My colleague sadly died last year, and managed the Dovecot accounts on our ancient Ubuntu (6.10) server, and I know absolutely zero about Dovecot or email server admin.

We have several discontinued users on the server - all their sites are gone and their email accounts are no longer used.

Is it safe to simply delete the user email folders in var/mail e.g. var/mail/vhosts/username or should I manage this another way?

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    Ubuntu 6.10 (2006.October release) reached EOL back in 2008-April, so I'd replace it as soon as possible for security-reasons. 6.10 was not a LTS or long-term-service release, so I'd suggest using a LTS release, and release-upgrading before they reach EOL (or pay to keep it supported thru ESM) – guiverc Jan 4 at 21:25
  • Yes, I know, but thanks for the reminder. sadly, my late co-dev used to handle several of the accounts on this server (including a complex theatre booking system) so I've been wary of breaking his (rather obscure to me) setup. I know he has a local Perl install the booking system depends on, I just have to find it, or get help to find my way around it. – Dave Everitt Jan 5 at 10:51

Yes, you can move the whole FS subtree to the another place or delete it. Also you have to remove or deactivate prior that account to prevent any email being delivered again. That will recreate the mailbox for certain valid user.

  • Thanks I'll delete the unused folders. I guess if one reappears then that email is still in use somewhere (even if only for spam). How do I find where the location of these folders are set for user login accounts? – Dave Everitt Jan 5 at 10:45
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    You have to explore the dovecot configuration to find out where the user information is stored. That can be configured in the various ways so there is no some universal recipee. – Kondybas Jan 5 at 20:24

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