Is IMAP IDLE incompatible with preauthtunnel = ssh ?

Eygene Ryabinkin rea at
Mon Sep 23 10:37:19 BST 2013

Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 03:39:12PM -0700, Marc MERLIN wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 03:00:55PM +0400, Eygene Ryabinkin wrote:
> > I fear that your Courier is configured to avoid IDLE stuff when
> > working over SSH and invoking imapd by hand.  Usually, it is
> > IMAP_CAPABILITY configuration setting for Courier IMAP that governs
> > the support for IDLE, see
> >
> I found the answer on the courier mailing list:
> preauthtunnel = ssh -x -q imap 'IMAP_IDLE_TIMEOUT=20 IMAP_CAPABILITY="IMAP4rev1 UIDPLUS CHILDREN NAMESPACE SORT QUOTA IDLE" /usr/bin/imapd ./Maildir'
> Why?
> The problem is that courier imap does not read its configuration
> file where I setup the IDLE configuration when you run it from the
> command line.

After reading sources of imapd, it turned out that neither imapd, nor
couriertcpd have configuration files at all: configuration is read
from environment and startup script just does
. @sysconfdir@/imapd-ssl
. @sysconfdir@/imapd
so you can even do something like
ssh -x -q imap '. /etc/courier/imapd; /usr/bin/imapd ./Maildir'
to keep configuration centralized.

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