This documentation is for Dovecot v2.x, see wiki1 for v1.x documentation.
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= Lib-storage Error Handling =

{{{src/lib-storage/mail-error.h}}} describes different types of errors and has some other error-related functions and macros.

Only errors returning "int" can actually return a failure.
  * Functions that return a pointer will never return failure with NULL. Only "find" type of functions can return NULL, which means "not found".
  * Iterators usually work by the init() returning iterator pointer and next() returning a boolean. If there were any errors in either init() or next(), deinit() finally returns a failure.

== Getting lib-storage errors ==

 * {{{mailbox_list_*()}}} functions set their errors to the given mailbox_list structure. You can get these errors with {{{mailbox_list_get_last_error()}}}.
 * All other functions that have some way of accessing mail_storage (mailbox, mail, transactions, etc.) set their errors to the storage. You can get these errors with {{{mail_storage_get_last_error()}}}.
  * Mail user and namespace functions have their own error handling, typically by returning error strings as parameters.
 * Both {{{*_get_last_error()}}} functions should be called soon after the error is noticed, before other failing lib-storage calls overwrite the error.
  * In deinit failures it usually doesn't matter if you get the first or the last error, so it's easier to just call all the different deinit functions and finally look up what the last failure was.

== Setting lib-storage errors ==

Errors can be set with two calls:
 * {{{mail_storage_set_error()}}} and {{{mailbox_list_set_error()}}} should be used when the error is user's fault in some way. For example invalid mailbox name, out of quota, etc. The error string will be shown to user. It won't be written to a log file.
 * {{{mail_storage_set_critical()}}} and {{{mailbox_list_set_critical()}}} should be used when the error is a problem in the system and sysadmin should be notified. For example out of disk space or just in general an unexpected syscall failure. The error string that will be shown to user is the "Internal error occurred", but it will be logged as an error.
 * The reason for the separation of these two is:
  1. Only log errors that sysadmin can do something about.
  1. Never show user anything even potentially sensitive about the system, such as path names.

There are also a few other calls that aren't used as often, but can be helpful:
 * {{{mail_storage_set_internal_error()}}} and {{{mailbox_list_set_internal_error()}}} simply set the user-visible error message to "Internal error occurred". These can be used if the actual error was already logged.
 * {{{mail_storage_set_error_from_errno()}}} and {{{mailbox_list_set_error_from_errno()}}} set the user-visible error message based on some common {{{errno}}} values. Currently:
  * EACCESS, EPERM, EROFS: Permission denied
  * ENOSPC, EDQUOT: Not enough disk space
  * ENOENT, ENOTDIR: Not found
  * ELOOP: Directory structure is broken
Moved to https://doc.dovecot.org/developer_manual/design/error_handling/

None: Design/Storage/ErrorHandling (last edited 2021-09-24 15:30:11 by TimoSirainen)