Error in IMAP command UID with Dovecot server



14 years ago
13 years ago


(Reporter: jrkuipers, Assigned: mscott)


Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)



(2 attachments)



14 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.7.3) Gecko/20041005 Firefox/0.10.1
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.7.3) Gecko/20041005 Firefox/0.10.1

I get this error with some messages in my inbox:

The current command did not succeed. The mailserver responded: Error in IMAP
command UID:
Invalid BODY[..] parameter: Missing '>' in <102400.-100124>

The <102400.-100124> at the end depends on the message.

Client is Mozilla Thunderbird 0.8 using imaps. Server is Dovecot 1.0-test47.

I submitted this question on the Dovecot mailinglist. Developer Timo Sirainen
send this one back:

Timo Sirainen:
I added the "in <....>" part last time people complained about this problem, and
looks like the problem is just what I thought. The second number can't be
negative, so it's a Thunderbird bug. Most servers probably just ignore that
there's the "-" and just let it through. Want to report it in Mozilla's bugzilla?

I tried this also with Thunderbird-0.8 build 20041010 with the same result

Reproducible: Always
Steps to Reproduce:
This occurs only with some messages in a mbox with apx 950 messages (my inbox).
I can reproduce this error with the same messages in subsequent sessions of
Thunderbird. I.o.w. the error is shown only once for a message in a Thunderbird
session. When I temporary move the regarding message to another mbox and then
move it back to the originating mbox (inbox), the error disappears.

Comment 1

14 years ago
I see the same thing using Dovecot 1.0-test49 and Thunderbird 0.7.3 on FreeBSD.

Comment 2

14 years ago
Created attachment 162644 [details]
IMAP protocol trace showing the error

This is extracted from a truss of the imapd.

Comment 3

14 years ago
Created attachment 162662 [details]
Another IMAP protocol trace

This one is collected by pasting together two of the logfiles from tcpflow to
recreate the IMAP conversation.  The tcpflow starts from well before the
offending email was received, and this extract starts from just prior to the
first mention of the UID which causes the error.

Comment 4

14 years ago
Note that in both traces, Thunderbird thinks the size of the file is 10240 (or
20480) bytes - and when it retrieves only the first N bytes, it then asks for
bytes 10240 to N-10240 (which is negative).

10240 and 20480 are very very suspicuous numbers!

The second trace shows it is Thunderbird making this false assumption as to the
size of the email, because the Imap server never sends that bogus size number at

I suspect this occurs only in dovecot-1.0 imapd and not other imap servers (or
dovecot v0.99 and previous) because the 1.0 version parses the BODY command
carefully, whereas other servers just use atol() assigned to a size_t and the
negative size wraps to a large positive offset.

Comment 5

14 years ago
The author of dovecot has put in a workaround for this Thunderbird bug.

You need to be running 1.0-test51 or later, and add the following to your

protocol imap {
  #   tb-negative-fetch:
  #     Thunderbird sometimes messed up some calculations and wants to read
  #     the message past it's end, giving negative size to FETCH BODY[]<..>
  #     command. This workaround just hides the error message.
  imap_client_workarounds = tb-negative-fetch

Comment 6

14 years ago
Just as a point of reference, i am seeing the exact same problem with
Mozilla-1.8a6 (Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8a6)
Gecko/20050111) and dovecot-1.0-test59 (not using the patch supplied by the
dovecot developer). 

An interesting note is that I have been using the UW imap server for 4+ years
with Netscape/Mozilla/Thunderbird starting with netscape 4, and i've never seen
this problem.  I have just installed dovecot (like 30 minutes ago and am already
seeing this problem.  I will report these findings to the dovecot folks as well).

Comment 7

14 years ago
The explanation of this bug is in #272988. This should probably be marked as duplicate for it..
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Last Resolved: 13 years ago
Resolution: --- → EXPIRED
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