dsync [options] mirror location2
dsync [options] backup location2
dsync is Dovecot's mailbox synchronization utility. It can be used for
several different use cases: Two-way synchronization of mailboxes in
different servers (via ssh(1)), creating backups of mails to a remote
server, and convert mailboxes from/to different mailbox formats.
The syncing is done as perfectly as possible: an IMAP or a POP3 client
shouldn't be able to notice any differences between the two mailboxes.
Two-way syncing means that it's safe to do any kind of modifications in
both sides, and dsync will merge the changes without losing any changes
done on either side. This is possible because dsync can access Dove-
cot's index logs that keep track of changes. It's of course possible to
have conflicts during merging, these are resolved in a safe way. See
the dsync design document for more information.
dsync uses the same configuration files as the rest of Dovecot (via
doveconf binary). The entire configuration can be changed by giving -c
parameter to another configuration file, or using -o parameter to over-
ride specific settings. When executing a remote dsync program it works
the same way: it uses its own local configuration.
dsync can be run completely standalone. It doesn't require any Dovecot
server processes to be running, except when using -u parameter to do a
userdb lookup from auth process.
dsync can currently sync only one user at a time. If you want to dsync
all users, you'll need to get a list of all users and execute dsync
separately for each one.
Any errors are written to stderr.
dsync recognizes the following command line options:
read configuration from the given config-file. By default
/etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf will be used. -C alt_char Specifies
an alternative mailbox name character. If source and destina-
tion mailbox formats are different, it's possible that on one
side there exists a mailbox name that isn't valid for the other
side. These invalid mailbox names are fixed by replacing such
invalid characters with the given alt_char. The default is '_'.
-D Activates debug messages and makes dsync more verbose.
-f Makes dsync run in "full sync" mode rather than "fast sync"
mode. In fast sync mode dsync might skip syncing a mailbox, if
both locations had modified it equally many times (i.e. high-
est-modseqs were equal), but with different changes.
-R Reverse backup direction, so mails in location2 are backed up to
default mail location.
Specifies that the userdb lookup for the given user should be
done and used to set up the environment (uid, gid, home, etc.).
By default the system user's current environment will be used.
-v Makes dsync more verbose.
The first mail location is based on configuration (mail_location
or userdb settings). It's also possible to override it by giv-
ing -o mail_location=mail_location setting. This parameter
defines the other mail location that is used.
If the location is on local filesystem, you can use a regular
mail_location, such as maildir:/backup/user/Maildir
If the location is on a remote server, dsync can ssh to it by
giving host or user@host as the parameter. If user is speci-
fied, it's given as -u parameter to dsync, not to ssh. The ssh
username is always the default.
The final way to specify a location is to give a full command
line or a path to a script that executes the dsync. For exam-
ssh mailuser@host dsync -u user
dsync provides the following commands:
Does a two-way synchronization between two mail locations. Changes in
both locations are synchronized to the other one, without losing any
changes made by either of them. Any potential UID conflicts are
resolved by giving them new UIDs.
Backup mails from default mail location to location2 (or vice versa, if
-R parameter is given). No changes are ever done to the source loca-
tion. Any changes done in destination are discarded.
dsync will exit with one of the following values:
0 Synchronization was done perfectly.
2 Synchronization was done without errors, but some changes couldn't
be done, so the mailboxes aren't perfectly synchronized. Running
dsync again usually fixes this. Typically this occurs for message
modification sequences with newly created mailboxes. It can also
dsync -u username mirror ssh -i id_dsa.dovecot email@example.com dsync -u username
Assuming that the mail_location setting in /etc/dove-
cot/conf.d/10-mail.conf is set to: mail_location = mdbox:~/mdbox, a
logged in system user may convert her/his mails from its Maildir in
her/his home directory to the mdbox mailbox format. The user has to
execute the command:
dsync mirror maildir:~/Maildir
If you want to do this without any downtime, you can do the conversion
one user at a time. Initially:
o Configuration uses mail_location = maildir:~/Maildir
o Set up the possibility of doing per-user mail location using
userdb extra fields.
Then for each user:
1. Run dsync mirror once to do the initial conversion.
2. Run dsync mirror again, because the initial conversion could
have taken a while and new changes could have occurred during
it. This second time only applies changes, so it should be
3. Update mail extra field in userdb to mdbox:~/mdbox. If you're
using auth cache, you need to flush it.
4. Wait for a few seconds and then kill the user's all existing
imap and pop3 sessions (that are still using maildir).
5. Run dsync mirror once more to apply final changes that were
possibly done. After this there should be no changes to
Maildir, because the user's mail location has been changed and
all existing processes using it have been killed.
Once all users have been converted, you can set the default mail_loca-
tion to mdbox and remove the per-user mail locations from userdb.
Report bugs, including doveconf -n output, to the Dovecot Mailing List
<firstname.lastname@example.org>. Information about reporting bugs is available
doveadm(1), doveadm-kick(1), doveconf(1), dovecot(1)
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