Torsten Curdt’s weblog

Gmail POP3/IMAP problems?

This morning I woke up and “Inbox zero” was already reality. No mail? That’s odd! But then my IMAP account failed and I knew something must be going on. Mail.app told me it can’t log in. Strange – I didn’t change a thing! Checking the web interface revealed a an inbox far from being empty. So I dug a little deeper:

openssl s_client -connect pop.gmail.com:995
+OK Gpop ready for requests from 5pf404508eyh.0
USER tcurdt
+OK Backend is offline.  Showing you an empty mailbox.  Sorry. 5pf404508eyh.0

Wow! The Google backend offline?? I tried from a different machine (on a different network). Works! So obviously I was hitting a bad node and Google is doing some sharding based on the IP. Thanks to my 3G modem I got all my mail now …but where to you report stuff like that to? The Gmail help groups don’t really feel appropriate for such an incident.

  • theGuru
    Google's modus operandi of updating software is not as we traditionally know it with major/minor/point releases. Instead they tend to pick, poke, twist, wring, flip, straighten, join, separate, etc the software beast on the fly (with much testing in the background of course).

    The help groups are probably your best bet, otherwise hit upon the google developers (if you can track them).
  • Hm ...different behavior from different *private* ip address? That's strange! But I can confirm the same behavior. Just tested from a different machine in the same local network - and it worked! No idea how to fix this yet.
  • John Owens
    Same thing happened to me.

    Do you know anyway of fixing it. It's weird because I can access it from my iPhone on a different IP but from the same Wifi network, if what you say about sharding then thats odd it's not by subnet but by address.

    In the connection doctor output it actually returns there's a problem with the system and to try back later.
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