[Dovecot] Quota handling - opportunity for new Feature?

Charles Marcus CMarcus at Media-Brokers.com
Tue May 22 23:18:07 EEST 2007

Gabriel Millerd wrote:
> On 5/22/07, Charles Marcus <CMarcus at media-brokers.com> wrote:
>> 1. Have two 'special' user-specific folders (by special, I mean
>> like the Drafts, Sent, Templates folders) that dovecot controls:

> These are just special in terms of the client side of things.

Special, in that the user/client doesn't have full control of them, 
dovecot does.

> This can be seen by the large number of people with Sent, Sent-Mail,
> Drafts, Postponsed, Junk Mail (and all the variants Outlook has
> created on the phrase 'junk mail' over the years)

I know - I'd love a way to define in dovecot to clean these kinds of 
things up too... maybe a list of folders to 'consolidate' into the 
specifid/preferred folder...

>>    a) one, that the user has read-only access to and shows up in his
>> folders list, that is used only for system-related messages, like
>> over-quota notices - and maybe even user-specific log-type errors could
>> be delivered here?
>>    b) and one (hidden) that the user does *not* have access to, to
>> temporarily hold messages that come in that are unable to be delivered
>> due to an over-quota condition

> Your taking control of my email and not delivering it?

That is not what I said - it is delivered - the system admin simply 
prevents the end user from seeing it unless/until they rectify their 
over-quota condition.

> In my experience this would cause both a potential backlash and a
> people resending mail.

I don't see how that would be a problem... the user will see *something* 
in their Inbox, and unless they are a *total* moron, they will actually 
*read* the message that is generated - especially since it will have a 
subject yelling at them in all caps that they are over quota.

> Especially since people really only look at their INBOX for new mail
> or particular folders they have scripted. Using a 'poll all fodlers
> for new mail' I could see I had new mail in your 'a' folder. But that
> would be the only way.

I agree, and actually, I thought of a better way after I sent that...

I'm guessing that dovecot could over-ride the Quota limit to inject 
small system generated messages like over-quota - so, forget about the 
folder 'a'...

How about every time a message comes in while the user is over-quota, 
dovecot injects another notification saying so directly in the users 
Inbox - ie, 'Message with Subject: "blah" has been received from 
"blahblah", but you are #MB over quota - no new messages will be 
delivered to your Inbox until you delete some messages or move them to 
'Local Folders'.

Of course, this message should be fully customizable using variables...

> This is how it actually works right now if configured, only the 'B'
> folder is sender's /var/mail/spool

I'm not sure what you mean - most systems I have seen are configured to 
reject mail for users who are over quota. I know that postfix can be 
configured to soft-bounce, which is a part of what I'm talking about...

But I'd like a nice, clean, simple way for users to:

1. Know they are over-quota.

2. Never have mail rejected if they go over quota

3. Have a way of informing them when new messages have arrived but are 
being held pending rectification of their over-quota condition.

4. Provide a configurable way to send a notification to the sender that 
the email was accepted for delivery, but it being held pending 
rectification of an over quota condition.

This way, the user has only themselves to blame, and as long as this 
works reliably, I should never get a phone call about an over quota 

I'd prefer to handle this totally at the server level, and give a 
consistent experience regardless of the client used.

> Off topic but you could also wrap your MTA (easily do this with
> exim and I am sure others) to 'deny message  = "Achtung! your so over
> quota man"\ncondition = ${run{gimmequota.pl}}\nhosts = local_domains"
> if you want that instant 'halt your over quota' experience.

See above - I'm not doing this to be mean - I'm just trying to figure 
out a viable way of managing quotas that will be user friendly for the 
users, so that they won;t have to call me.


Best regards,


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