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Note: various people/cultures/background call these things differently, I will call them folders (as seen by a mail client) so most readers should understand.

The question is: with Dovecot is it possible to create a folder which stores not actual emails but acts as a filter. E.g. I can specify (note: pseudo-code!) to:john.smith,search-inside:* and when a user clicks on that folder in their email client they will see all emails matching the above search criteria?

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This is called a "search folder" and its usually implemented on the client side. – Dragos Apr 26 '12 at 10:22
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Dovecot supports server-side virtual folders; filters are specified as conditions for the IMAP SEARCH command.

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Dovecot offers the pigeonhole Sieve implementation; anything that can do, you are free to use.

However, selecting messages based on arbitrary criteria is a client function, not a server one.

I'd have to say "no".

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