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Mig21 10-07-2012 01:15 AM

Slackware Sendmail + Dovecot
I've been using my Slackware server as an email server for years, but am getting to the point where I'm hitting limits with the MBOX format.

So seeing how UW is still the default IMAP server in Slackware, I am thinking of installing a different one. Dovecot seems to be a popular choice.

Sadly I cannot find any tutorial on setting up something like this. I just need some pointers really, to make sure I don't shoot myself in the foot.

Is this doable without major changes to the existing Sendmail config?

How do I migrate existing mail to the new format?

Is there a tutorial that I can follow to do this setup? I'm wary of simply following the Dovecot documentation, since that doesn't say anything about how to configure Sendmail nor what to do with existing mail.

Thanks in advance.

Totoro-kun 10-07-2012 03:10 AM

Good day,
I have recently configured a mail server with Slack64 sendmail and dovecot and so far I'm happy with the result. A quick summary would be:
1. Install dovecot, there is a slackbuild in
2. I have created two users, dovenull and dovecot in a way thats written in
3. Configured dovecot to fit my setup, its farly easy if you consult documentation in /usr/doc/dovecot/*
4. Configured dovecot to be Local Delivery Agent (LDA) instead of procmail (not necessary step, but enables the use of sieve filters). There is a document on how to configure sendmail for this.

I cannot advise on mbox to maildir migration, as I have never used mbox, maybe someone else will step in.

There is also a dovecot wiki which was occasionally helpful.

dive 10-07-2012 05:29 PM

When I went from mbox to maildir on my server I found the easiest way (maybe) was just to backup my old mail folders and start with fresh dirs for maildir.

I also have to change the procmail rules for maildir (folders need a / at the end and a . at the start for imap).

To still have access to the old mail via mutt, simple use a mutt config file that states mbox and point mutt and the old folder with -f

tallship 10-08-2012 04:04 PM

A few walk-throughs w/varying packages...
I'll post a few links here for you to peruse. Some use sendmail, some use postfix, but the gist is some walkthroughs for IMAP on Slackware using Dovecot.

I hope it helps :)

And this last one is neat because is discusses setting it all up while bridging the differences between doing it under Solaris or Slackware:

I would recommend that you use and get your slackbuilds and compile create your own packages, instead of compiling from source as some of the walk-throughs show.

Other than that, perhaps one of the most important aspects of the LQ links is where the problems arose and how they were corrected, so you can avoid those pitfalls.

The differences between Slackware 13.0, 13.1, 13.37, and 14.0 should be minor, but pay closer attention when anything references something that is <= Slackware 12.

It should be a wealth of info that you can develop your own tutorial or howto from, so that folks in the future can benefit from your experience.

There's also just one more thing I often recommend to people that is absolutely wonderful, and that is:

This totally rocks for a couple of reasons. First, because you can operate totally offline as if you're online so you don't have to tell your clients to operate in offline mode or use up additional storage for each of your clients - just have OfflineIMAP do that for you.

Second, have all of your filtering and such there, so that you don't have to do it in each of your clients (and further, forget which of your clients had that filter applied).

You can install OfflineIMAP on your server, and have another slaved installation on each of your local workstations to make sure that all of your mail is available as if it were online even when you're not, and all of your filtering and sorting can be managed from one central location.

IMNSHO that's a totally kewl win/win situ ;)

Enjoy :)

Kindest regards,


Mig21 10-13-2012 01:34 PM

Thanks for the advice, everyone! I'm scared now, but I'll give it a shot when I have a couple of days to spare :)

Then if it works out I'll post a guide for others who try to do it.

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