Provided by: mutt_1.5.21-6.4ubuntu2_amd64
mutt_dotlock - Lock mail spool files.
mutt_dotlock [-t|-f|-u|-d] [-p] [-r retries] file
mutt_dotlock implements the traditional mail spool file locking method: To lock file, a file named file.lock is created. The program operates with group mail privileges if necessary.
-t Just try. mutt_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, mutt_dotlock will break that lock by removing the lockfile. -u Unlock. mutt_dotlock will remove file.lock. -d Delete. mutt_dotlock will lock file, remove it if it has length 0, and afterwards remove file.lock. -p Use privileges. If given this option, mutt_dotlock will operate with group mail privileges when creating and deleting lock files. -r retries This command line option tells mutt_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. mutt_dotlock waits one second between successive locking attempts.
file.lock The lock file mutt_dotlock generates.
mutt_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 occured. 3 - DL_EX_EXIST The user wants to lock a file which has been locked by another process already. If mutt_dotlock is invoked with the -f command line option, mutt_dotlock won't generate this error, but break other processes' locks. 4 - DL_EX_NEED_RPIVS This return value only occurs if mutt_dotlock has been invoked with the -t command line option. It means that mutt_dotlock will have to use its group mail privileges to lock file. 5 - DL_EX_IMPOSSIBLE This return value only occurs if mutt_dotlock has been invoked with the -t command line option. It means that mutt_dotlock is unable to lock file even with group mail privileges.
mutt_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, mutt_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.
mutt_dotlock is part of the Mutt mail user agent package. It has been created to avoid running mutt with group mail privileges.
Thomas Roessler <email@example.com>