[Dovecot] SQL as a storage backend

Sven Hartge sven at svenhartge.de
Fri Dec 6 22:02:51 EET 2013

Zachary Sturgeon <zsturgeon at pccc.com> wrote:

> I am researching using dovecot with an SQL database as the storage
> backend.  From what I've read, dovecot only supports mbox style file
> storage, but I'd like to investigate the possibility of using a
> database instead.

> According to
> http://dovecot.org/pipermail/dovecot/2006-June/013818.html, this
> possibility has been explored before and has generally been accepted
> that Dovecot is not optimized to handle this.

> Any suggestions?

There is one relational database based mail-system out there I know of:

In my opinion its performance compared with the cost of reaching good
performance (you need a very big database server or cluster with tons of
RAM) is problematic. 

Relational databases are not very suited for the storage of the largely
unstructured data format called "mail". You could do this, but you would
degrade your relational database to a simple object storage, not being
able to use the full feature set. (The commercial Dovecot Pro version
features several object storage plugins: <http://www.dovecot.fi/products/>)

And most operating systems already include a very fast and highly
optimized object storage: a filesystem.

Also see this discussion from March 2012:


Sigmentation fault. Core dumped.

More information about the dovecot mailing list