Chapter 8. Configuring the Cyrus Server

Now that the none-too-exciting work of building Cyrus IMAP is over, let’s get down to business and configure it.

IMAP Configuration File and Directory

The Cyrus IMAP server has a single configuration file: /etc/imapd.conf. No messing about with the source code or the Makefile is necessary. Once you’ve used the appropriate options to make a build of Cyrus that’s appropriate for your site, any configuration is done simply by editing imapd.conf.

The Server Configuration File: imapd.conf

First, let’s create the /etc/imapd.conf file, which holds all the defining configuration parameters for imapd. Each line of imapd.conf contains an option and a value for the option, separated by a colon:

option: value

Blank lines and lines beginning with # are treated as comments and are ignored. Boolean options take the values yes, 1, t, or on to turn the option on, and no, 0, f, or off to turn the option off.

For the time being, it’s best to minimize the number of entries in this file to make debugging your installation easier. The barebones IMAP configuration file must contain at least the following entries:

configdirectory: /var/imap
partition-default: /var/spool/imap
admins: cyrus johndoe2

See Table 8-1 for the purpose of each of the three options.


A user listed in admins should never use her administrative account to read mail!

Users listed as admins should never log in to the IMAP server to read mail. admins have special privileges that may lead to problems ...

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