Fix for Courier IMAP Error: check for configuration errors with the FAM/Gamin library

I've got the following error message on Debian Linux (6.0) with Courier IMAP server:

Filesystem notification initialization error -- contact your mail
administrator (check for configuration errors with the FAM/Gamin library)

when I tried to access a IMAP share. The resaon for the problem seems to be that the "fam" package was not working correctly. The solution is to install the gamin package which can replace fam in a courier setup:

apt-get install gamin

Dont worry when you get a message from apt that libfam0 gets uninstalled but is required by courier. This had no geative effects on my server.

17 thoughts on “Fix for Courier IMAP Error: check for configuration errors with the FAM/Gamin library”

  1. worked as well on my side.

    installed gamin and restarted courier – since then our Outlook clients don’t have any problems anymore.

    thx for the tip

  2. Had that issue, too. Switched to gamin, error in Mail-Client went away. But under some circumstances, gamin blocks some files. You see courier authenticating the user in the logs, but the Mail-Client sais: no response from server” (sth similar). You can not access your mails, until you kill the gam_server process for that particular user.
    I am not sure, when or why this happens, but it affects the users with the biggest mailboxes here from time to time (several GB).


  3. I have some problem.
    I was apply:
    apt-get install gamin
    bat no effect.
    When I use:
    apt-get install fam
    and reinstal courier all works OK.

    PS: sorry for my english

    • Hello, I have the same as ondra:
      apt-get install gamin no effect
      But apt-get install fam
      install fam and remove courier-imap courier-imap-ssl courier-ssl gamin libgam0
      After that I install again courier:
      apt-get install courier-base courier-imap courier-imap-ssl courier-ssl
      and that works for me.
      Thanks for your post.
      Best wishes

      • Hi Bartek,

        Can you please explain how to this step by step i.e. ? I’m not a techie person but I need help,please. I run Outlook on WinXP SP3. Thanks.

  4. Fixed installing the gamin library:

    #aptitude install gamin

    It will ask to remove libfam0. I remove it with no problems. Imap is fixed.

    Thanks for your post.
    Best wishes

  5. Sorry folks but I recently started having the same problem – Outllok 2003, Win XPSP3. I am not techie at all.

    Please help with a 101 guide on how to run the “apt-get install gamin” as Ondra stated above. Thanks.


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