doveadm-purge - Remove messages with refcount=0 from mdbox files



doveadm−purge − Remove messages with refcount=0 from mdbox files


doveadm [−Dv] purge [−S socket_path]
[−Dv] purge [−S socket_path] −A
[−Dv] purge [−S socket_path] −F file
[−Dv] purge [−S socket_path] −u user


The doveadm purge command is used to remove all messages with refcount=0 from a user's mail storage. The refcount of a message is decreased to 0 when the user (or some administration utility) has expunged all instances of a message from all mailboxes.

In the first form, doveadm(1) will perform the purge action for the currently logged in user.

In the second form, the command will be executed for all users.

In the third form, the command will be executed for all users listed in the given file.

In the last form, only messages of the given user(s) will be purged.


Global doveadm(1) options:


Enables verbosity and debug messages.

−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:


If the −A option is present, the command will be performed for all users. Using this option in combination with system users from userdb { driver = passwd } is not recommended, because it contains also users with a lower UID than the one configured with the first_valid_uid setting.

When the SQL userdb module is used make sure that the iterate_query setting in /etc/dovecot/dovecot−sql.conf.ext matches your database layout. When using the LDAP userdb module, make sure that the iterate_attrs and iterate_filter settings in /etc/dovecot/dovecot-ldap.conf.ext match your LDAP schema. Otherwise doveadm(1) will be unable to iterate over all users.

−F file

Execute the command for all the users in the file. This is similar to the −A option, but instead of getting the list of users from the userdb, they are read from the given file. The file contains one username per line.

−S socket_path

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.

This allows an administrator to execute doveadm(1) mail commands through the given socket.

−u user/mask

Run the command only for the given user. It's also possible to use '*' and '?' wildcards (e.g. −u *
When neither the −A option, nor the −F file option, nor the −u user was specified, the command will be executed with the environment of the currently logged in user.


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


doveadm(1), doveadm−expunge(1)

See−dbox for some details.

Updated 2024-01-29 - |