[Dovecot] Struggling with namespaces...

Kev Latimer kev at kevnet.org.uk
Fri Dec 2 11:58:05 EET 2005

Hi all,

I've been using dovecot 0.99x as a basic POP3/IMAP server at a couple of
sites for a few months now and am very happy with it's simplicity,
stability and performance, especially over the rather 'clunky' courier
and the mammoth cyrus.

I'm building up a top level mail server for our organisation and am
desperate to use dovecot in there but I'm really struggling with using
namespaces to create some shared maildirs - note that in this case I'm
using the 1.0alpha4 debian packages that recently made it into 'etch'. 
I have very simple requirements here - I just want to be able to have
some common folders subscribable by certain users, for my testing an
announcements folder accessible by all and an archive folder I want to
place some restrictions on.  Whenever someone needs access to someone
elses folder (ie. holiday watch), symlinking should be sufficient.

I can start up dovecot, log in as a user (I authenticate against LDAP
btw), see the directories specified in my namespace directives be
created but I can't subscribe to anything.  Squirrelmail gives an error
stating "[TRYCREATE] Mailbox doesn't exist: archives" while Thunderbird
shows the folder names in grey and refuses to subscribe.

Am I missing the point of namespaces or have I failed to create
something in the folders to get them to play?  I read something about a
dovecot-shared file but I think this is a 0.99 thing, although I tried
creating the file with the permissions I wanted applied to the folder
and it didn't do anything...

I did notice that when the folders are created, they are created owned
by the first user logged in.  I have tried chmod'ing them to 777 to see
if it makes a difference, but alas, no.

The relevant bit of dovecot.conf is:

namespace private {
   separator = /
   #prefix =
   #location =
   inbox = yes
   #hidden = yes

namespace public {
    separator = /
    prefix = announcements/
    location = maildir:/var/mail/announcements/Maildir

namespace shared {
    separator = /
    prefix = archives/
    location = maildir:/var/mail/archives/Maildir

I'm sure I'm just being picky, but a better explanation of namespaces in
the docs might be in order, maybe with some examples.  If I get this
sussed out, I'll put one in the wiki ;)

Any help much appreciated!


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