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This page only applies to individuals who use the Unix Mail Spool system for mail delivery.  It does not apply to anyone who uses Exchange/O365.

Your Unix mail spool file from /var/spool/mail may be restored from ITSM backups. However, before you attempt to restore from ITSM backup you should check the /var/spool/mail/.snapshot directory. Hourly and nightly snapshots of the mail server spool are available there.

  flora:~> cd /var/spool/mail/.snapshot
  flora:/var/spool/mail/.snapshot> ls -l
  total 1792
  drwxrwsrwt   3 root     root      110592 Dec 13 16:00 hourly.0
  drwxrwsrwt   3 root     root      110592 Dec 13 12:00 hourly.1
  drwxrwsrwt   3 root     root      110592 Dec 13 08:00 hourly.2
  drwxrwsrwt   3 root     root      110592 Dec 13 03:59 hourly.3
  drwxrwsrwt   3 root     root      110592 Dec 12 19:59 hourly.4
  drwxrwsrwt   3 root     root      110592 Dec 12 16:00 hourly.5
  drwxrwsrwt   3 root     root      110592 Dec 13 00:00 nightly.0
  drwxrwsrwt   3 root     root      110592 Dec 12 00:00 nightly.1

Each timestamp indicates when that particular directory snapshot was taken. You may cd into any of these .snapshot directories and copy your mail spool file to another location. If you want to merge messages from your recovered mail file into your active mail file or mail folders, we recommend using your favorite mail program (e.g., mutt or pine). It's generally safer that way.

If what you are looking for is not found in /var/spool/mail/.snapshot, you may then recover a copy of your mail spool file from ITSM backup by following the procedure below.

Using ITSM to Restore Unix Mail Files

  1. Log into a flora and enter the following command:
        dsm &

    Once the ITSM GUI appears, click on the "Restore files and directories to your system" button.

  2. Under the Restore window's View menu, select the "Display active/inactive files" option. This allows you to see all file versions on tape, not just the newest one.
  3. In the Directory frame, click on the + box to the left of the "File Level" volume. This will expand the view.
  4. Click on the little hard disk icon just to the left of "nfs/mailstore/mail". This displays all versions of your mail file. The versions with green diamonds next to their names are inactive (old) versions. The most recent version has no diamond next to its name.
  5. Click on the check box for each file you want to restore.
  6. Click on the Restore button.
  7. When the Restore Destination window appears, select the destination option you prefer. Make sure you have enough disk space available to accommodate the selected files, then click on the Restore button.
  8. The Task List window will indicate the progress of your request. If the files are in the ITSM disk cache, the restore process should begin and end quickly. If the files have already been flushed from cache, you will have to wait for ITSM to mount the appropriate tape(s) and restore the files.
  9. Once the restore is complete, you can look at and close the various status boxes that show up. This will eventually return you to the main ITSM window, where you can go to the File menu and exit.
  10. Use your favorite mail program to manipulate the newly restored file(s).


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