[Dovecot] IMAP Folders Don't Make Sense

Brian Hayden bhayden at umn.edu
Thu Feb 25 23:10:00 EET 2010

On Feb 25, 2010, at 3:05 PM, Carlos Williams wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 3:21 PM, Rick Romero <rick at havokmon.com>  
> wrote:
>> The subscriptions file is only used by the MUAs, and you can set  
>> them to
>> ignore it.  I would just tell the MUAs to ignore it.  You can  
>> safely delete
>> it - except if you have an MUA that is using it then the folders will
>> disappear...
>> I suppose if you have a PDA and a huge folder structure you might  
>> have the
>> PDA use subscriptions and trim down the folder list...
>> I would 'start fresh' and remove it.
> When I remove this file, my mail clients (webmail & Thunderbird) no
> longer see any of my sub folders. How can I remove this file if it
> holds obsolete data and still be able to see my Inbox sub folders?
> I reverted back to my original dovecot.conf file as when I posted my
> original. No changes basically have been made. When I add your
> suggestion for namespace to my config, I for some reason then have a
> main Inbox folder in my mail client and then it has a subdirectory
> called inbox and that has all my IMAP folders listed. So it's a bit
> redundant for the Inbox folder only.

You need to:

1. Remove your subscriptions file.
2. Set your client to ignore subscriptions and view all folders.
3. Then, and only then, settle on a server configuration (including  
any namespaces you may choose to use), and then re-subscribe to  
folders in your client (if you are going to insist on using  

It's impossible to get your server configuration correct if you're  
judging the user-visible side by a client using legacy subscriptions,  
particularly if the subscriptions file is in an unreliable state (as  
it sounds like yours is--as most of them almost always are).


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