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I have recently set up a brand new mail server using Dovecot and Postfix, which is correctly sending and receiving mail, with the /var/mail/ directory mailbox.

Here's the problem: mail cannot be seen via the Roundcube webmail interface, but the mail can easily be accessed using mutt and simply looking into your /var/mail folder.

Here's where it goes wrong, IMAP does not show that there's anything in the user inbox, even though everything else is working.

IMAP Testing:

robo@some-server:~$ telnet localhost imap
Trying ::1...
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
* OK [CAPABILITY IMAP4rev1 LITERAL+ SASL-IR LOGIN-REFERRALS ID ENABLE IDLE STARTTLS AUTH=PLAIN AUTH=LOGIN] Dovecot (Ubuntu) ready.
a1 LOGIN robo yetanotherrandompasswordtofoolyou
a1 OK [CAPABILITY IMAP4rev1 LITERAL+ SASL-IR LOGIN-REFERRALS ID ENABLE IDLE SORT SORT=DISPLAY THREAD=REFERENCES THREAD=REFS THREAD=ORDEREDSUBJECT MULTIAPPEND URL-PARTIAL CATENATE UNSELECT CHILDREN NAMESPACE UIDPLUS LIST-EXTENDED I18NLEVEL=1 CONDSTORE QRESYNC ESEARCH ESORT SEARCHRES WITHIN CONTEXT=SEARCH LIST-STATUS SPECIAL-USE BINARY MOVE] Logged in
a2 LIST "" "*"
* LIST (\HasNoChildren \Sent) "." Sent
* LIST (\HasNoChildren) "." INBOX
a2 OK List completed.
a3 EXAMINE INBOX
* FLAGS (\Answered \Flagged \Deleted \Seen \Draft)
* OK [PERMANENTFLAGS ()] Read-only mailbox.
* 0 EXISTS
* 0 RECENT
* OK [UIDVALIDITY 1431224194] UIDs valid
* OK [UIDNEXT 1] Predicted next UID
* OK [NOMODSEQ] No permanent modsequences
a3 OK [READ-ONLY] Examine completed (0.000 secs).
a4 FETCH 1 BODY[]
a4 BAD Error in IMAP command FETCH: Invalid messageset

At this same time, there is exactly one message in /var/mail/robo that has recently been received.

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Found the issue:

Dovecot IMAP had not been configured to use the mbox mail format, which could simply be corrected by adding the following line to my /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf:

mail_location = mbox:~/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/%u

In which the mail_location had not been specified previously.

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