On a server me and a friend set up we're currently using mbox mailbox format. (Think I should mention that my friend set up the mail part of the server and I yet don't know too much about mailserver configuration...)

As I like the subfolder capability of maildir format I'd like to have maildir format instead, but I don't want to influence the other users mailboxes on that system.

Somewhere in dovecot wiki I read that it'd be possible to change the mailbox format for single users thru settings in the according userdb. In /etc/dovecot.conf I've seen, that we're using /etc/passwd as userdb file (it says "userdb passwd {..." in dovecot.conf)

What I did now, was creating a testuser and appending


at the end of the "maildirtest" user in /etc/passwd. When I now attached that account to my thunderbird mail client, a "mail" directory got created inside the users home folder. I also tried restarting dovecot, but yet didn't have any success using maildir for that single user.

I meanwhile also created and chown'ed a maildir directory in the mentioned folder with

sudo maildirmake.dovecot /home/maildirtest/maildir

Maybe I should also tell, that we're using postfix as MTA and I'd also need this part to be working in that configuration.

Hope someone has an idea on how to get that working.


If you're using the default Local Delivery Agent (procmail) you should be able to just configure delivery on a per-user basis in that user's home directory's .procmailrc file:


And make sure the Maildir directories exists, with good permissions, and is owned by them:

sudo mkdir -m 0700 /home/USER/Maildir
sudo chown USER:USER /home/USER/Maildir
  • thanks for your reply. I tried your suggestion now, but the Maildir directory keeps getting igonred - when I log into the mailbox with thunderbird the 'mail' directory is getting recreated and when I copy mail into the inbox or trash thru t-bird it stores the message in 'mail' directory in mbox format. – Roland Kohn Sep 24 '11 at 16:12

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