Deleting an IMAP folder fails when server does not support folders containing folders



MailNews Core
Networking: IMAP
13 years ago
9 years ago


(Reporter: Thomas Rutter, Assigned: Bienvenu)


Windows XP

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)




13 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.3) Gecko/20041002 Firefox/0.10.1
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.3) Gecko/20041002 Firefox/0.10.1

I created a new IMAP folder, the tried to delete it and received an error message:

'Alert: The current command did not succeed.  The mail server responded: RENAME
failed: Can't create mailbox node /home/arcticfo//mail/Trash/: File exists.

Looks like Thunderbird is trying to create a Trash folder, but one already exists.

Reproducible: Always
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Create new folder on IMAP account
2. Delete that folder
Actual Results:  
Above error message shown, folder not deleted

Expected Results:  
Folder is moved to Trash

Comment 1

13 years ago

If you cannot reproduce this problem on an IMAP server of your own, I would be
willing to open an account on my server and give access to the developers so
they can test my server.  By email.

Comment 2

13 years ago
This is a limitation of your IMAP server.
It cannot have folders that can contain both folders and messages.
So when you move a folder to trash, it always fails.
Select "remove immediately" in the server settings and you can remove the folder.

Comment 3

13 years ago
Or, better, you should go into the client advanced imap server settings for your
server and uncheck the box that says "server supports folders that can
contain...". Your server does *not* support folders like that.

Comment 4

13 years ago
Thanks - amending bug title.  It would seem, then, that the way to fix this
would be to have the account automatically fall back to as if "Server supports
folders that contain sub-folders and messages" were set to false when creating
the folder fails.

I've filed bug #263098 (enhancement) for this.
Depends on: 263098
Summary: Unable to delete IMAP folder → Deleting an IMAP folder fails when server does not support folders containing folders

Comment 5

13 years ago
>amending bug title

Actually your server probably supports folders containing folders.
What it does not support is folders containing both folders and messages.
When you create a folder, you indicate if it is a folder for folders or a folder
for messages.  The Trash folder was created as a folder for messages, so you can
drop messages into the Trash, but not folders.

If this seems strange, here is how it is implemented:
Messages are stored in a file.  There is one file for each folder, named like
that folder.  So there is a file named INBOX, one named Trash, etc.
Each "folder that can contain only messages" corresponds to one such file.
"Folders that can contain folders" are implemented as a directory.  Such a
directory can hold "folders that can contain only messages" (files) or more
subdirectories.  So there can be multiple levels of folders, but once there is a
folder with messages it is a file, and thus cannot hold more subfolders.
(because on Unix, and also on Windows, there cannot be a file and a directory
with the same name)

Of course it is an implementation mistake.  Folders should have been implemented
all as directories, with some dummy file (e.g. "mbox") at the lowest level to
hold any messages, and still allowing further subfolders at the same point.

Product: MailNews → Core
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Last Resolved: 12 years ago
Resolution: --- → EXPIRED
Product: Core → MailNews Core
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