[Dovecot] dovecot is confused about mail_location

Jon Nowakowski barneydied2x at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 1 21:03:45 EET 2010

Eric Raymond <esr <at> thyrsus.com> writes:

> Noel Butler <noel.butler <at> ausics.net>:
> > So, do we conclude from this your issue is now resolved?
> Possible, but not verified. If I mess with the mail system for
> diagnostic purposes I risk breaking it before my wife has caught up
> with her week's backlog of email.  This would make her more unhappy
> than the diagnostic information can justify.  So I am not, not, *not*
> going to touch it for a few days.
> I can say that I think I have narrowed the problem down to one of two causes:
> (1) mail_location being misconfigured, with diagnostic problems
> bedeviling me because dovecot.conf is a persistent daemon that has to
> be SIGHUPped to read its config, rather than an inetd plugin.
> (2) Some weird permissions problem scewing up location autodetection, 
> which I solved shotgun-fashion by adding Cathy to all the groups I'm 
> a member of.
> The evidence for theory (2) is that I was able to fetch mail even when
> mail_location was misconfigured. At some point I'll back Cathy out of these
> groups and see if her fetches break.
> Matters were not helped by the fact that Thunderbird is fluky and
> overcomplicated. When you have a fetch failure with one of these
> GUIfied MUAs like Thunderbird or KMail it can be difficult to tease
> apart client-side problems from IMAP server issues.  Fetchmail plus
> mutt is way superior from a troubleshooting point of view.
> I shall probably blog a rant about this latter issue soon.

I had pretty much the same problem, but not with all the accounts.
When i tried telling dovecot where the mbox was I started running into the
permission problems.
In my case it turned out to be how I created the users.  On one user I useradd
-s /bin/nologin and it did not create a /home/directory nor the /home/user/mail
directory.  I added those two directories made sure the user owned them then set
dovecot back to autodetection and everything worked fine.  I still have an issue
with squirrelmail not having permission to create a sent folder.  So if you can
completely delete then add the user.  It should solve everything.

More information about the dovecot mailing list