IMAP error message with Courier

I have just installed ISPconfig3, a hosting system on my Debian Linux machine. I created an Email account for myself, but when I tried to connect with Thunderbird-IMAP I kept getting the error message “Filesystem notification initialization error — contact your mail administrator (check for configuration errors with the FAM/Gamin library)”. The strange thing was that IMAP seem to work anyway.

The first problem I had was that the message disappears before I could read it properly or write it down. Eventually I solved this by going to the Thunderbird menu option TOOLS->Activity Manager which logs the error messages.

Searching for the error message, I was coming to the conclusion that this was a recent bug in Courier, the linux Mail Transfer Agent (MTA).  There was not many solutions about, then I found Tutorial Nut which gave a solution that worked for me.

Basically, the error seems to be associated with FAM (File Alteration Monitor), so we install the alternative GAMIN instead.

So as administrator we run aptitude install gamin

This failed a dependency check, so I had to agree to remove a file.  (I have never really understood dependencies). After gamin was installed, I had no more error messages. Case solved.


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