This documentation is for Dovecot v2.x, see wiki1 for v1.x documentation.

Push notification framework

To use push notifications, both the "notify" and the "push_notification" plugins need to be activated. For LMTP delivery, this is required:

protocol lmtp {
  mail_plugins = $mail_plugins notify push_notification

If you also want push notifications to work for LDA-based delivery, you would need additional configuration:

protocol lda {
   mail_plugins = $mail_plugins notify push_notification

DLOG driver

plugin {
  push_notification_driver = dlog

This will cause notifications to end up in your debug log.

OX driver

The OX backend supports sending notifications on MessageNew events (i.e. mail deliveries, not IMAP APPENDs).

The HTTP end-point (URL + authentication information) to use is configured in the Dovecot configuration file. The appropriate configuration options will contain the HTTP URL denoting the end-point to connect to as well as the authentication information for Basic Authentication as configured by properties "" and "". The URL to configure in Dovecot configuration follows this pattern.

<http|https> + "://" + <login> + ":" + <password> + "@" + <host> + ":" + <port> + "/preliminary/http-notify/v1/notify"


plugin {
  push_notification_driver = ox:url=http://login:pass@node1.domain.tld:8009/preliminary/http-notify/v1/notify

Furthermore, it is also possible to specify more than one HTTP end-point to connect to if a new message delivery occurs. Thus the configuration section mentioned above may be extended by additional "push_notification_driver" entries; e.g. push_notification_driver2, push_notification_driver3, etc.

Please note that the path "/preliminary/http-notify/v1/notify" denotes the internal REST API of the Open-Xchange Middleware, which is not publicly accessible. The administrator can decide whether to add that path to the Apache configuration (see also AppSuite:Apache_Configuration and AppSuite:Grizzly) through a Location/ProxyPass directive:

<Location /preliminary>
   Order Deny,Allow
   Deny from all
   # Only allow access from servers within the network. Do not expose this
   # location outside of your network. In case you use a load balancing service in front
   # of your Apache infrastructure you should make sure that access to /preliminary will
   # be blocked from the internet / outside clients. Examples:
   # Allow from
   # Allow from
   # Allow from 192.168.0.
   ProxyPass /preliminary balancer://oxcluster/preliminary

In case the "user=" sent by OX in the push_notification_driver url data does not match the IMAP login of a user, Dovecot ignores it. This can be overridden by defining "user_from_metadata" in the push_notification_driver url, e.g.

push_notification_driver = ox:url= user_from_metadata

Example Payload


Push notification sent in JSON format with the following fields:

Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8

  "user": "4@464646669",
  "imap-uidvalidity": 123412341,
  "imap-uid": 2345,
  "folder": "INBOX",
  "event": "MessageNew",
  "from": "",
  "subject": "Test",
  "snippet": "Hey guys\nThis is only a test...",
  "unseen": 2

Lua Driver

Since v2.3.2 you can use Lua to write custom push notification handlers. See Design/Lua for general information about Lua in Dovecot.


mail_plugins = $mail_plugins mail_lua notify push_notification push_notification_lua

plugin {
   push_notification_driver = lua:file=/path/to/lua/script
   # you can omit the script name if you want to use mail_lua_script script instead

Example script

## To use
## plugin {
##  push_notification_driver = lua:file=/home/cmouse/empty.lua
##  push_lua_url = http://push.notification.server/handler
## }
## server is sent a POST message to given url with parameters

local http = require("socket.http")
local url = require("socket.url")

function table_get(t, k, d)
  return t[k] or d

function dovecot_lua_notify_begin_txn(user)
  return {messages={}, ep=user:plugin_getenv("push_lua_url"), username=user.username}

function dovecot_lua_notify_end_txn(ctx, success)
  local i, msg = next(ctx["messages"], nil)
  while i do
    local r, c = http.request(ctx["ep"], "from=" .. url.escape(table_get(msg, "from", "")) .. "&to=" .. url.escape(table_get(msg, "to", "")) .. "&subject=" .. url.escape(table_get(msg, "subject", "")) .. "&snippet=" .. url.escape(table_get(msg, "snippet", "")) .. "&user=" .. url.escape(ctx["username"]))
    if r and c/100 ~= 2 then
      dovecot.i_error("lua-push: Remote error " .. tostring(c) .. " handling push notication")
    if r == nil then
      dovecot.i_error("lua-push: " .. c)
    i, msg = next(ctx["messages"], i)

function dovecot_lua_notify_event_message_append(ctx, event)
  table.insert(ctx["messages"], event)

function dovecot_lua_notify_event_message_new(ctx, event)
  table.insert(ctx["messages"], event)


The Lua driver hooks into all events, and calls matching functions when found in Lua script.

Currently it supports

All events are called within a transaction. The event is called with context and an event table, which contains the event parameters. All events contain at least

Events are always called after the fact.


Start transaction. Return value is used as transaction context and is treated as opaque value by Lua driver. The user parameter is mail_user object.

End transaction, context is unreferenced.

Mailbox events

All mailbox events contain 'mailbox' parameter, which is the name of the affected mailbox.

Called when mailbox has been created.

Called when mailbox has been deleted.

Called when mailbox has been renamed, old name is retained in mailbox_old attribute.

Called when mailbox has been subscribed to. The mailbox does not necessarily exist.

Called when mailbox has been unsubscribed from. The mailbox does not necessarily exist.

Message events

All message events contain following parameters


Mailbox name


Message UID


Mailbox UID validity

Called when message is delivered.

Called when message is APPENDed to a mailbox.

Called when message is marked as Seen.

Called when message is marked Deleted.

Called when message is EXPUNGEd.

Called when message flags or keywords are set.

Called when message flags or keywords are removed.