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My current dovecot config:

mail_location = mbox:~/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/%u

Proposed doevecot config

mail_location = mbox:~/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/%u:LAYOUT=fs

Assuming syntax is correct for proposed config, this is my question:

Will my existing users notice any visual difference when they login to their accounts AFA if they have already created folders or sub-folders under the Inbox?

I am proposing the change because I noticed you can't create sub-folders under the INBOX. Not really sure why that is so.

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i noticed you can't create sub-folders under the INBOX... not really sure why that is so.

It's because the mbox format does not support subfolders. "The MBOX format limits your clients to creating subfolders that can either store folders, or emails, not both." See http://blog.workingweb.nl/2012/01/04/dovecot-with-mbox-imap-and-subfolders-or-target-mailbox-doesnt-allow-inferior-mailboxes.

On the other hand, if your Dovecot is configured for maildir you can have true subfolders. For example:

"mail_location = maildir:~/Maildir"

instead of

"mail_location = mbox:~/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/%u"

-Rick

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Will my existing users notice any visual difference when they login to their accounts AFA if they have already created folders or sub-folders under the Inbox?

Yes, all the subfolders won't be accessible anymore, unless you convert them yourself or let it do automatically.

To convert, have a look at the convert capability of doveadm sync. Assuming that the mail_location is the new format in dovecot's configuration (e.g. maildir:~/Maildir:LAYOUT=fs, execute this for each user for the old location:

doveadm sync mbox:~/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/%u

The docs contain more information about this conversion, also how to do it without any downtime.

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