dovecot questions

Peter Schuller peter.schuller at
Wed Dec 26 15:14:04 PST 2007

> configuration isn't quite so simple.  There were several in this list that
> suggested the use of Dovecot when I inquired for suggestions as to a good
> POP/IMAP server.

I'll add my recommendation to that (having used courier in the past).

> So, I'm hoping that these same folks can offer help in getting me running.
> The WIKI for Dovecot is helpful, but seems to assume much in terms of what
> the reader will understand.  How do I add users to the system?  If I've
> done my work correctly, I've setup my Dovecot system to store virtual users
> in a PostgreSQL database.  However, how do I add users? 

Dovecot doesn't really care. You provide the method of obtaining the user list 
from the database, in the form of SQL statements (assuming they differ from 
defaults), and it's up to you to make sure this returns the appropriate 
information (so in other words, dovecot doesn't add users for you).

I used to run a pg+dovecot+postfix, but have since moved away from it and I 
don't have the configs easily accessible to check out specifics. But 
googling, this should be useful in terms of providing a bunch of real-world 
configuration examples:

> Also, with respect to the configuration file (dovecot.conf) why are there
> so many passdb/userdb?  If I have passdb sql "turned on", should I "turn
> off" all other passdb sections?  What is the significance of the userdb
> static { } section in that file?  It appears that it is necessary for use
> if using a single user to access several mailboxes (i.e. virtual users
> which is what I want to implement).  Is this true?

I can't answer each one of the above off hand, but things like uids is 
controlled by the user database that it sounds like you want to keep in 
PostgreSQL. This includes the ability to set the uid/gid, which you can have 
different for each user, the same, or some combination thereof, on a per-user 
basis. Your exact table design is up to you, as long as you can give dovecot 
the appropriate SQL statements for obtaining relevant information.

> If I'm understanding things correctly, the next, very important item, is
> how do I setup new users and how would those users then manage things like
> passwords, etc.?

This is up to you. dovecot does not provide and user interfaces for managing 
accounts (that I am aware of). Typically a reason to have the user database 
in a relational database would be to enable the construction of such 
interfaces, or perhaps use of existing tools. But unless I am missing 
something, user management is beyond the scope of what dovecot itself is 

/ Peter Schuller

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