[Dovecot] Orientation and configuration help

Wouter Van Hemel wouter-dovecot at fort-knox.rave.org
Sun Nov 28 05:08:51 EET 2004

On Sat, 27 Nov 2004, J Moore wrote:

> I've installed dovecot, and reviewed /etc/dovecot.conf. I think I need
> to do the following to get underway:
> 1) create a directory for Maildir-formatted folders:
>   mkdir /home/<username>/Maildir

I haven't used maildir yet, but I think dovecot makes that directory 
automatically when you set the mail environment in dovecot.conf.


> 2) start the dovecot daemon
> Is that it? Will dovecot "take over" from mutt, and put mail in my home
> directory? Or do I need to configure sendmail to deliver to dovecot?

No, dovecot doesn't deliver anything. Your MTA (or LDA) configuration will 
determine where mail ends up. You just tell dovecot where to find the 
mailbox files with the default_mail_env variable (see dovecot.conf).

> Also, there are other users/email accounts on the mail server that I
> would like to leave "as-is". Over time, I may want to migrate them to
> dovecot as well, but I'm reluctant to switch everything over
> until I've had a chance to evaluate it.

Just don't log in with IMAP. Dovecot has nothing to do with where your MTA 
saves arriving emails, so it doesn't matter to people who don't use IMAP.

You could have a separate passwd file, if you only want access for a few 
users. And you can set a mail environment variable per user, if needed. 
See the wiki, Q & A.

> Should I run dovecot as a "rootless" installation to get it for a single
> user, or should I just set my single UID in dovecot.conf?

I don't know if that would work the way you think it would. First of all, 
dovecot needs to be started as root to bind to port 143, obviously. I 
suppose after that you could run everything unprivileged with your UID, 
and have a imap directory root in your home directory... but that's not 
what you want, it's not a strict one-user dovecot instance. I don't think 
the code has been written with this in mind.

I suggest you use a normal imap setup and use a different passwd file if 
necessary. From there on, you have full control over who can use imap, and 
you can pick a different password for imap as for your system account. 
It's also easier to allow other users imap access later on.

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