I am trying to figure out if/what there is a connection between the file-system structure and dovecot's namespace prefixes. Specifically, in my setup, I have not declared any namespace, so dovecot creates a default one. Whenever a new user logs in for first time the folder structure in their maildir is:
Maildir/ ... cur new .Sent Items .Drafts .Junk E-mail .Deleted Items ...
When I login from an email client I see these mailboxes:
INBOX Sent Items Drafts Junk E-mail Deleted Items
My questions are:
1.Shouldn't the INBOX mailbox be an ".INBOX" directory? From looking into the contents, I see that the INBOX mailbox gets its items from the "cur" directory. Why this exception for the INBOX mailbox?
2.If I define an explicit private namespace with inbox=yes, and prefix=FOO, what consequences, if any will this have to the folder structure and to the client mailbox display?. Essentially I cant figure out what purpose the namespace prefix serves, and if it is used for naming the actual directories in the users Maildir or not.
EDIT: After reading the answers and doing some more digging, what I still have this problem: the IMAP mailboxes/folder have their corresponding fs directory inside the Maildir directory, (e.g. when the user creates (from their IMAP client) a toplevel folder/mailbox, say "Important", there is an ".Important" directory that gets created under Maildir. So every IMAP mailbox/folder has its mapped directory be a subdirectory of Maildir. Except the INBOX mailbox: Its corresponding directory is the Maildir itself. I would like to set the INBOX directory to be a subdirectory of Maildir, as it is for all other mailboxes. I dont use mbox at all. Does what I want to do make sense and if yes how can I do it?