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I'm not able to view my inbox mails, I'm using Thunderbird.

I have checked the /var/mail directory. There I saw the lock file: /var/mail/$LOGINNAME.lock

I have removed the lock file and restarted the Thunderbird, again the lock file is created.

I have changed the file group as mail from users. After that also the lock file is created.

I have restarted the machine. After re-booted the machine the file group has changes to users.

-rw------- 1 sugumar        users   1.4G 2011-09-30 20:14 sugumar
-rw------- 1 sugumar        mail     10 2011-09-30 20:30 sugumar.lock

I'm not able to stop the lock file creations. I'm not able to access my inbox.

What is the problem? How to solve this?

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migrated from Sep 30 '11 at 17:58

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

The lock file is in place because of Thunderbird. It exists as a way for the OS to know that a process is using the /var/mail/sugumar file and that process may update the file so it would be unsafe for any other process to modify/read the file until the lock file is gone.

The problem may be that the file /var/mail/sugumar is so large that Thunderbird crashes trying to index all of the emails. 1.4G is pretty large for an email file!

Try using [ 09:00 jon@host ~ ]$ mail and clearing out some of the unwanted emails, or make a backup of that file [ 09:00 jon@host ~ ]$ gzip -v9 /var/mail/sugumar, then [ 09:00 jon@host ~ ]$ touch /var/mail/sugumar to create an empty file.

Then if you ever want to go back to those old emails, just gunzip the /var/mail/sugumar.gz file.

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Thanks... I have used 3rd point Now I'm able to access the new mails. How to restore the old mail into my Inbox ? – ungalnanban Sep 30 '11 at 19:58
do touch /var/mail/sugumar, then open Thunderbird again and any new emails from then on should work. – chown Sep 30 '11 at 20:01

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