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I currently have message filters set up in Thunderbird to put incoming email messages from various sources in appropriate server side folders. Since I envision starting to use a smartphone (Android) based IMAP client which doesn't support folders or message filters I'd like to move these filters server side and take them off the clients.

The Linux server email system is sendmail and UW IMAP. Can someone steer me in the direction of setting up such filters on the server side?

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In the mail delivery agent section of sendmail, add a line for procmail or maildrop. Then create a recipe for procmail or setup maildrop to filter the email as it is delivered.

See the documentation for procmail or maildrop for more details.

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Ditch UW imapd and install Dovecot. Together with Pigeonhole you'll have a very potent and performant IMAP server with a Sieve and ManageSieve implementation.

In contrast to procmail or maildrop on the server, your users can create their rules without shell access using one of the many Sieve extensions to their mail client.

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