Why does lack of disk space cause lost mail?

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When a large message is sent to multiple recipients, the message may delivered to some but fail for others. For example, in sending to five people, two might receive the message and three not. This may occur if a large message is delivered to the system and there is not enough disk space available to deliver it to everyone.

The Internet mail standard only allows the messaging server to return a single status to the sending server – success or fail. The Internet mail standard does not state whether a success or fail should be returned.


Consistent with the Internet standards, GMS delivers the email to as many of the recipients as possible and returns a “Success” to the sending client. This can lead to the sender of the email assuming that it has been received by all recipients.

The reason for the failure is stored in the logs.

In future versions, a warning message is sent to the sender of the original message. This tells the sender that the message could not be delivered to all recipients.

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Keywords:mail lost disk space

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