[sclug] mail setup: getmail, dovecot - and exim?

Simon Huggins huggie at earth.li
Fri May 30 16:01:42 UTC 2008

On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 12:42:46AM +0100, John Stumbles wrote:
> getmail actually gets all mail for my domains, including some for other 
> members of my family which I'd like to have delivered to them (and 
> likewise have served by dovecot). I might be able to configure my mail 
> severs so that mail for specific email addresses is not retrieved by my 
> own getmail, and have other users have cron jobs to run getmail to get 
> their mail ... but this seems clunky.

> I think I should be using procmail or suchlike to filter mail for others 
> and pass it to them - but how? If procmail is running as me it won't 
> have access to their Maildirs (unless one can somehow horribly kludge 
> file permissions). This distro has exim installed so I guess my procmail 
> should ask exim to deliver users' mail to them. (Just a matter of wading 
> through the Friendly Manuals to find out how to do this :-()

Yeah that's often the way it's done.  Be very careful about bounces.  If
you bounce mail because a local user is misconfigured then the person
that sent that mail gets a bounce from your local machine probably with
local usernames in that they don't understand.  You probably want to get
exim to freeze everything.

> I guess that exim will deliver to users' /var/spool/mail/<username> mail 
> spools. That's where system mail for me goes, and I fire up mutt from 
> time to time to check it. I need to either get exim to deliver to 
> Maildirs (if it can do this) or reconfigure dovecot to serve up 
> mailspools as well as Maildirs (if that's possible: I think I saw that 
> working when I was first playing around with it, but I'm damned if I 
> know how to make it work again now that I want it :-()

Exim can deliver to maildirs easily.  Just add maildir_format to a

> Does this sound like the right approach or am I missing something? And 
> if I am on the right track, any pointers to how to configure things?

You might prefer:
	* getting getmail to do it (and running it as some user that can
	  write to whever you configure dovecot to point at) using its
	  MultiGuesser thing.
	* getting your ISP to provide one mailbox per local user
If you don't do the latter then consider what happens to mails that are
Bcc'd to a user at your domain; how do you work out who it's for?  Does
your ISP add a suitable header?  Also mails that are Cc'd to more than
local user; if it only ends up in one mailbox at your ISP you'll
probably only get one copy from your ISP.

----------(  "Haven't you ever seen a dragon being arrested  )----------
Simon ----(              before?" - Capt Vimes               )---- Nomis
                             Htag.pl 0.0.24

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