Ah, I didn't know there was a diff. b/w maildir and mdbox in terms of storage. 
I should have mentionned I am using Maildir.

    On Monday, April 9, 2018, 1:35:15 PM GMT+1, Marc Stürmer 
<m...@marc-stuermer.de> wrote:  
 Am 2018-04-09 00:55, schrieb Steve Atkins:

> Will a simple backup of all the files of an multi-dbox give me a
> consistent state when I recover, or do I need to do something (e.g.
> lock writes to the mailbox) while I run a backup?

If you are doing this backup with a fully operational mail storage: no, 
it won't. The reason is quite simple: mdbox saves the data of an email 
in several files, so there's a good chance that those files might 
slightly change during backup, while with Maildir all necessary data for 
the restore is stored in the file names.

If you want to do a consistent backup, you do need file system snapshots 
and should make sure that this snapshot is consistent or to turn off the 
mail store during backup completely.

But just doing rsync on the fly as with Maildir is just begging on your 
side to run into problems sooner or later...



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