doveadm-director - Manage Dovecot directors

NAME  SYNOPSIS  DESCRIPTION  OPTIONS  ARGUMENTS  COMMANDS  director add  director dump  director flush  director kick  director map  director move  director remove  director ring add  director ring remove  director ring status  director status  FILES  EXAMPLE  REPORTING BUGS  SEE ALSO 


doveadm−director − Manage Dovecot directors


doveadm [−Dv] [−f formatter] director command [OPTIONS] [ARGUMENTS]


doveadm director can be used to manage and query the status of the list of backend mail servers where Dovecot proxy can redirect connections to.


Global doveadm(1) options:


Enables verbosity and debug messages.

−f formatter

Specifies the formatter for formatting the output. Supported formatters are:


prints each line with key=value pairs.


prints each keyvalue pair on its own line and separates records with form feed character (ˆL).


prints a table header followed by tab separated value lines.


prints a table header followed by adjusted value lines.

−o setting=value

Overrides the configuration setting from /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf and from the userdb with the given value. In order to override multiple settings, the −o option may be specified multiple times.


Enables verbosity, including progress counter.

Command specific options:

This option is used to specify an alternative socket. The option's argument is either an absolute path to a local UNIX domain socket, or a hostname and port (hostname:port), in order to connect a remote host via a TCP socket.

By default doveadm(1) will use the socket /run/dovecot/director−admin. The socket may be located in another directory, when the default base_dir setting was overridden in /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf.



A mail server's hostname or IP address.


A director's IP address.


The TCP port, on which the director server is listening for connections. The default port is the same as what the local director is listening in.


Is a user's login name. Depending on the configuration, a login name may be for example jane or [email protected].


The number of "virtual hosts" to assign to this server. The higher the number is relative to other servers, the more connections it gets. The default is 100.


director add

doveadm director add [−a director_socket_path] host [vhost_count]

The command's tasks are:


assign a new mail server to the director.


increase/decrease the vhost_count of an already assigned server.

director dump

doveadm director dump [−a director_socket_path]

Dump the current host configuration as doveadm commands. These commands can be easily run after a full director cluster restart to get back to the dumped state.

director flush

doveadm director flush [−a director_socket_path] [−F] [−−max−parallel n] host|all

doveadm director flush removes all user associations either from the given host or all hosts. All the existing connections will be kicked. If director_flush_socket is specified, a flush script is also automatically executed.

Because the kicking and moving of users to new backends creates a temporary load spike, all the users aren´t moved at once. The −−max−parallel parameter specifies how many users can be moved concurrently. The default is 100.

If the −F parameter is used, the user associations are simply dropped. Existing connections won´t be kicked and flush scripts aren´t run.

director kick

doveadm director kick [−a director_socket_path] user

Kick the specified user from the entire Dovecot cluster. This is similar to doveadm proxy kick, but this command needs to be run only once instead of in each director server.

director map

doveadm director map [−a director_socket_path] [−f users_file] [−h|−u] [host]

The command doveadm director map is used to list current user → host mappings. Note that the director works using 32bit hashes which makes collisions quite likely, so this command can't reliably list exactly which users have recently logged in.

Path to a file containing all user names (one per line). When given no userdb lookup will be performed. This may be a helpful alternative when for example the network connection to the LDAP or SQL server is slow.


Output all usernames, which match the given hash.


Output hash for the given username.


Specify a server's IP address or hostname, to list only mappings of the given host.

director move

doveadm director move [−a director_socket_path] user host

Move the user to the specified backend host. If the user has any existing connections they will be killed.

director remove

doveadm director remove [−a director_socket_path] host

Use this command in order to remove the given host from the director.

director ring add

doveadm director ring add [−a director_socket_path] ip [port]

Add a new director to the ring.

director ring remove

doveadm director ring remove [−a director_socket_path] ip [port]

Remove a director from the ring.

director ring status

doveadm director ring status [−a director_socket_path]

Show the status of all the directors currently in the ring.

director status

doveadm director status [−a director_socket_path] [user]

This command is used to show the current usage of all assigned mail servers.
When a user name is given, this command shows which server the user is currently assigned to, where the user will be assigned after the current saved assignment gets removed and where the user would be assigned to if the whole proxy cluster was restarted fresh.



Dovecot's main configuration file.


Director specific settings.


Add a director with vhost count 150 (or change existing one's vhost count to 150):

doveadm −v director add 150
2001:db8:543:6861:143::1357: OK

Remove a director:

doveadm director remove

Query the status of mail hosts in a director:

doveadm director status
mail server ip vhosts users 100 125 100 144 100 115

Query the status of a user's assignment:

doveadm director status [email protected]
Current: (expires 2010−06−18 20:17:04)
Initial config:

This means that the user is currently assigned to mail server on IP After all of user's connections have logged out, the assignment will be removed (currently it looks like at 20:17:04, but that may be increased). After the assignment has expired, the user will next time be redirected to (assuming no changes to director settings). If the entire Dovecot proxy cluster was restarted, so that all of the director configuration would revert back to its initial values, the user would be redirected to


Report bugs, including doveconf −n output, to the Dovecot Mailing List <[email protected]>. Information about reporting bugs is available at:



Updated 2024-01-29 - |