "/var/spool/mail/pat"
Last modified: 2007-11-30 17:10:37 EST
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Description of problem:
I have a simple mail setup with fetchmail and procmail. procmail
says that it cannot create a /var/spool/mail/pat (pat is the user
login), but it seems to me that it shouldn't try to make anything in
that file. Maybe it tries to make a lockfile in that directory ?
It is possible that the directories or files don't have the right
(Mail is drwx------)
Here is my files:
poll imap.free.fr with proto imap
user 'pertusus' there with password '.....' is pat here
mda "/usr/bin/procmail -Y -d %T"
# add as many INCLUDERC's as you like
# end of .procmailrc
Here is the problem: I call fetchmail
[pat@localhost pat]$ fetchmail -d0
fetchmail: 4 messages (3 seen) for pertusus at imap.free.fr.
fetchmail: skipping message email@example.com:1 not flushed
fetchmail: skipping message firstname.lastname@example.org:2 not flushed
fetchmail: skipping message email@example.com:3 not flushed
fetchmail: reading message firstname.lastname@example.org:4 of 4 (2817 header
octets) ..fetchmail: (421 body octets) .procmail: Couldn't create
See the error message 'procmail: Couldn't create "/var/spool/mail/pat"'
The mail is delivered to the right directory.
Here is what is appended to my .procmail/log (showing everything is
From pat Fri Feb 27 17:35:42 2004
Subject: Where does Download Manager save files?
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
1. get mail with fetchmail redirecting to procmail and no
Actual Results: everything was right, except that procmail said
procmail: Couldn't create "/var/spool/mail/pat"
Expected Results: no such error message
/var/spool/mail should have permission drwxrwxr-x.
[pat@localhost pat]$ ls -ld /var/spool/mail/
drwxrwxr-x 2 root mail 4096 fÃ©v 16 23:59 /var/spool/mail/
Is this still a problem?
Yes. I have updated with yum, now I have
and still the same problem.
This issue occurs because procmail can't create default mailbox at
FC use procmail without S_ISUID, so you need create default mailbox
(/var/spool/mail/pat) or set rights of /var/spool/mail/ to drwxrwxrwx
or set S_ISUID for /usr/bin/procmail.
I think this is really a bug, as there is no reason why procmail
should try to create the default mailbox /var/spool/mail/pat with a
setup like mine. Or maybe there is a reason? In my setup I explicitely
define my maildir to be something else than /var/spool/mail/pat:
Ok, I'll check it.
/var/mail/$LOGNAME is $ORGMAIL environment variable used by procmail
(path to system mailbox). It can be overridden, you have to set
$ORGMAIL and use -p and -m command line arguments for procmail.
I tried to set ORGMAIL to nothing in my .procmailrc, but it doesn't
prevent procmail from trying to create /var/mail/dumas.
It doesn't change if I set it in the environment.
I cannot use -p, as I allready have -d on the command line. Indeed I
call procmail from fetchmail:
mda "/usr/bin/procmail -Y -d %T"
procmail dies with an error if I try to set -p with -d.
Anyway it is documented, from the man page:
system mailbox; both the system mailbox and the
immediate directory it is in will be created
every time procmail starts and either one is not
Maybe this is a procmail "feature". I think that it should be possible
to prevent procmail from trying to mess with the system mail directory
when in pure user delivery mode more easily, but it is not a real
problem. Anyway I think it should not be closed as NOTABUG but WONTFIX
or UPSTREAM. Not a big deal.