Empty Mailbox is Full

I know I’ve run into this before but can’t find the answer. I have a client that was getting the “can’t create user output file” message, but his mailbox has Zero emails in any folders. I can’t find what’s eating up 50mb of space.


Another possibility is that the Virtual Server itself could be out of space… are other users in that domain able to receive email?


Thanks Eric,

Yes other users could receive mail, plus the affected account had it’s space used noted in red.



Okay, what you may need to do then is to search the filesystem for files owned by that user.

I’d probably start by going into /home/VIRTUAL_SERVER_OWNER/homes, and run:


And just see if it shows roughly 50MB of usage.

If not, then you may need to try running this command to search the whole filesystem:

find / -user EMAIL_USER_NAME

du -sh userName
52M userName

ls -l total 56 drwx------ 2 userName.domain domain 12288 Oct 15 11:03 cur -rw------- 1 userName.domain domain 388 Oct 15 08:17 dovecot.index -rw------- 1 userName.domain domain 10272 Oct 15 02:00 dovecot.index.cache -rw------- 1 userName.domain domain 5684 Oct 15 11:03 dovecot.index.log -rw------- 1 userName.domain domain 55 Oct 15 11:03 dovecot-uidlist -rw------- 1 userName.domain domain 8 May 14 2013 dovecot-uidvalidity -r--r--r-- 1 userName.domain domain 0 May 2 2013 dovecot-uidvalidity.5182f7fc drwx------ 2 userName.domain domain 4096 Oct 15 11:03 new -rw-r--r-- 1 userName.domain domain 23 May 2 2013 subscriptions drwx------ 2 userName.domain domain 4096 Oct 15 11:03 tmp

Directories cur, new and tmp are all empty.

What output do you receive if you go into /home/VIRTUAL_SERVER_OWNER/homes/USERNAME/, and run “du -sh *” in that directory?


du -sh *
49M Maildir

Okay, if I drive into the hidden directories, there is a fair amount of space being used in the .spam directory. Funny, yesterday no spam was showing up in the webmail spam folder. Now I see over 4k spam emails. Perhaps it didn’t show because the account was over capacity and that seems to produce problems displaying mail.

I guess mystery solved. Thank you for your guidance.

This does lead to another question though. The system is set to keep spam for 5 days but his box has 25 days worth of spam in it. I checked a few other users from different domains and they all had 25 days of spam saved. Is there somewhere that is over riding the individual account setting to delete after 5 days?