[Dovecot] Changing the Seen Flags per Shared folder

Charles Marcus CMarcus at Media-Brokers.com
Thu Feb 8 13:26:39 UTC 2007

Hi Timo,

This feature is one of only two that, if implemented, would make dovecot 
'perfect' (for me) as far as feature set goes.

There were a few messages about this subject previously, but I'm 
confused - it appears you say one thing, then another... with all of the 
changes dovecot has seen recently, can you clarify the status of this 

I am also interested in having this configurable on a per shared folder 
basis... I have some folders that I want to force shared 'seen' flags - 
ie, if one person marks a message as seen, everyone else will also see 
it as seen (this would be for our incoming efaxes), and on another I 
want each user to maintain their own 'seen' flags (for company-wide info 
messages, etc).

Anyway, first, on 23/03/2006 you replied to someone's question about this:

>> I was wondering if the above was possible. I know that the "seen" 
>> flag is stored in the filename, but was wondering if anyone knew of
>> a way to separate it out? I know this would strictly-speaking 
>> break maildir compatibility, but it would be extremely useful for 
>> shared folders.

Timo replies:
 > The way this worked at one point was by making each user have separate
 > index file for the mailbox, then keeping the \Seen flag only inside
 > that index file and ignoring the maildir's seen flag completely. Then
 > I rewrote the maildir syncing code and this part was dropped out.
 > Probably wouldn't be too difficult to make it work again.. Yea, looks
 > like it wasn't. Works now in CVS.

Here, you said 'it works'... this was in March of 2006.

Then, on Dec 6, you replied to someone else's similar question:

Amardeep wrote:
>> Can we change the setting on dovecot so that the Seen mail flag S
>> should be saved where everybody can see that and not in the
>> dovecot.index file
>> As we are facing problems with public folder read/unread mails.

Timo replied:
> Usually people want private seen flag with shared folders. I want to 
> make this configurable, but I haven't yet much thought how this
> should be done, so for now it's hardcoded.
> You can change it by modifying the sources:
> src/lib-storage/index/maildir/maildir-storage.c around line 519: 
> mbox->private_flags_mask = MAIL_SEEN;
> Change MAIL_SEEN to 0.

So, again, just to clarify - it is currently not possible to configure 
this on a per shared folder basis?

If not, any idea when you might be able to get around to making this 

There are only two things that - for me - dovecot lacks to make it 

1. per-share configurable message flags (mainly 'seen', but if you're 
going to do that might as well make this possible for all of them, no?), and

2. single-instance storage - ie, links for duplicate messages, and for 
duplicate message attachments that may have differing body text.


Best regards,


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