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Mac OS X with Unix Mail Server, Squirrelmail

Posted on 2013-01-04
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Last Modified: 2013-01-10
I'm recovering an older OS X Server boot volume, Server 10.5.  The volume won't boot, and fails Disk Repair with to thread errors.  The sever is running the Apple provided Unix mail server, Squirrelmail.

I have full backups.  My recovery involves a full system restore, but I'm also working on a plan B.

Plan B involves manually copying folders from the compromised volume and working with them on a second server.

I'm copying the following Squirrelmail directories:
etc/squirrelmail/config
private/var/spool   (appears to be bulk of IMAP mail data)
private/var/db       (appears to be additional data and attachments)

I'm reviewing files in etc/squirrelmail/config and I believe I'm setup with default directories.

Can I simply enable the mail service on a second, nearly identical server and recreate the mail server by replacing these folders?  Am I missing any folders from the source volume?

Thanks,
-K
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Question by:kengreg
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nxnw earned 500 total points
ID: 38747184
If you need to use Plan B, there are a few things you need to know:
1. Squirrelmail is not your mail server. It is only a webmail front-end;
2. If I recall correctly, the SMTP and IMAP mail servers under OS X 10.5 are postfix and Cyrus.
3. Restoring the mail data is not enough. The user identities in the mailboxes Are an alphanumeric user ID string. You have to restore OD as well In order to relate the user ID to the user.
4. You should get the OS X 10.5 manual from Apple.com. It contains a section detailing what specific directories have to be backed up for specific purposes. That will help you.
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Author Comment

by:kengreg
ID: 38747240
1. Correct, thanks, Apple's mail service in 10.5 uses multiple services.  In my conversations with Apple Care "Squirrelmail" has always been sufficient for describing the vintage, but you are correct that it's only the front end.  

2.  Correct, thanks, "Mac OS X Server uses Cyrus to provide POP and IMAP service".  "Mac OS X Server uses Postfix as its mail transfer agent (MTA). Postfix fully supports
SMTP" Source: http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/Mail_Service_Admin_v10.5.pdf

3.  The second server is the OD master.  The compromised server was the OD replica.

4.  The Mail Service Admin Guide above describes "Backing Up and Restoring Mail Messages".   Unfortunately I don't know what they mean by "the mail service folder".

This seems to be what I was looking for:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2726720?start=0&tstart=0
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Assisted Solution

by:kengreg
kengreg earned 0 total points
ID: 38747289
My short answer is that I grabbed the most important folders.  I may have missed one or two folders related to config.  

From what I can tell, there is no definitive list of folders on the Apple side of things. Apple developers probably had good intentions to redirect installs to a single "mail service folder".  My guess is that Cyrus used multiple folder locations for legitimate reasons, like permissions, security and performance, and Apple did not fully remap as the 10.5 guide suggests.

Cyrus discussions have been helpful.
This Q/A applies to Novell circa 2004, but should still apply roughly to 10.5 circa 2008.
Restoring email saved in Cyrus
http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/qna/1748.html

Migration info is revealing.  10.5 to 10.6 migrations worked best with default folders
http://www.ohelm.co.uk/migrating-an-apple-mail-server-from-os-x-10-5-to-10-6/
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Author Comment

by:kengreg
ID: 38747352
The default mail store often appears as:
var/spool/imap

In my case that is:
private/var/spool/imap

Additional paths are used to reconstruct the Cyrus database.  From Apple:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3120
var/imap
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Author Closing Comment

by:kengreg
ID: 38762302
The comments and clarifications from nxnw are very helpful.

I also wanted to comment on Apple's liberal description of "mail service folder".
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