IMAP Journal Account Full


In Status->Alerts, MailArchiva reports that the journal account is full.


3/11/12 3:41 AM           mailarchiva on ace13 is full. Total messages in account::8391


The journal mailbox is a temporary mailbox used for the purposes of archiving. The mail server sends a copy of all incoming, outgoing and internal mails to a temporary journal account. MailArchiva constantly polls the journal account, retrieves remaining messages, archives them, and then subsequently deletes the processed messages. 


There are three reasons why a journal account can be full:


  • Disabled Archiving - Archiving was disabled for a period. There are simply too many emails in the journal account. The mail server cannot cope.
  • IMAP Server Playing Up - MailArchiva cannot retrieve emails from the IMAP account as there is an error occurring in the IMAP server.  For example, Microsoft Exchange's IMAP Server can get into a weird state where it refuses to delete messages, even though it is instructed to do so. 
  • MailArchiva Not Clearing Fast Enough - The rate at which emails arrive in the journal account is faster than the rate at which they are being cleared by MailArchiva


When MailArchiva deems the journal account is full, it automatically tries to catch up temporarily by lowering the polling interval and disabling IMAP Idle. Sadly, if the journal account is too full it may not be able to catch up, since the mail server may not be able to cope with more than 15,000 messages in the journal account. 


Microsoft Exchange's IMAP server slows down as the number of emails in the mailbox increases. The point of no return seems to be around 20,000 messages.




Recommended Long Term Solution: Where possible, switch to SMTP archiving as it is proven to be more reliable and offers higher performance.


Reconfiguring MailArchiva


1. Review MailArchiva's IMAP connection settings. The ideal settings for MS Exchange are as follows:


  • Journal Account connection should be enabled
  • Messages Per Cycle: 50
  • Polling wait interval: 50 msec (for medium traffic), 10 msec (for high traffic)
  • Expunge every: 0 (it is set to 500 by default, but if the goal to clear emails from the journal account, set it to 0)
  • Uncheck "During IMAP retrieval, process unread messages only"
  • Uncheck "Listen for message arrival notifications from server (IMAP Idle)"
  • Uncheck "Allow partial fetches"


2. For good measure, restart the IMAP Server on the Exchange server.


3. Examine Status-Charts, to see that emails are arriving at an acceptable pace. The full journal account alert should show declining mailbox counts.


Setup a new Journal Account


If the journal account is too full, your mail server may not be able to cope with the load.  In such circumstances, it is necessary to abandon the account.


To accomplish this:


  1. Setup a new journal account
  2. Configure MailArchiva to pull from the new journal account


Wth traffic no longer being directed to the old journal account, Exchange may be better able to service MailArchiva's requests. If MailArchiva is still unable to retrieve the journal account, the emails can be directly imported MailArchiva Import


Exchange IMAP Server Troubles


If MailArchiva is unable to purge messages from Exchange IMAP Account, it may be necessary to restart the Exchange IMAP server in the Services applet on the Exchange Server. Failing that, it is advisable to recreate the journal account.


Clearing the 'Full' Journal Account


If after following these instructions, the journal account is unable to clear. The journal account may be full to such an extent that Microsoft Exchange is too slow to deliver messages to MailArchiva. In this instance, the following steps should be taken:


  1. Try restarting the Microsoft IMAP Service on the Exchange Server and see if the journal account clears.
  2. Try upgrading the MailArchiva server to the latest version. 
  3. Consider enabling SMTP journaling instead of IMAP journaling. Refer to Exchange setup for more information on how to switch to SMTP journaling.
  4. If you must use IMAP journaling, create a secondary journal account and redirect journaling traffic to this account. 
  5. Use the MailArchiva direct Exchange import feature to import emails from the full journal account


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