Procmail Maildir messages disappearing

Google-friendly title, no?

Executive summary:

In your ~/.procmailrc

MAILDIR=$HOME/Maildir – is BAD, whereas

MAILDIR=$HOME/Maildir/ – is good.

The slash at the end appears to tell procmail that this is a Maildir directory, rather than something else, elusive.

For a week my messages were appearing in $HOME/Maildir, but they were just in there with names like msg.zFS, instead of going into $HOME/Maildir/new and having a name like 1282544959.Q22432E173.,T.

This meant they effectively disappeared, and I had a quiet, relaxing week.

Followed by a panicked and expletive-filled hour or so.

When I put the slash back, new messages started appearing in my Inbox again.

I was also able just to move the msg.zFS files into “new”, and they appeared fine, which was nice.

6 thoughts on “Procmail Maildir messages disappearing”

  1. I think you should have:

    This specifies where your Maildir “tree” is, and that by default you want to deliver into that directory as a top level Maildir format folder.

  2. OK, I admit it, perhaps I’m wrong. I’ve just checked my /etc/procmail.

  3. Right, in order not to be wrong I’ve changed it to this:


    and am so far suffering from no adverse affects.

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