using dovecot, where is ICOMING mail stored?

Daniel Bye freebsd-questions at
Thu Mar 10 13:03:45 UTC 2011

On Wed, Mar 09, 2011 at 05:23:34PM -0800, Gary Kline wrote:
> Does anybody know about this obscure stuff?
> In late DEcember, 2007 my FreeBSD server started having serious
> problems that were over my head.  I asked this list for help but no
> one could help me; long-story-short, a guy from the DFW area, a
> self-taught net-wizard came to my rescue.  Via the yahoo IM
> application and thanks to a fellow here with two strong arms, this
> network guy set me up with a pfSense firewall (on an old Kayak), and
> fixed/changed stuff on my server.  He  installed some mail tool
> called dovecot and deployed that on my server.  At the time I was
> running FreeBSD everywhere except one of my four other computers.
> He also found something to let me still use mutt.  I prefer CLI and
> text--8859-1 or ASCII.  Hand on keyboard; my should got destroyed
> many years ago so the less motion between keyboard and mouse, the
> better.
> This morning I found the 15 or 20 messages in my incoming mail queue
> gone.  Vanished.  ---I do of course backup stuff in my ~/Maildir on
> my server.  I checked my bup.  Nothing.  Does anybody know what
> this dovecot does with its incoming mail files?  I only do one daily
> backup that it ccron'd for 03:00  [[along with a bunch of other
> critical directories, of course]]  

If you haven't changed the dovecot config file, look in it for the
mail_location setting. For example, mine is set to:

  mail_location = maildir:~/Maildir

From what you say above, about backups of ~/Maildir, I would expect you to
find something very similar.

If that's not what you find, try looking in the location it does point to.
If you still have no luck, look at your SMTP server's config and figure out
how it handles local deliveries. For example, my exim install is set up to
send messages for local delivery through a pipe to the maildrop program,
which in turn delivers them to folders under my ~/Maildir according to my
filtering rules.

Good luck!


Daniel Bye
                                              ASCII ribbon campaign ( )
                                         - against HTML, vCards and  X
                                - proprietary attachments in e-mail / \
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 196 bytes
Desc: not available
Url :

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list