[Dovecot] RC7: its issues or mine?

Chris Wakelin c.d.wakelin at reading.ac.uk
Mon Aug 21 20:23:27 EEST 2006

David Lee wrote:
>> Hmm. Could you try using "~/" or "%h" instead of "~"?
> Yes, both these seem to cure it.  Many thanks!  (Is it documented, and
> thus did I miss it?)

I think the examples had something like "~/mail" so I guess the "/" is
needed for "~" to work. %h% and the other variables are documented in

>>> 2. We have some Pine usage in our UNIX cluster.  Historically this has
>>> taken advantage of the Pine "rsh mailmachine /etc/rimapd" ability to avoid
>>> the need for the password: pre-authentication etc.  (Yes, we realise that
>>> 'rsh' has security issues.)  But when I try making symlink "/etc/rimapd"
>>> point to "/usr/dovecot/sbin/dovecot" this fails:
>>>    Error: Can't use SSL key file /etc/ssl/private/dovecot.pem: Permission denied
>> Sounds yucky. I think the program you'd need to run is
>> "/usr/dovecot/libexec/imap" rather than "dovecot" [...]
> Drat.  Yes.  My mistake.  That's looking better, but it still fails...
>> [...] but you'll need to
>> supply it some environment variables. I've never tried though.
> ... with an error message (which I'm line-wrapping here with "\"):
>    imap(<username>): Error: Ambiguous mail location setting, don't know \
>    what to do with it: /var/spool/mail/<username> (try prefixing it \
>    with mbox: or maildir:)
>    imap(<username): Fatal: Failed to create storage with data: \
>    /var/spool/mail/<username>
> So this mechanism not finding the "default_mail_env" (with our peculiar
> sub-dir specification) from the config file.  Perhaps more likely it's not
> finding the config file itself at all.

You'll need to supply it with at least MAIL=(the variable-substituted
version of default_mail_env) and possibly some NAMESPACE* environment
variables if the client uses a folder prefix. You'll also want some
logging variables I guess; it won't be able to use the Dovecot master
process for this, so you'll probably have to make it go to syslog
(USE_SYSLOG="yes" SYSLOG_FACILITY="mail" etc.)

I'm not sure it's been documented properly yet, but Timo has mentioned
this sort of thing for debugging purposes. In some ways the simplest
thing is to grep through the src/imap/*.c code for "getenv". I'd be
pretty surprised if anybody's tried this for Pine before!

Best Wishes,

Christopher Wakelin,                           c.d.wakelin at reading.ac.uk
IT Services Centre, The University of Reading,  Tel: +44 (0)118 378 8439
Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 2AF, UK              Fax: +44 (0)118 975 3094

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