[Dovecot] Confusion when trying to set up a first postfix+dovecot mailserver

Hans J. Albertsson hans.j.albertsson at branneriet.se
Sat Jul 21 17:49:48 EEST 2012

Actually I now tried to follow slavishly one other HowTo from the 
dovecot.org "official (??? really??? ) web site:
The VirtualUserFlatFilesPostfix 

As an example of my woes: I hit a snag here when I got to the

      Mail Location and Namespaces

bit. The config seems a bit confusing in that the public namespace 
config says

location = maildir:/var/vmail/public:LAYOUT=fs:INDEX=~/public

but the comments on the next line talks about

User Home directory structure:/var/vmail/<domain>/<user>/

I personally want the vmail user under /export/home/vmail, but that's not the confusion here. Isn't the<domain>  part supposed to
part of the "location" spec in the public namespace settings?
Or what am I missing?

Postfix has at least two books that have been proofread, but it doesn't look as if people proofread or vet the dovecot documentation wiki.

Or is there something better to read than the HowTos, for a beginner?

On 2012-07-21 13:07, Hans J. Albertsson wrote:
> On 2012-07-21 12:35, Charles Marcus wrote:
>> On 2012-07-21 5:24 AM, Hans J. Albertsson 
>> <hans.j.albertsson at branneriet.se> wrote:
>>> Also, Sorry if I sound like a whining kid: I am new to dovecot and
>>> postfix, but I was a software support engineer for Sun for ages, and I
>>> should really be able to manage this if I just had some consistent and
>>> non-confusing HowTo or Tutorial to follow as a first try.
>> 1. Which 'HowTo' were you following?
>> 2. If it wasn't the dovecot 'official' docs on the wiki, try those:
>> http://wiki2.dovecot.org/
> I followed the
> http://wiki2.dovecot.org/ ->
> HOWTOs, examples and tutorials 
> <http://wiki2.dovecot.org/#HOWTOs.2C_examples_and_tutorials> ->
> _A simple virtual passwd file installation 
> <http://wiki2.dovecot.org/HowTo/SimpleVirtualInstall>_
> HowTo.
>> $random_howtos on the internet is not the way to build a secure mail 
>> server.
>> Some of the wiki2 docs still have some v1 cruft in them, but for the 
>> most part they should be all you need (along with asking questions 
>> here for clarification), and it is a wiki - anything that you 
>> encounter that you find confusing or incomplete, by all means come 
>> here for clarification, and then update the wiki to help others who 
>> encounter the same issues as you.
>> You haven't even provided the most basic of details of the problem(s) 
>> you're having (like, for example, OS/platform, dovecot -n output, 
>> logs exhibiting the problem(s), etc...
>> First, take a step back, and start with one thing at a time (testing 
>> and making sure each step is working as expected before moving to the 
>> next one)...
>> 1. install postfix, secure it, and get it delivering mail to at least 
>> one (test if desired) virtual domain/users maildirs using its 
>> built-in virtual delivery agent,
> Done, tested, works.
>> 2. add dovecot into the mix to serve up the users mail,
> And that's where I get lost: I keep fiddling back and forth wondering 
> where I am...
> I suppose I should instead think like this: (comment, please!)
>     Read the HowTo
>     Look at the text chunks
>     For each element, find where that happens in conf.d, and do it 
> there, with the minimum change possible
> And then the LDA and later LMTP. I suppose if one succeeds in getting 
> the LDA working, one can then move over to LMTP, with less effort?
>> 3. switch to the dovecot delivery agent (I recommend LMTP, but at a 
>> minimum use the Dovecot LDA),
> OK.
>> 4. enable dovecot-sasl,
>> 5. integrate dspam,
>> 6. integrate mailman
>> Obviously, each step requires you to know how you want things to work 
>> - ie, do you want to provide POP+IMAP, or only IMAPS access, etc...
>> Last - to answer the one specific complaint that you had - dovecot 
>> will use all of those separate config files in the conf.d directory, 
>> or you can put all of your settings into one config file, the choice 
>> is yours - see the wiki for details:
>> http://wiki2.dovecot.org/BasicConfiguration

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