Postfix/fetchmail error message POP3 Unable to locate maildrop: invalid mailbox name

Hello everyone,

I’m hoping this is a simple configuration problem.

I have a postfix mail server running on my system. I can use my e-mail clients to send e-mail through it, and I can send e-mail to it. The only thing I can’t do is use an e-mail client to receive mail from the server.

In syslog I see the sign-on from the client, followed by the message:

pop3 [nnnnn] Unable to locate maildrop: invalid mailbox name

And the same failure is returned to the e-mail client.

I have checked that there is mail in /var/spool/mail/-myuser-. Unfortunately, I don’t know what the invalid mailbox name is, as that might give me an idea of the problem.

Does anyone have any ideas? I’ve had no luck with google searches for this message.

I’m sure this is just a configuration problem I’ve caused. I’ve had no end of trouble getting this mail server to work, and I’m sure I’ve broken something, somewhere. I just don’t know what.

Thanks everyone. I’m sure someone will know what to do.

Postfix only handles SMTP. POP is handled by dovecot or courier. So it depends on which one you are running. However the errors from that will also go into /var/log/mail.

Thanks ken_yap. I know I’m NOT running dovecot (it isn’t installed), but I don’t know about courier.

This is good news, in that it has taken a long time to get Postfix to work and I can eliminate it from the equation. The problem now is that something else is not happy, and all I’ve been able to find is the message on syslog, which doesn’t help me. Naturally, there are messages in /var/log/mail, but nothing that appears to be related to the syslog message, and nothing that gives me any further information.

Any idea what I can do next?

Try this (oldskool). First install telnet via Yast.

Open a konsole/terminal, and run the following on the machibne that is the mailserver (localhost)

>telnet localhost 110
+OK [some info about the POP server here]
>user [your user login, eg or weighty_foe]
+OK Password Required
>pass [your password]
+OK [something about the server being ready]
[server sends some output]
[server lists your new mails]
>retr [mail ID]
[server prints out email with ID]

The commands prefixed by > are for you to type, please replace with your actual username/password. Do not type the >. Press enter to execute the command. Backspace does not usually work, so don’t make spelling mistakes.
The command prefixed by + are what the server will say to you in return.

While you are doing this, also have another console open running

tail -f /var/log/mail

this command will follow the logs made as you perform the above steps, hopefully giving you a clear picture of what is broken.

Good Luck

Once again, good, clear advice.

And once again I’m thwarted.

I can telnet to localhost 110 ok, and I get the greeting from Cyrus. But I can’t use ‘user xxxx’ because it gives me ‘ERR … only under a layer’.

Similarly, cyradm allows me to login, but not ‘cyrus’. So I get ‘permission denied’ if I try to create a mailbox. I have no idea if that’s what needs to be done to resolve the real problem (invalid mailbox name), but there is nothing in either syslog or /var/log/mail to tell me what is wrong with what.

Postfixconf hasn’t helped either. I don’t know where it has stored the data I entered, but it hasn’t made any difference.

So the long, tall and short of it is this: I have some sort of e-mail server set up; I know postfix is involved; I know cyrus is involved; I know I can send mail to the server, and send mail via the server. But I can’t read mail from the server. I don’t know what I’ve got wrong, but if anyone has any other ideas I’ll give them a go.

If anyone can tell me how to tell cyradm I’m an administrator (just long enough to get past this problem), that might help me get further. Or into more trouble.

Thanks everyone.

Toss out cyrus. Dovecot is far easier to configure. There are various tutes on doing this, for example here’s a simple starter:

QuickStart - IMAP/POP server configuration on OpenSuSe | Linux Poison