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Author Topic: In need of a server-side email tool ...  (Read 3228 times)

barney

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In need of a server-side email tool ...
« on: May 19, 2009, 07:07:58 AM »
Folk,

I seek a tool that will let me clear all the email account contents in a given domain w/o deleting the accounts.

I have a great number of email addresses.  I usually create a new address for any subscription or purchase, then forward that account to a central, unpublished account.  This has served me well in regard to identifying/quelling questionable sources.  However, those addresses do tend to accumulate mail.  While no more than 300-350 are currently active, there are probabably 500+ accounts all told.

The problem is that I need to delete most of the email on the domain server, which is stored as 20 here, 30 there, 100 in another account.

I had, several system crashes ago, an app that did that very thing for me ... I simply pointed it to the domain, and it deleted all current email w/o changing the account(s).  Unfortunately, I've lost that due to faulty backups.  I don't even recall the name of it, and searches via Google & other engines have not produced anything similar.

Without some such tool, I could spend a week doing nothing but deleting email - not an endearing task by any stretch of the imagination, and a task that I really do not have time to perform.

Do any of you know of any such tool?

[P.S.  Somebody is bound to tell me I'm a damned fool for doing this.  May be, but the procedure has served me well in identifying subscriptions that leak, loan, or lease addresses, and I simply cease to have anything to do with those sources.  My email spam has been reduced to about 20% of what it was prior to implementing this process.  It's a kludge, and I don't advocate it for most folk, but it works well in my particular case.]

Gothi[c]

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Re: In need of a server-side email tool ...
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2009, 07:19:07 AM »
Usually you can just rm the files out of the maildir for the account in question.
It would help if you tell us what server software you're using (postfix/dovecot/qmail/exim/etc...).

Gwen7

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Re: In need of a server-side email tool ...
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009, 10:27:13 AM »
Have you ever considered using a disposable email address service like Spam Gourmet, TrashMail.net or a host of others? It would be a lot easier than the rigmarole you're putting yourself through.  :)

Carol Haynes

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Re: In need of a server-side email tool ...
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 12:36:49 PM »
Haven't got an answer to this particular problem but why not set up your email addresses in future so that they are just forwarders and don't store email on the server at all -0 that way you can have the same effect but without the hassle!

barney

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Re: In need of a server-side email tool ...
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 03:24:40 PM »
Ohhhh-tay!

As usual, I left a few things out.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Gothi[c]:  Not my server, but a commercial hosting account, e.g., HostGator, DreamHost, Site5, etc.  If it were my server, I'd be able to cobble together a script to accomplish the task.  Sorry I was unclear.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Gwen7:  No longer use such services, although I did so for several years early on.  Quit because one of 'em barred me for excessive usage, and another one became one of the very forces I was seeking out.  Also, not significantly easier - or faster! - provided I still had the tool I used before.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Carol Haynes:  Sorry, I was unclear again.  Of the 500+ accounts, ~350 are active mailboxes, the remainder being just forwarders.  The active mailboxes are safety net devices, in case I must re-travel the email time-line for a given account, otherwise they'd all be forwarders and this plaint would never have seen the light of the forum.  As I lose the need for email history, I delete the active mailbox(es) and just use the forwarders, but there's always some new mailbox to replace one that's been retired.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Trying to think if there's anything else I assumed and left out.

The app in question, the one I've been using, was acquired some time around 98/98SE.  It may have been cobbled together by one of the IT mavens on the DEC LAN at MCI (Richardson, TX), not a public app at all.  If not, it was likely something available via DEC, HP, or one of the other LAN vendors, something they used internally for maintenance, so still not a public app.

I've used this, over the years, on a dozen or so different public hosts, both Windos and *nix.

Note that it did not work on Web-based mail service - GMail, HotMail, Yahoo!Mail - accounts, just server-side - mx? - accounts.  I assume that was due to permissions/security issues?

It was a two-part process:  part one collected the host [server] data, then part two implemented - I believe - a script.  Not certain about this part, as the front-end was a compiled executable that I ran on the PC (until Vista, anyway).

Cannot think of aught else at the moment.

I know this is an outre request.  Such an app has a very tiny, very restricted niche.  However, when drowning, I'm willing to grasp at straws <chortle />.

Stoic Joker

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Re: In need of a server-side email tool ...
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2009, 08:32:49 AM »
Long-shot, but (given they're POP accounts) have you considered using a scripted telnet session to recurse through and purge the boxes?

barney

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Re: In need of a server-side email tool ...
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2009, 11:41:03 PM »
Yeah, that's a good idea.

Thunk of it, but to my misfortune, telnet not allowed.  Figures.  Long run, that'd be a pretty easy solution ... not that good at the requisite scripts, but could learn.  However, datsaoneadem, "You can't get there from here," propositions.  I'm partial to easy, but it just ain't allowed in this situation.

I've reverted to clearing out 5-10 mailboxes a day, but that's gonna take a looong time, and really isn't long-term feasible.  What's frustrating is that I know this can be done ... just don't know how.  Think it is that I just do not have a decent understanding as to how email works when down in the trenches ... hurts when you're so ignorant you don't even know where to look, ya know?

Up until now, I thought I was reasonably competent ... then I get my [another?] incompetenc{e|y} rubbed in my face <chortle />.

Stoic Joker

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Re: In need of a server-side email tool ...
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2009, 10:06:34 AM »
 :huh: How can telnet not be allowed? I use it for troubleshooting mail servers all the time. You don't need to have the default telnet port 23 open on the target, you just telnet to port 110 (POP3) to initiate the session and then pretend to be an Email client by tossing commands back and forth with the server. The server will respond with coded prompts telling you exactly what it wants & when ... basically walking you through the process.

Do a google search on SMTP telnet access and you'll find a bunch of troubleshooting info on how to check your Email from a command prompt (e.g. telnet session).

Only thing to remember with telnet is any char typed (including backspace) is transmitted directly so any typos=instant failure, but scripting the session should get you past that. Sure there is a bit of a learning curve, but it's something you can easily leverage later in a big way.

barney

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Re: In need of a server-side email tool ...
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2009, 12:55:17 PM »
Obviously, one of my incompetencies <sigh />.

I was remembering, not thinking.  There was a blurb ~ssh access that I mis-remembered and misconstrued.  Went back, re-read it ... nothing to do with Telnet.  So, it looks as though I'll be researching Telnet & email for the foreseeable near future.

Thanks for the swift kick ... I needed it <chortle />.