[Dovecot] Dovecot default inbox name?

Steffen Kaiser skdovecot at smail.inf.fh-bonn-rhein-sieg.de
Wed Aug 31 14:12:12 EEST 2005

On Tue, 30 Aug 2005, Andy Cravens wrote:

> I'm installing dovecot and migrating from mbox to maildir.  I've read several 
> articles concerning this process but I can't seem to find the answer to one 
> particular question.  What is the default name of the inbox when using 
> maildir format?  I need to create this in advance for each user and I don't 
> know what dovecot is expecting for the inbox directory name.

>From the Wiki, search for ".INBOX" using the "text" button:

"What is the ''mail environment''?


maildir: rootdir [ :INBOX= inboxdir ] [ :INDEX= indexdir ] [ :CONTROL= 
controldir ]

Do not type the square brackets. They only mark optional parts. The parts 
in italics are where you supply your own data. All four specify directory 
paths. Do not leave any blanks in, I have used them only for legibility.

Notice that the mailbox INBOX is special in the imap protocol. If you 
specify an inbox in the mail environment, any reference to a mailbox 
called INBOX is redirected to the specified directory. If you leave it 
out, the specified rootdir is used for the INBOX too. (So even if you see 
a directory called .INBOX in your Maildir, the contents of INBOX goes 
directly in Maildir.)

The index part specifies where dovecot stores its indices. It can be 
specified as MEMORY, but I do not know what happens then. Perhaps the 
server will not save indices to files but rebuild its indices each time a 
client connects, or each time a client selects a mailbox."

So, when you use no extra INBOX setting, the INBOX defaults to the 
"cur/new" folders within your MailDir root directory; the .INBOX only 
holds the Dovecot-specific files, unless you redirect them via INDEX or 

(Using alpha1)
BTW: If you tell Dovecot exactly what's your mail environment is, e.g.:

default_mail_env = 

it happily creates all neccessary folders and files when you logon the 
first time, e.g.

Configure a test user, logon via IMAP, them copy/move a message into the 
account (via IMAP) and observe the results.


Steffen Kaiser

More information about the dovecot mailing list