Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a cyrus-imapd server running for last five years. The cyrus-imapd version is 2.2. Now I have set up a new mailbox server with cyrus-imapd version 2.3. I need to migrate all mailboxes to this new server. As far as I know I should follow either of the following two methods.

  1. Use imapsync to transfer mailboxes
  2. rsync all mailboxes to new server and then reconstruct all of them on new server

I do not want to setup imapsync so rsync followed by reconstruct remains.

But I tried moving random five mailboxes to new server without following reconstruct. I did following.

  1. rsync mailboxes to new server
  2. copied mailbox-name.seen and mailbox-name.sub from /var/lib/imap/ to new server

And I am able to access those mailboxes without any problem on new server. So can I move mailboxes and corresponding .seen and .sub files directly to new server without following reconstruct? and what exactly reconstruct do?

Note: I am not using any kind of quota on cyrus mailboxes so I don't want any quota figures.

share|improve this question

reconstruct reconstructs cyrus' indexes. While they may survive a move from one machine to another, nothing guarantees that they will. Reconstruct is also idempotent, non-destructive and non-intrusive, so you can safely run it on migrated mailboxes.

share|improve this answer
thanks, should I keep cyrus-imapd down during reconstruct? – Sachin Divekar Nov 30 '12 at 20:31
No, that's not necessary. – Dennis Kaarsemaker Nov 30 '12 at 20:38

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.