This documentation is for Dovecot v2.x, see wiki1 for v1.x documentation.
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= Mail location =

 * For mbox-specific settings, see ["MailLocation/Mbox"]
 * For Maildir-specific settings, see ["MailLocation/Maildir"]

In configuration file the default mail location is set using `mail_location` setting. This setting used to be called `default_mail_env` in Dovecot versions earlier than 1.0.rc11.

By default `mail_location` is empty, which means that Dovecot attempts to locate automatically where your mails are. This is done by looking at `~/Maildir`, `/var/mail/username` and `~/mail` in that order. It's usually a good idea to explicitly specify where the mails are, even if the autodetection happens to work.

You can use several variables in `mail_location`. A full list of them is in [wiki:Variables Variables], but the most commonly used ones are:

 * `%u`: Full username.
 * `%n`: User part in user@domain, same as %u if there's no domain.
 * `%d`: Domain part in user@domain, empty if there's no domain.
 * `%h`: Home directory.

Typically with maildir it would be set to:

{{{
mail_location = maildir:%h/Maildir }}}

or with mbox:

{{{
mail_location = mbox:%h/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/%u }}}

Use only absolute paths. Even if relative paths would appear to work, they might just as well break some day.

== Index files ==

Index files are by default stored under the same directory as mails. With maildir they are stored in the actual maildirs, with mbox they are stored under `.imap/` directory. You can change these by adding `:INDEX=location` to location string. For example:

{{{
mail_location = mbox:%h/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/%u:INDEX=%h/indexes }}}

If you really want to, you can also disable the index files completely by appending {{{:INDEX=MEMORY}}}.

== Homeless users ==

Having a home directory for users is highly recommended. [wiki:LDA Deliver]'s Sieve plugin already uses the home directory, and it won't work without one. You could even make the home directory be the same as the mail directory, but this isn't necessarily a good idea, especially with mbox storage where the created files would show up as mailboxes. You could instead put the home directory under the mail directory, so that eg. your home directory becomes {{{/var/mail/user/Maildir/home}}} or {{{/var/mail/user/mbox/.imap/home}}}.

If you really don't want to set a home directory, you can simply use something like:

{{{
mail_location = maildir:/home/%u/Maildir }}}

== Per-user mail locations ==

It's possible to override mail location for specific users by making the [wiki:UserDatabase user database] return `mail` [wiki:UserDatabase/ExtraFields extra field]. See the [:UserDatabase:user database] page for the specific userdb you're using for more information how to do this. Here are however a couple of examples:

=== SQL ===

{{{
user_query = SELECT home, uid, gid, mail FROM users WHERE user = '%u' }}}

=== LDAP ===

{{{
user_attrs = homeDirectory=home,uidNumber=uid,gidNumber=gid,mailLocation=mail }}}

=== Passwd-file ===

{{{
user:{PLAIN}password:1000:1000::/home/user::userdb_mail=mbox:~/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/%u }}}

== Mixing mbox and maildir ==

It's possible to use both mboxes and maildirs for the same user by configuring multiple namespaces. See ["Namespaces"].

Having both mboxes and maildirs mixed within the same namespace isn't currently supported.

== Custom mailbox location detection ==

Dovecot by default detects the mailboxes in this order:

 1. maildir: ~/Maildir
 1. mbox: ~/mail, and /var/mail/%u if it exists
 1. mbox: ~/Mail, and /var/mail/%u if it exists

If you need something else, you can override the `mail_executable` setting to run a script, which sets the MAIL environment properly. For example:

{{{
#/bin/sh

if [ -f $HOME/.maildir ]; then
  export MAIL=maildir:$HOME/.maildir
else
  export MAIL=mbox:$HOME/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/$USER
fi

# Finally execute the imap/pop3. If you use both, you'll need two scripts.
exec /usr/local/libexec/dovecot/imap
}}}

'''NOTE''': If you're using namespaces, the MAIL environment is ignored. You'll need to set NAMESPACE_1 (and maybe _2, _3, etc. for each namespace) instead.
Moved to https://doc.dovecot.org/configuration_manual/mail_location/

None: MailLocation (last edited 2019-09-11 14:05:46 by MichaelSlusarz)