I'm doing some tests with a brand new Ubuntu Server 11.10 installation.
I installed postfix and courier-pop for pop3 and, from what I could gather, it looks like courier doesn't support mbox filetype but only Maildir format.
So I've created a user with his home in /home/username, with maildirmake.courier I created the directory structure in /var/mail/username and set the correct rights and owner.

I sent some test mail to the new account and all works like a charm. Postfix created the new email in /var/mail/username/new

The problem is that I can't download the email via pop3 without creating a symbolic link from /home/username/Maildir to /var/mail/username/.

Now, the problem is that not all users have their own home folder, so the symlink thing won't obviously work.

This is the directory set in /etc/postfix/main.cf:

mail_spool_directory = /var/mail/

and this is for the courier's conf file:


I tried to change to something like /var/mail/ or /var/mail/$USER but didn't work either.

I'm probably missing something in courier-pop's configuration.

Any ideas?


You did not tell us about the authentication module you used with your courier installation. This is normally specified in authdaemonrc config file.

For example, you can look for values like the following if you are using Mysql backend as authentication module (usually the file is named authmysqlrc):

MYSQL_USER_TABLE        users
MYSQL_HOME_FIELD        CONCAT( homedir , '/', maildir)

The above two lines say that courier will query the table users and get the home dir value by finding the value of CONCAT( homedir , '/', maildir). The homedir and maildir are columns in the same table.

Something like that will determine the path of the user home dir. Of course, this can change greatly based on the authentication module and the DB tables structure if applicable.

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  • 1
    I was using the passwd auth method. Now I'm trying Dovecot and it seems that it's easier to do what I'm looking for. – Kreker Feb 21 '12 at 9:26
  • Good advice, thanks. I could solve the same problem with dovecot in few minutes :) – BurninLeo Oct 20 '12 at 23:26

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