Email duplicates

I opened a support ticket with dreamhost but I figured I’d post this here as well just in case someone can corraborate my experience.

I noticed the past few days that I’ve been getting duplicate emails. The duplicate will arrive a few hours after the original, yet have the same exact timestamp as the original. I would normally poke around on my machine to see what’s up, but interestingly my wife noticed the same exact problem in her own email on her own machine. I then emailed some clients of mine who I turned onto dreamhost and one of them replied (so far, it’s the weekend of course) that she was experiencing the same thing these past few days. (funny, she’s one of those type of email people that will immediately go through her inbox and either delete or file away emails… she thought she was having a case of dejavu seeing the same email hours apart :slight_smile:

Anyway, further info is that we’re all OS X users, I’m using Apple’s Mail program, my wife is using Eudora, and my client friend is using MS Entourage. So that further makes me think it is in no way related to our client software but something to do with a pop-server.

If anyone has been experiencing the same thing, by all means let us know. Maybe we can help pinpoint what’s going on.

  • Miguel

I’ve also been getting this somewhat. It doesn’t always happen but what it will do is lets say an hour later it will download all 7 messages that I already downloaded and it will show as two copies.

It’s not that big of a problem because it only happens occasionally from what I have experienced.

<Uses Apple Mail v1.3.8 (v618)

Are you using POP3 or IMAP? If you’re using POP3, does switching to IMAP fix the problem?
Do the messages have the same message-ID?
Is there an autoresponder on the email account(s) you’re seeing this with?

It’s only in pop3, I have two imap account and webmail doesn’t duplicate. That’s why I thought it was a client problem but then again it doesn’t happen on any of my ISP pop accounts. :-?

Hrm. If it’s for a user you have shell / ftp access for, try removing ~/Maildir/courier* and see if that helps.

Yes, we’re using pop3. My wife just received some dupes and I checked them and all the various IDs listed in the raw source are identical. I saved some dupes on my machine from previous emails a day or so ago and they’re also identical.

We don’t use any autoresponders.

I don’t think there’s an easy way for me to switch my Apple account from pop to imap, and I’m the only one I would feel comfortable doing that with, as my wife would probably get all confused. However I’ll read your next message in this thread and see if there’s something there I could do.

Thanks much for the weekend attention to this matter.

I can ftp to my own domain and erase those courier files as you ask. However, is this something I should do after I’ve just checked emails? I just want to make sure I do this correctly. Oh, and even the courier* folder as well as files?

  • Miguel

There’s no courieranything folder. Just files. Just remove courierpop3dsizelist actually, and courierimapuiddb if you want.

There’s actually a courierimapkeywords folder. I ignored it and just deleted the pop3dsizelist file as you advised. I’ll post again if this continues.

I have to say, dreamhost support emailed me back recently (I’m just returning from a mini-vacation) and basically advised ‘switch to IMAP’ which is not a very satisfactory answer considering everything has been fine for years. If your suggestion takes care of the problem, I’ll let them know so they don’t just flat-out advise to skip using POP.

Thank you Will for your attention to this matter.

  • Miguel

If you’re using webmail frequently at all, I would very much suggest avoiding POP3. POP3 works pretty well when that’s all you’re using, and when you’re checking from a single machine; in my experience, as soon as you’re also using IMAP (via webmail), or checking via POP3 from multiple machines, you’re much more likely to run into weird problems with things getting out of sync.

Courier (the POP3 and IMAP server we use) does do some caching, and occasionally the cache files they use seem to get a little messed up, which may be causing some of the problems you’re seeing.