Mail::Box::Locker - manage the locking of mail folders


Mail::Box::Locker - manage the locking of mail folders


   is a Mail::Reporter
 Mail::Box::Locker is extended by


 use Mail::Box::Locker;
 my $locker = new Mail::Box::Locker(folder => $folder);
 use Mail::Box;
 my $folder = Mail::Box->new(lock_method => 'DOTLOCK');
 print $folder->locker->type;


Each Mail::Box will create its own Mail::Box::Locker object which will handle the locking for it. You can access of the object directly from the folder, as shown in the examples below.




Create a new lock. You may do this directly. However, in most cases the lock will not be separately instantiated but will be the second class in a multiple inheritance construction with a Mail::Box.

Generally the client program specifies the locking behavior through options given to the folder class.

 Option   Defined in       Default      
 expires                   1 hour       
 file                      undef        
 folder                    <required>   
 log      L<Mail::Reporter>  C<'WARNINGS'>
 method                    C<'DOTLOCK'> 
 timeout                   10 seconds   
 trace    L<Mail::Reporter>  C<'WARNINGS'>

. expires SECONDS

How long can a lock exist? If a different e-mail program leaves a stale lock, then this lock will be removed automatically after the specified number of seconds.


Name of the file to lock. By default, the name of the folder is taken.

. folder FOLDER

Which FOLDER is to be locked, a Mail::Box object.

. log LEVEL


Which kind of locking, specified as one of the following names as STRING. You may also specify a CLASS name, or an ARRAY of names. In case of an ARRAY, a 'multi' locker is started with all thee full CLASS name.

Supported locking names are

'DOTLOCK' | 'dotlock'
The folder handler creates a file which signals that it is in use. This is a bit problematic, because not all mail-handling software agree on the name of the file to be created.

On various folder types, the lockfile differs. See the documentation for each folder, which describes the locking strategy as well as special options to change the default behavior.

'FLOCK' | 'flock'
For some folder handlers, locking is based on a file locking mechanism provided by the operating system. However, this does not work on all systems, such as network filesystems, and such. This also doesn't work on folders based on directories (Mail::Box::Dir and derived).

'POSIX' | 'posix'
Use the POSIX standard fcntl locking.

'MULTI' | 'multi'
Use ALL available locking methods at the same time, to have a bigger chance that the folder will not be modified by some other application which uses an unspecified locking method. When one of the locking methods disallows access, the locking fails.

'NFS' | 'nfs'
A kind of dotlock file-locking mechanism, but adapted to work over NFS. Extra precaution is needed because an open O_EXCL on NFS is not an atomic action.

'NONE' | 'none'
Do not use locking.

The other option is to produce your own Mail::Box::Locker derived class, which implements the desired locking method. (Please consider offering it for inclusion in the public Mail::Box module!) Create an instance of that class with this parameter:

 my $locker = Mail::Box::Locker::MyOwn->new;
 $folder->open(locker => $locker);


How long to wait while trying to acquire the lock. The lock request will fail when the specified number of seconds is reached. If 'NOTIMEOUT' is specified, the module will wait until the lock can be taken.

Whether it is possible to limit the wait time is platform- and locking-method-specific. For instance, the `dotlock' method on Windows will always wait until the lock has been received.

. trace LEVEL

The Locker


Returns the filename which is used to lock the folder, optionally after setting it to the specified FILENAME.


 print $locker->filename;


Returns the folder object which is locker.


Returns the method used to lock the folder. See the new(method) for details on how to specify the lock method. The name of the method is returned in upper-case.


 if($locker->name eq 'FLOCK') ...



Check whether the folder has the lock.


 if($locker->hasLock) {...}
 if($folder->locker->hasLock) {...}


Test if the folder is locked by this or a different application.


 if($locker->isLocked) {...}
 if($folder->locker->isLocked) {...}


Get a lock on a folder. This will return false if the lock fails.


 die unless $locker->lock;
 if($folder->locker->lock) {...}


Undo the lock on a folder.



Error handling


See Error handling in the Mail::Reporter manpage


See Error handling in the Mail::Reporter manpage


Mail::Box::Locker->defaultTrace([LEVEL]|[LOGLEVEL, TRACELEVEL]|[LEVEL, CALLBACK])

See Error handling in the Mail::Reporter manpage


See Error handling in the Mail::Reporter manpage

$obj->log([LEVEL [,STRINGS]])

Mail::Box::Locker->log([LEVEL [,STRINGS]])

See Error handling in the Mail::Reporter manpage



See Error handling in the Mail::Reporter manpage


See Error handling in the Mail::Reporter manpage


See Error handling in the Mail::Reporter manpage


See Error handling in the Mail::Reporter manpage


See Error handling in the Mail::Reporter manpage


See Error handling in the Mail::Reporter manpage


See Error handling in the Mail::Reporter manpage



When the locker is destroyed, for instance when the folder is closed or the program ends, the lock will be automatically removed.


See Cleanup in the Mail::Reporter manpage


Error: Package $package does not implement $method.

Fatal error: the specific package (or one of its superclasses) does not implement this method where it should. This message means that some other related classes do implement this method however the class at hand does not. Probably you should investigate this and probably inform the author of the package.


See the MailBox website at for more details.


Distribution version 2.059. Written by Mark Overmeer ( See the ChangeLog for other contributors.

Copyright (c) 2001-2003 by the author(s). All rights reserved. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

 Mail::Box::Locker - manage the locking of mail folders