Bug 449247 - SIGSEGV in dovecot when downloading messages due to corrup index
SIGSEGV in dovecot when downloading messages due to corrup index
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: dovecot (Show other bugs)
i386 Linux
low Severity medium
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Assigned To: Dan Horák
Fedora Extras Quality Assurance
Depends On:
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Reported: 2008-05-31 17:38 EDT by David L. Crow
Modified: 2008-06-27 11:54 EDT (History)
0 users

See Also:
Fixed In Version: 1.0.14-8.fc9
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
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Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2008-06-27 11:54:02 EDT
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Attachments (Terms of Use)
Output from dovecot gdbhelper wrapper when used to wrap the imap executable. (3.96 KB, text/plain)
2008-06-10 19:58 EDT, David L. Crow
no flags Details

  None (edit)
Description David L. Crow 2008-05-31 17:38:12 EDT
Description of problem:

The dovecot message indexes become corrupt and cause the imap executable that is
part of the dovecot message to SEGV as can be seen in the following syslog output:

  May 31 15:57:53 waterloo dovecot: child 9438 (imap) killed with signal 11
  May 31 15:57:53 waterloo kernel: imap[9438]: segfault at 8 ip 080a32fd sp
bfaa5a80 error 4 in imap[8048000+95000]

During this failure, I did not see this message, but there are several entries
in syslog like

May 29 23:40:47 waterloo dovecot: IMAP(crow): Corrupted index cache file
/home/crow/.imapIndexes/.imap/INBOX/dovecot.index.cache: invalid record size

Whatever is corrupt is only aggravated when I connect via my Samsung Blackjack
running Windows Mobile 6.0.  Using Thunderbird on Windows Vista, Windows XP, or
Fedora 9 does not cause the problem.

To recover, I can remove the dovecot indexes and things will work for a few days.

My mail_location definition in /etc/dovecot.conf is

mail_location = mbox:~/.imap/:INBOX=/var/spool/mail/%u:INDEX=~/.imapIndexes

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):


How reproducible:

When it happens is unpredictable, but it will always eventually fail.  Typically
it takes 2-3 days.  I cannot make the indexes become corrupt on demand, though.

I've been running this same dovecot configuration in Fedora 7 for quite a while
without issue. This just started happening when I upgraded to Fedora 9.

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Use various imap clients to connect to dovecot.
2. Continue this for 2-3 days.
3. Notice that synchronization using the Windows Mobile imap client stops
working due to a SEGV in the dovecot imap executable.
Actual results:

Synchronization fails.

Expected results:

Synchronization succeeds.

Additional info:

I used rawlog to see the IMAP protocol being used by the Windows Mobile client.
 The client performs a NAMESPACE command and several LIST commands to fetch the
folder names, then for each folder selected for synchronization, it does a
command like


This succeeds for one mailbox and then fails for my INBOX.  It downloaded 151 of
the 166 messages per the rawlog output log.
Comment 1 David L. Crow 2008-05-31 17:40:06 EDT
I'm a software developer in my day job, so I'd be happy to debug, but I wasn't
sure the best way to insert a debugger into the executable chain since the imap
executable is launched internally.
Comment 2 Dan Horák 2008-06-01 04:23:52 EDT
You should be able to attach the the debugger to the imap process that is
processing your requests. For the first attempt you should let the system
generate a core dump that can be analyzed after the crash.

So you need to
- enable coredump creating - edit /etc/init.d/dovecot and put somewhere at
beginning a line with "DAEMON_COREFILE_LIMIT=unlimited", then restart the
dovecot service,
- install the debuginfo with "yum --enablerepo=fedora-debuginfo install

After the crash you should be able to run "gdb /usr/libexec/dovecot/imap
/path/to/coredump/file". You should see the filename of the coredump in the logs.
Comment 3 David L. Crow 2008-06-10 19:57:27 EDT
I've been unable to get a core dump of the imap process.  I set the core_pattern
to make sure that the process would be able to write the core and validated that
the ulimit was set as triggered by the DAEMON_COREFILE_LIMIT setting, but still
no luck.

A 'kill -ABRT <dovecotPID>' did generate a core file as expected for the dovecot
process, so I think the configuration is correct, but no such luck for the child
imap process.

I did find the gdbhelper wrapper in the dovecot distribution and was able to get
a stack trace.  I will attach the gdbhelper output file to this bug.
Comment 4 David L. Crow 2008-06-10 19:58:41 EDT
Created attachment 308874 [details]
Output from dovecot gdbhelper wrapper when used to wrap the imap executable.
Comment 5 Dan Horák 2008-06-11 02:49:15 EDT
Could you try to update dovecot to current stable version 1.0.14 with "yum
--enablerepo=updates-testing,updates-testing-debuginfo update dovecot"? Just to
be sure that this issue wasn't fixed there :-)
Comment 6 David L. Crow 2008-06-11 11:04:47 EDT
Moving to 1.0.14 caused the problem to go away, but when I went back to 1.0.13,
it didn't happen any more either, so I'm not sure I've proved anything.

Looking at the dovecot changelog for 1.0.14 (specifically the changeset
documented at http://hg.dovecot.org/dovecot-1.0/rev/538f8892a2f1), it is likely
that the problem is fixed.

I'll run with 1.0.14 for a while (it typically takes 3-7 days for the index
cache to get corrupted again) and see what happens.  You can move this bug back
to the "waiting on me" state.

Thanks for your help.
Comment 7 Dan Horák 2008-06-11 11:28:19 EDT
Ok, let me know both the good and bad news :-)
Comment 8 Dan Horák 2008-06-27 04:43:27 EDT
So what are the results?
Comment 9 David L. Crow 2008-06-27 11:42:56 EDT
I'm still getting corrupted index cache files, but I have not received a
segfault due to it since installing 1.0.14-8.fc9.

Feel free to close this bug.  Thanks!
Comment 10 Dan Horák 2008-06-27 11:54:02 EDT
OK, closing the bug. And you can open corrupted index cache files on the
dovecot's mailing list to get into the direct contact with author.

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