Connection timed out for all my e-mail accounts after migration to a new server


For obvious reasons, is the server that runs Mailpile a VPS, dedicated machine running either colo or from your home?


It’s a VPS. However I did run Maipile for several years that way now, the issue appeared when I migrated the snapshot to a new VPS (I upgraded it).


Since you don’t use Mailpile with Tor, there are plenty of different possibilities that can cause this behavior. It could very well be something Python related, but apt-get purge python will break your whole OS.

If the issue were to face again, would you be open to reinstalling your VPS? I could help you with that, side by side without having access to the VPS itself. Because the only party that should have access to your Mailpile data is you and only you.

Note: the following is a paranoia rant. Feel free to ignore.

Come to think of it, not sure whether a VPS is the most logical choice to run your Mailpile instance from as “someone else” owns the infrastructure and could clone your VPS alongside with the contents of the RAM and disk. But this might be my tinfoil hat speaking.


I appreciate that you offer your help but actually I would prefer to avoid reinstalling the VPS. There are so many things configured on my VPS (a website with multiple subdomains, Syncthing, Mattermost, and other services) that it would take too long to restart from scratch and reconfigure things. Let alone the things I configured using guides and that I wouldn’t be capable of reconfiguring by myself without the said guides now (I may not find them again). And even with backups, I prefer not taking the risk of having these services down for too long unless I really have no choice.

Yes, you are right about Mailpile being on a VPS. However, I consider the risk acceptable given what I use it for. I chose Mailpile mostly because it is open source, self-hosted, privacy-oriented and tries to make encryption easier to use, but not only for those security reasons. With a VPS, I can access the same Mailpile accounts from any computer (and my Internet connection at home wouldn’t allow using a homemade server). I like the overall idea of Mailpile and want to support such endeavors, I didn’t see many other email clients that gather all these elements together (except maybe Mailspring, which was not available at the time and was still Nylas Mail).


As for the reinstallation: I totally get that. Reinstalling will take some serious effort. While I have serious experience with webhosting, Syncthing, Mattermost and ‘other services’ (from both my dayjob as a sysop/Unix expert), my Ubuntu / Linux skills are somewhat rusty - as my focus lies with BSD.

As for the rest; though you have given me an idea of your situation - which really helps me. You stated that you have followed guides to get the services installed, configured and running. That makes me wonder if the issues could be caused by improperly configured resource limits.

See, most guides are written solely to get you setup with the subject. They do not take into account that a server with multiple services might need tweaking. Every OS - no matter if we are talking Linux, BSD, Windows, macOS - have defaults. Like a maximum number of open connections, sockets, files, etcetera.

If the issues were to face again, this would be a logical aspect to research. It might be the Ubuntu defaults which are too… ‘conservative’ - but your VPS provider might have customized these values as well. Many virtual infrastructure providers do this for OS images, to optimize the “customer experience”.

So, for now, my advice would be to just enjoy using Mailpile and your server without any problems. Should anything arise, please respond here or shoot me either a message on this forum or an e-mail. My address is in my profile text. Ofcourse, as a Mailpile user myself, you can use GPG to encrypt any and all sensitive information :slight_smile:


Thanks, really appreciated! I’ll keep an eye on it and will report back if the issue appears again.

(By the way, I am using Debian Jessie on the VPS, which may cause other issues in the future since it’s quite old already, and the new VPS has more RAM/CPU resources than the previous one which was already running the same things/subdomains.)