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I run a mail server with Exim4 and Dovecot. Currently mail goes to ~/Maildir. However, I am wondering what the relative advantages and disadvantages of storing mail in /var/mail/$user/ is.

Is one location more secure (from a process privileges standpoint) or standard than the other? In both instances I am referring to using the Maildir as oppposed to mbox storage format,

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is really a matter of personal choice, but generally speaking I prefer to use ~/.mbox for mbox format stuff, and ~/.mail/ or ~/.maildir/ for maildirs - the reason being that it keeps the user's mail with the rest of the user's files, and makes backing things up much easier (if I grab the spot where the home directories live I get everything at once).

Courier IMAP seems to use locations under ~/ by default last I checked.

Bear in mind that the location affects procmail configuration, so if you change it make sure that your users' .procmailrc files & system procmail configuration are updated accordingly.

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