doveadm-index man page

doveadm-index — Index mailboxes


doveadm [-Dv] index [-S socket_path] [-q] [-n max_recent] mailbox
doveadm [-Dv] index [-S socket_path] -A [-q] [-n max_recent] mailbox
doveadm [-Dv] index [-S socket_path] -F file [-q] [-n max_recent] mailbox
doveadm [-Dv] index [-S socket_path] -u user [-q] [-n max_recent] mailbox


Add unindexed messages in a mailbox into index/cache file. If full text search is enabled, also add unindexed messages to the fts database.

The caching adds only the fields that were previously added to the mailbox's caching decisions, so it won't do anything useful for mailboxes that user's client hasn't accessed yet. You can use doveadm dump command to show a specific mailbox's current caching decisions.

Messages can also be added automatically to full text search index using:

plugin {
  fts_autoindex = yes

in /etc/dovecot/conf.d/90-plugin.conf.


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.

-n max_recent

An integer value, which specifies the maximum number of \Recent messages in mailboxes. If the mailbox contains more than max_recent messages with \Recent flag set, the mailbox will not be indexed. This may be useful to avoid unnecessary indexing for large mailboxes that are never opened.


Queues the indexing to be run by indexer process. Without -q the indexing is done directly by the doveadm(1) process. Some backends like fts-lucene can't handle multiple processes updating the indexes simultaneously, so -q should usually be used on production.

-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.



The name of the mailbox to index.


Index bob's INBOX:

doveadm index -u bob INBOX

Reporting Bugs

Report bugs, including doveconf -n output, to the Dovecot Mailing List <>. Information about reporting bugs is available at:

See Also


Referenced By

doveadm(1), doveadm-fts(1).

2015-05-09 Dovecot v2.2