-ERR Timeout while obtaining a lock on


Feb 20, 2007
Greetings All,

I have a single user trying to use cPanel's webmail interface but is encountering difficulties. She has in the area of 1000 e-mails in her inbox and finds any of the interfaces to be exceedingly slow. When I tried to pull her e-mail off the server I was unable to do so.

After some troubleshooting I suspect that the amount of time needed to open her mailbox, count the number of mails and the Octets is exceeding a 60 second timeout in cppop. This is demonstrated by Telneting to the mail server and trying to access the mailbox manually. This produces:

+OK POP3 sdcp6 [cppop 20.0] at [xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx]
user [email protected]
+OK Need a password
pass *******-ERR Timeout while obtaining a lock on /home/ourdomain/mail/ourdomain.com/username/inbox

Connection to host lost.

What happens is that upon entering the password and hitting <Enter> the server "goes silent" for EXACTLY 60 seconds and then returns the -ERR timeout. So we are unable to retrieve her e-mail.

Is there a setting that I can change to increase that 60 second timeout so the server has enough time to scan the mail file or some other solution to get this user back in business?

Thanks in advance for your help on this.


Well-Known Member
Verifed Vendor
Jun 15, 2002
Go on, have a guess
That's one of the major issues when using the mbox format and POP3 daemon. To resolve such issues, converting to maildir and courier-imap would be the best move. Read the forums regarding how to convert to maildir.