dovecot - time move backward

vod

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Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
133
Hi All,

I have recently experience this strange problem. Dovecot always kill itself. The log file says:
" Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 12 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards "

From my understanding from the wiki, it is something related to ntpd but i do not have access to time updating service of my server. it is a vps.

Since i dont have access to server's time updating service, i am thinking to create a cron job to restart dovecot every 10 minutes. So that even though dovecot kill itself due to time move backwards, 10 minutes later it will restart itself. However, i am not familiar with shell script.

Can anyone help? Just a simple crontab entry or shell script to start dovecot every 10 mins will do.

Or if you have any better solutions, i will be more than pleased to hear

Thank you very much
 

tillo

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Oct 28, 2007
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Usually you don't have control of the clock on a VPS (talking about Virtuozzo/OpenVZ, don't know about Xen)... and steps of 12 seconds are huge and wrong, in your place I would question the technical skills of your hoster.

Even if you make Dovecot restart every 10 seconds if it's down it won't solve a large set of other potential problems caused by an unstable clock. Don't do a workaround, ask your hoster to solve the problem ASAP.
 

vod

Verified User
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
133
Usually you don't have control of the clock on a VPS (talking about Virtuozzo/OpenVZ, don't know about Xen)... and steps of 12 seconds are huge and wrong, in your place I would question the technical skills of your hoster.

Even if you make Dovecot restart every 10 seconds if it's down it won't solve a large set of other potential problems caused by an unstable clock. Don't do a workaround, ask your hoster to solve the problem ASAP.
Thanks for the advice.

the reason i am looking for workaround is that most of the time when i get the hoster to solve issue, they solve 1 and lead to another. So, even if they managed to solve this issue, i may have to monitor the server over a certain period to make sure that nothing else go wrong. However I currently do not have the time to monitor the server so i am looking for simple workaround for the time being.

Anyone can help?
 

tillo

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Oct 28, 2007
Messages
862
Location
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Seems like you have a nice hoster there :)

Use this in your crontab:
Code:
[ ! -e /var/lock/subsys/dovecot ] && /etc/init.d/dovecot start
Check that /var/lock/subsys/dovecot is present when Dovecot is running, it is on my system.
You could run this crontab every minute (* * * * *).
 

skolapper

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Sep 1, 2009
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Location
Senegal
dovecot time move backward

There is no easy way back. But theres not really an reason why youre getting any errors caused by Dovecot unless the installation failed. Why dont you tell us some of the symptoms; maybe some of use can help you.

Jeff
 

JohnyByk

Verified User
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
217
This thread is very old but i have the same issue. I'm not sure that it's VM problem. I'm using hyper-v. All was ok but when i updated debian from 8 to 9 i see many errors in my mail.log:
Code:
Jan 23 05:54:58 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 68 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards
Jan 23 05:58:42 naruto dovecot[52303]: lmtp: Fatal: master: service(lmtp): child 11192 killed with signal 6 (core dumps disabled)
Jan 23 05:59:48 naruto dovecot[52303]: lmtp: Fatal: master: service(lmtp): child 2587 killed with signal 6 (core dumps disabled)
Jan 23 06:00:58 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 97 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards
Jan 23 06:00:58 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 97 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards
Jan 23 06:00:58 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 97 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards
Jan 23 06:00:58 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 97 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards
Jan 23 06:00:58 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 97 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards
Jan 23 06:00:58 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 97 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards
Jan 23 06:00:58 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 97 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards
Jan 23 06:00:58 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 97 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards
Jan 23 06:01:08 naruto dovecot[52303]: pop3-login: Error: read(pop3) failed: Remote closed connection (destination service { process_limit } reached?)
Jan 23 06:02:18 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 67 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards
Jan 23 06:06:48 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 67 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards
Jan 23 06:06:48 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 97 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards
Jan 23 06:08:18 naruto dovecot[52303]: imap: Fatal: Time just moved backwards by 67 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I'll just kill myself now. http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards

Before debian ugrade all Was OK. First error like this appear not long after update. It's not NTP problem like is described here:
http://wiki2.dovecot.org/TimeMovedBackwards

Please help :)
Mayby someone have the same problem and know how to resolve it. I don't know what makes the problem, hyper-v or new debian but i think so debian 9 because on 8 all was ok.
 

JohnyByk

Verified User
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
217
I solved this problem. After windows upgrade time synchronization for vm was enabled (before windows update was disabled). I turned off this function again and all works ok.

Regards
 
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