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

Namespaces

Dovecot 1.0 versions support fully configurable namespaces. Their original and primary purpose is to provide [http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2342.html Namespace IMAP extension] support, which allows giving clients hints about where to locate mailboxes and if they're private, shared or public. Unfortunately most IMAP clients don't support this extension.

With Dovecot namespaces can be used for a few other purposes too:

See namespace sections in [http://dovecot.org/doc/dovecot-example.conf example configuration file] for more information.

Backwards Compatibility

When switching from UW-IMAP and you don't want to give users full access to filesystem, you can create hidden namespaces which allow users to access their mails using their existing namespace settings in clients.

# default namespace
namespace private {
  separator = /
  prefix =
  inbox = yes
}
# for backwards compatibility:
namespace private {
  separator = /
  prefix = mail/
  hidden = yes
}
namespace private {
  separator = /
  prefix = ~/mail/
  hidden = yes
}
namespace private {
  separator = /
  prefix = ~%u/mail/
  hidden = yes
}

For Courier-IMAP compatibility, use:

namespace private {
  separator = .
  prefix = INBOX.
  inbox = yes
}

Shared Mailboxes

See SharedFolders.

Multiple Mailbox Locations

INBOX in /var/mail/username, maildir in ~/Maildir, other mboxes in ~/mail under #mbox/ namespace:

namespace private {
  separator = /
  inbox = yes
  hidden = yes
  prefix = "#mbox/"
  location = mbox:~/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/%u
}
namespace private {
  separator = /
  prefix =
  location = maildir:~/Maildir
}

Without the "hidden = yes" in the first namespace, clients see the #mbox namespace as a non-selectable mailbox named as #mbox and having submailboxes (ie. like a directory).