Trying to replace anti spam plugin with IMAPSieve; no joy

Brad Koehn brad at
Tue Nov 5 18:50:17 EET 2019

I’m trying to follow the instructions on the wiki to move from antispam to IMAPSieve, but it’s not working at all. A bit of a background:

dovecot-core              2:2.3.8-4~buster
dovecot-imapd             2:2.3.8-4~buster
dovecot-lmtpd             2:2.3.8-4~buster
dovecot-managesieved      2:2.3.8-4~buster
dovecot-pgsql             2:2.3.8-4~buster
dovecot-pop3d             2:2.3.8-4~buster
dovecot-sieve             2:2.3.8-4~buster
dovecot-solr              2:2.3.8-4~buster

My regular sieve scripts work fine for messages arriving through LMTP. I’ve updated my 20-imap.conf thusly:

## IMAP specific settings

protocol imap {
  mail_max_userip_connections = 30

  # Space separated list of plugins to load (default is global mail_plugins).
  mail_plugins = $mail_plugins imap_acl imap_sieve

plugin {
  sieve_plugins = sieve_imapsieve sieve_extprograms

  sieve_trace_dir = /tmp
  sieve_trace_level = matching

  # From elsewhere to Spam folder
  imapsieve_mailbox1_name = Spam
  imapsieve_mailbox1_causes = COPY
  imapsieve_mailbox1_before = file:/usr/lib/dovecot/sieve/report-spam.sieve

  # From Spam folder to elsewhere
  imapsieve_mailbox2_name = *
  imapsieve_mailbox2_from = Spam
  imapsieve_mailbox2_causes = COPY
  imapsieve_mailbox2_before = file:/usr/lib/dovecot/sieve/report-ham.sieve

  sieve_pipe_bin_dir = /usr/lib/dovecot/sieve

  sieve_global_extensions = +vnd.dovecot.pipe +vnd.dovecot.environment


I created the report-spam.sieve and report-ham.sieve scripts in /usr/lib/dovecot/sieve and compiled them with sievec:

require ["vnd.dovecot.pipe", "copy", "imapsieve", "environment", "variables"];

if environment :matches "imap.mailbox" "*" {
  set "mailbox" "${1}";

if string "${mailbox}" "Trash" {

pipe :copy "" [ "ham" ];


require ["vnd.dovecot.pipe", "copy", "imapsieve", "environment", "variables"];

pipe :copy "" [ "spam" ];


Lastly, I have the script in /usr/lib/dovecot/sieve:


echo "`date` learning $*" >> /tmp/sa-learn

# We run amavisd-new on another Kubernetes pod and communicate with it via socat on both ends; this worked with the old antispam plugin.

if [ "$*" = "ham" ] ; then
  socat - TCP:amavis:4443
  socat - TCP:amavis:4444

exit 0


The /usr/lib/dovecot/sieve directory looks like this:
drwxr-xr-x 1 root root 4096 Nov  4 20:49 .
drwxr-xr-x 1 root root 4096 Nov  3 20:06 ..
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  237 Nov  3 15:56 report-ham.sieve
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  384 Nov  4 20:49 report-ham.svbin
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  122 Nov  3 15:56 report-spam.sieve
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  290 Nov  4 20:49 report-spam.svbin
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  208 Nov  3 17:58

When the sieve scripts run when mail arrives during LMTP delivery they dutifully log their work in /tmp, so I know sieve works and sieve logging works too. The sieve scripts above never log anything, nor does /tmp/sa-learn ever get created as it would if were ever run. As far as I can tell I’ve duplicated the configuration from the wiki almost exactly, but dovecot is just not running the sieve scripts when messages are moved into/out of Junk. 

What am I missing?

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