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Re: [Nmh-workers] nmh over sshfs?

From: Jerry Peek
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] nmh over sshfs?
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2008 06:02:12 -0700
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20080505)

On 10/18/2008 09:18 PM, address@hidden wrote:
> I just did some googling on this.  It seems that link() is really
> required when dealing with mail spools because it's the only atomic
> way to lock.  So this whole "no-links configuration option" idea is
> a bad idea, and I now realize that I'll never be able to safely inc
> over sshfs.
> Shoulda just used AFS in the first place: it's got encryption,
> link(), speedy client side caching, and the usual CW against using
> AFS for a mail spool (other systems' callbacks cause you to wait)
> doesn't really apply for a single user mail server.
> steve

In a case like this, could nmh still get new mail by using POP or some
other method that lets the mail server handle locking?  Or, when a user
tries to run inc, nmh could:

- print a warning and have a -force option
- default to less-than-perfect locking
- ...?

I'm not an expert on mail delivery, so I don't know how many disasters
are likely if locking isn't atomic.  But the lack of links has kept nmh
off of a number of filesystems (and OSes) for a long time.  If there's a
"good enough" solution with clear warnings about the chance of a
problem, it would let users make their own decisions.

(I use nmh mostly for archiving, searching, and replying to stored
messages.  The only time I run inc these days is when I'm fetching the
last week's worth of mail from my mail host's inbox, which I normally
access via IMAP.)


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