Postfix mailbox location

Derek Broughton derek at
Fri Sep 11 14:07:40 UTC 2009

Wade Smart wrote:

> Derek Broughton wrote:
>> Wade Smart wrote:
>>> After getting my fetchmail to work properly (thanks guys :D)
>>> postfix produced an error:
>>> postfix/local: status = bounced (cannot update mailbox
>>> /home/wadesmart/data/wadesmart/Maildir for user wadesmart.)
>>> My mail was in /home/wadesmart/Maildir on my old system.
>>> Now my old home is mounted as /data and my mail is located at
>>> /data/wadesmart/Maildir.
>> Except that you explicitly showed us something where the directory was
>> specified as "data/...".  If you want it in /data, you need to specify it
>> as /data!
>>> I was reading the postfix manual and it says "Optional pathname of a
>>> mailbox file relative to a local(8) user's home directory."
>>> Im reading that to mean I cant put my mail where it is at - correct?
>>> So can I not have it outside my /home directory?
>> Sure, but why not just accept the defaults?  It's so much easier all
>> around. Postfix will put it where it wants, and dovecot will magically
>> find it.
> I had used /data before and was still facing issues and then changed it
> to data/ ... though I dont know at this point if the issues were the /
> up front or not.

Oops.  I see an issue - it is in fact /data/, not data/ and not /data.  Most 
MTAs differentiate mbox from Maildir by the presence of a trailing /.  The 
fact that you are getting your mail in a "data" subdirectory of your $HOME 
is clear evidence that it needs the leading /.

However, note that it's possible that Postfix has created an mbox file where 
you actually want your Maildir, so make sure there's no "file" where you 
need a "directory".

So, the real path you'd want would be /data/$USER/Maildir/

> I just took the time and moved all my mail from the data partition to
> /home for now. But Im definitely taking note for future reference :D
> Thanks Derek.
> Wade


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