[Dovecot] IMAP Folders Don't Make Sense

Leeman Strout me at mooluv.com
Thu Feb 25 23:48:54 EET 2010

On 2/25/2010 4:35 PM, Carlos Williams wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 4:10 PM, Brian Hayden<bhayden at umn.edu>  wrote:
>> You need to:
>> 1. Remove your subscriptions file.
> This I did. Now I can no longer see from the client side any of my IMAP folders.
>> 2. Set your client to ignore subscriptions and view all folders.
> I logged into my webmail and in the main mailbox view all my IMAP
> folders except for Inbox and the default ones were missing. I then
> opened up the folders settings option and 'subscribed' to all the
> folders I didn't see in my main mailbox view. Once I enabled
> 'subscription' via webmail, I could then see all my folders again. Is
> this wrong? You stated the opposite should be done. I would think if
> they were not selected for subscription, I would see them but it
> appears to be the other way around. How can I see my messages on my
> email client with out the 'subscriptions' file in my Maildir? I am
> assuming this questions' answer varies depending on what client we're
> talking about, no?
>> 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 subscriptions).
>> 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).
> I just can't see how to get any IMAP client to read IMAP folders w/o
> that 'subscriptions' file. It appears that it looks for it or is in
> some way dependent on this file. Am I wrong?

The subscriptions file is technically optional.  For instance, 
Thunderbird has a setting to either use nor not use it.  If TB uses 
subscriptions then you need to subscribe to all folders that you want to 
see.  Otherwise it will show all folders.

Dunno about your webmail, however as an example SquirrelMail uses 
subscriptions, no way around it.

With this combination, I'd enable webmail subscriptions and disable TB's 
use of subscriptions.

For TB if you want to ignore subscriptions, go into your Account 
Settings, select Server Settings under the correct account, click the 
Advanced button in the Server Settings sub-box, and uncheck "Show only 
subscribed folders".


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