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MemberManual / Email / VirtualMail

This page describes how to use virtual mailboxes.


Virtual mailboxes are a good way to give someone a "vanity address" on one of your domains, where they can receive and check email. You may create virtual e-mail boxes for any domains for which you have write permission in DomTool.

Before continuing, please note that DomTool allows you to create aliases that forward mail from one address to another. Aliases are much preferable to extra mailboxes, both in terms of conserving server resources and convenience for you, as you can continue checking one mail account even if multiple aliases point to it. The basic rule is: If you are creating a virtual mailbox that only you will read, or if you are creating multiple virtual mailboxes to be read by the same other person, then you should be using aliases instead.

It is also very important that your "daemon" user gets write privileges on the directory that is used to store mail for each vmail username.

Complete example

To be able to receive email for the new virtual user, you need to create their Maildir directory, set the correct permissions on it, and then create the actual virtual mailbox.

In the working example below, replace $USER with your username, $VUSER with virtual user name, $DOMAIN with your domain, and $MAILDIR with the directory where the virtual user's email is to be stored. Note that a relative pathname in $MAILDIR will be resolved by vmail relative your home directory.

maildirmake $MAILDIR
fsr setacl $MAILDIR $USER.daemon write
# Enter a password as prompted.
vmail $DOMAIN list
# You will see that the new account shows up.


We use a custom program called vmail to manage delivery to virtual mailboxes. It may be invoked with vmail $DOMAIN $COMMAND, which indicates that you are configuring the virtual mailboxes for domain $DOMAIN for which you have DomTool permissions. The valid commands are:


People with virtual mailboxes may use the normal services for accessing their email, such as SSL IMAP and POP, and https://webmail.hcoop.net.They authenticate giving their full e-mail addresses as usernames, in contrast to the situation for normal UNIX users.

Note: If you try to log in to the web interface this will fail because the mail directory has not been initialized yet. Send a test message to the new account, then verify that the $MAILDIR directory now has some files (not only directories!) using find $MAILDIR -type f, and then try to access the account from the web interface.

Changing password

People with virtual mailboxes may change their password using the handy web interface at https://members.hcoop.net/passwd.


MemberManual/Email/VirtualMail (last edited 2015-04-13 16:13:37 by ClintonEbadi)