dotlock(1)                       User Manuals                       dotlock(1)

       lbdb_dotlock - Lock mail spool files.

       lbdb_dotlock [-t|-f|-u|-d] [-r retries] file

       dotlock implements the traditional mail spool file locking method: To
       lock file, a file named file.lock is created.

       -t     Just try.  dotlock won't actually lock a file, but inform the
              invoking process if it's at all possible to lock file.

       -f     Force the lock.  If another process holds a lock on file longer
              than a certain amount of time, dotlock will break that lock by
              removing the lockfile.

       -u     Unlock.  dotlock will remove file.lock.

       -d     Delete.  dotlock will lock file, remove it if it has length 0,
              and afterwards remove file.lock.

       -r retries
              This command line option tells dotlock to try locking retries
              times before giving up or (if invoked with the -f command line
              option) break a lock.  The default value is 5.  dotlock waits
              one second between successive locking attempts.

              The lock file dotlock generates.

       fcntl(2), flock(2), lockfile(1), lbdb-fetchaddr(1)

       dotlock gives all diagnostics in its return values:

       0 - DL_EX_OK
              The program was successful.

       1 - DL_EX_ERROR
              An unspecified error such as bad command line parameters, lack
              of system memory and the like has occurred.

       3 - DL_EX_EXIST
              The user wants to lock a file which has been locked by another
              process already.  If dotlock is invoked with the -f command line
              option, dotlock won't generate this error, but break other
              processes' locks.

       4 - DL_EX_NEED_RPIVS
              This return value only occurs if dotlock has been invoked with
              the -t command line option.  It means that dotlock will have to
              use its group mail privileges to lock file.

              This return value only occurs if dotlock has been invoked with
              the -t command line option.  It means that dotlock is unable to
              lock file.

       dotlock tries to implement an NFS-safe dotlocking method which was
       borrowed from lockfile(1).

       If the user can't open file for reading with his normal privileges,
       dotlock will return the DL_EX_ERROR exit value to avoid certain attacks
       against other users' spool files. The code carefully avoids race
       conditions when checking permissions; for details of all this see the
       comments in dotlock.c.

       dotlock is part of the Mutt mail user agent package.  It has been
       created to avoid running mutt with group mail privileges.

       Thomas Roessler <>

Unix                             JANUARY 2016                       dotlock(1)