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radim_h 20th May 2010 01:34

HOWTO: Dovecot 1.2.9 + sieve + quota

i spent couple hours tampering with dovecot 1.2.9 on Ubuntu 10.04, now it finally works, so maybe someone can use it... it will be probalby same for Debian Squeeze

First, here is my /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf file:


base_dir = /var/run/dovecot/

protocols = imap imaps pop3 pop3
disable_plaintext_auth = no
log_timestamp = "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S "

ssl_cert_file = /etc/ssl/
ssl_key_file = /etc/ssl/

mail_privileged_group = mail

login_greeting = my-domain.tld IMAP server ready...

## IMAP specific settings
protocol imap {
mail_executable = /usr/lib/dovecot/rawlog /usr/lib/dovecot/imap
  mail_plugins = quota imap_quota

## POP3 specific settings
protocol pop3 {
  mail_executable = /usr/lib/dovecot/rawlog /usr/lib/dovecot/pop3
  pop3_uidl_format = %08Xu%08Xv
  mail_plugins = quota

## LDA specific settings
protocol lda {
  # Address to use when sending rejection mails.
  postmaster_address = postmaster@my-domain.tld

  # Support for dynamically loadable plugins. mail_plugins is a space separated
  # list of plugins to load.
  mail_plugin_dir = /usr/lib/dovecot/modules/lda

  # UNIX socket path to master authentication server to find users.
  auth_socket_path = /var/run/dovecot/auth-master

  # Enabling Sieve plugin for server-side mail filtering
  mail_plugins = sieve quota

## Plugin settings
plugin {
        quota = maildir

## Authentication processes

# Executable location
#auth_executable = /usr/lib/dovecot/dovecot-auth
auth default {
  mechanisms = plain login
  passdb pam {

  # SQL database <doc/wiki/AuthDatabase.SQL.txt>
  passdb sql {
    # Path for SQL configuration file
    args = /etc/dovecot/dovecot-sql.conf

# new quota support:
        userdb prefetch {

        userdb sql {
                args = /etc/dovecot/dovecot-sql.conf

  ## dovecot-lda specific settings
  socket listen {
    master {
      path = /var/run/dovecot/auth-master
      mode = 0600
      user = vmail # User running Dovecot LDA
      #group = vmail # Or alternatively mode 0660 + LDA user in this group
  client {
          path = /var/spool/postfix/private/auth
          mode = 0660
          user = postfix
          group = postfix


mail_location = maildir:/var/vmail/%d/%n/Maildir

mail_uid = 5000
mail_gid = 5000

As you can have noticed all the users will have uid& gid 5000, also sieve script location & maildir will be following same pattern , so we don't have to read this data from MySQL all the time.

This is the original user query:
user_query = SELECT email as user, maildir as home, CONCAT(maildir, '/Maildir') as mail, uid, gid, CONCAT('maildir:storage', quota) AS quota, CONCAT(maildir, '/.sieve') AS sieve FROM mail_user WHERE email = '%u' AND disable%Ls = 'n']

I have removed uid, gid, sieve and also "user_query = CONCAT(maildir, '/Maildir')" as is doen't seem to be used anywhere

Now we can modify

driver = mysql
connect = host=localhost dbname=dbispconfig user=ispconfig password=your_gerated_password_from_ISPC3
default_pass_scheme = CRYPT
password_query = SELECT password FROM mail_user WHERE email = '%u' AND disable%Ls = 'n'

### we must change user query, here is the correct one, notice that storage quota must be set in bytes
user_query = SELECT email AS user, maildir AS home, CONCAT('*:storage=', quota , 'B') AS quota_rule FROM mail_user WHERE email = '%u' AND disable%Ls = 'n'

That's it. Sieve scripts are working , roundcube is showing correct quota, also Thunderbird.

slamman 6th November 2010 19:10

User query failed:
Thanks for this walkthrough. I am having a problem getting this to work however. Any help would be appreciated. After following the steps here I am getting the following error message in my mail.log

User query failed: Incorrect parameters in the call to native function 'CONCAT'


postfix 2.7.0-1
dovecot 1.2.9
ispconfig 3.0.3

radim_h 6th November 2010 19:13

you don't have to modify those files anymore, this setup is allready included in ISPConfig

slamman 6th November 2010 21:23

Can you suggest a setup guide for dovecot w/ispconfig3 on ubuntu 10.04. I will try it again from scratch. The guide I was using was the perfect server guide and it used courier...which I was trying to get rid of in favor of dovecot.

radim_h 7th November 2010 10:46

This One is from SVN trunk, for Debian 6 bud i used it for Ubuntu 10.4

# It is recommended to use a clean (fresh) Debian Squeeze 6.0 install where you just selected "Standard System" at the package selection during
# setup (tasksel). Then follow the steps below to setup your server with ISPConfig 3. In this guide "vi" is used as text editor, but
# you can use whatever you prefer. You should be root for doing all of this.

# Check we have Fully Qualified Domain Name


# it should return something like ""
# if not, then we assign a hostname (for example ispconfig):

echo > /etc/hostname

vi /etc/hosts

# and add lines similar but appropriate: localhost.localdomain localhost ispconfig

# Run:


# enable the Debian Volatile repository to get an updated ClamAV version
# The Volatile repository for Debian Squeeze was not available yet at the time this howto was written.
# echo "deb squeeze/volatile main contrib non-free" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/volatile.list
# apt-get update

# Some optional choices

opt0.1) Optionally install SSH-server to get remote shell

apt-get install openssh-server

opt0.2) Optionally, if you are not running inside a virtual machine, you can set server clocksync via NTP. Virtual guests get this from the host.

apt-get -y install ntp ntpdate

opt0.3) Optionally if you want vi editor improvement

apt-get -y install vim-nox

# Next is the real deal

1) Install Postfix, Dovecot, MySQL, phpMyAdmin, rkhunter, binutils with the following command line (on one line!):

apt-get -y install postfix postfix-mysql postfix-doc mysql-client mysql-server openssl getmail4 rkhunter binutils dovecot-imapd dovecot-pop3d sudo

# Answer the questions from the package manager as follows.

General type of configuration? <-- Internet site
Mail name? <-- server1.mydomain.tld

# ...use your own domain name of course ;)

# Edit the file /etc/mysql/my.cnf

vi /etc/mysql/my.cnf

# and change the line:

bind-address =


#bind-address =

# then restart mysql

/etc/init.d/mysql restart

2) Install Amavisd-new, Spamassassin and ClamAV (1 line!):

apt-get -y install amavisd-new spamassassin clamav clamav-daemon zoo unzip bzip2 arj nomarch lzop cabextract apt-listchanges libnet-ldap-perl libauthen-sasl-perl clamav-docs daemon libio-string-perl libio-socket-ssl-perl libnet-ident-perl zip libnet-dns-perl

3) Install Apache, PHP5, phpmyadmin, better fastCGI, suexec, Pear and mcrypt (1 line!):

apt-get -y install apache2 apache2.2-common apache2-doc apache2-mpm-prefork apache2-utils libexpat1 ssl-cert libapache2-mod-php5 php5 php5-common php5-gd php5-mysql php5-imap phpmyadmin php5-cli php5-cgi libapache2-mod-fcgid apache2-suexec php-pear php-auth php5-mcrypt mcrypt imagemagick libapache2-mod-suphp libopenssl-ruby libapache2-mod-ruby

# When phpMyAdmin is asking wether to configure itself automatically, select "Apache2"

# Then run the following to enable the Apache modules suexec, rewrite and ssl:

a2enmod suexec rewrite ssl actions include ruby

# restart Apache before continuing

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

4) Install pure-ftpd and quota

apt-get -y install pure-ftpd-common pure-ftpd-mysql quota quotatool

# Optional: Enable TLS in pureftpd
echo 1 > /etc/pure-ftpd/conf/TLS
mkdir -p /etc/ssl/private/
openssl req -x509 -nodes -newkey rsa:1024 -keyout /etc/ssl/private/pure-ftpd.pem -out /etc/ssl/private/pure-ftpd.pem
chmod 600 /etc/ssl/private/pure-ftpd.pem

# Edit /etc/fstab. Mine looks like this (I added ,usrquota,grpquota to the partition with the mount point /):

vi /etc/fstab

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/sda1 / ext3 errors=remount-ro,usrquota,grpquota 0 1
/dev/sda5 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/hda /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy0 auto rw,user,noauto 0 0

# To enable quota, run these commands:

touch /aquota.user /
chmod 600 /aquota.*
mount -o remount /
quotacheck -avugm
quotaon -avug

5) Install BIND DNS Server

apt-get -y install bind9 dnsutils

6) Install vlogger and webalizer

apt-get -y install vlogger webalizer awstats

mkdir /usr/share/awstats/tools
cp -prf /usr/share/doc/awstats/examples/ /usr/share/awstats/tools/

7) Install Jailkit (optional, only needed if you want to use chrooting for SSH users)

apt-get -y install build-essential autoconf automake1.9 libtool flex bison debhelper
cd /tmp
tar xvfz jailkit-2.11.tar.gz
cd jailkit-2.11
./debian/rules binary
cd ..
dpkg -i jailkit_2.11-1_*.deb
rm -rf jailkit-2.11*

8) Install fail2ban (optional but recomended, because the monitor tries to show the log)
More info at:

apt-get -y install fail2ban

9) Install ISPConfig 3

cd /tmp
tar xvfz ISPConfig-
cd ispconfig3_install/install/

# Now start the installation process by executing:

php -q install.php

# The installer will configure all services like postfix, sasl, courier, etc. for you. A manual setup as required for ISPConfig 2 (perfect setup guides) is not necessary. To login to the ISPConfig controlpanel, open the following URL in your browser (replace the IP to match your settings!):

# the default login is:

user: admin
password: admin

# In case you get a permission denied error from apache, please restart the apache webserver process.


Install a webbased Email Client

apt-get install squirrelmail
ln -s /usr/share/squirrelmail/ /var/www/webmail

Access squirrelmail:

To configure squirrelmail, run:




debian 5.0 under openvz:

vzctl set $VPSID --capability ${CAP}:on --save


Optional recommended packages:

denyhosts - a utility to help sys admins thwart ssh crackers
rsync - fast remote file copy program (for backup)


Ispc log files rotation, for now manual add but to add in ispc installer:


/var/log/ispconfig/ispconfig.log {
rotate 4
/var/log/ispconfig/cron.log {
rotate 4


Possible errors and their solutions

pureftpd login does not work. Take a look at the syslog, if you find an error message like this:
Mar 24 16:26:28 ispconfig pure-ftpd: (?@?) [ERROR] Sorry, invalid address given

then pureftpd is not able to resolve the hostname. Name resolving can be disabled with these commands:

echo 'yes' > /etc/pure-ftpd/conf/DontResolve
/etc/init.d/pure-ftpd-mysql restart

radim_h 7th November 2010 10:47

i strongly suggest roundcubemail over squirrelmail

slamman 7th November 2010 22:38

Thanks for the info. I have installed the system as per your instructions with changes to make it work with ubuntu 9.10. Most everything seems to be working except email. I am getting the following error:


Fatal: Plugin sieve not found from directory /usr/lib/dovecot/modules/lda
Before I dig around I wanted to see if there was a known solution. The following files are in the directory listed:


and some symlinks to some other files that don't seem relevant.

radim_h 8th November 2010 00:52

i think you will have to use backports to get newer version of sieve or something like that..

slamman 8th November 2010 02:11

I did some searching and many of the dovecot/ubuntu posts referenced the sieve plugin as cmusieve. So before getting to deep I checked the mail_plugins value in dovecot.conf and it was:


mail_plugins = sieve quota
I changed it to:


cmusieve quota
and now mail is working.

Thanks for your help and information.

radim_h 8th November 2010 04:15

Mailuser interface
Next thing you want to implement.
After you have done it, can paste HOWTO here, that i'll will send Thanks to you :)

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