Does procmail work with email-only accounts?

I’ve been using the filters available from the admin panel and have gotten fed up with their limitations, so I’m looking at switching to procmail.

Is it possible to use procmail with email-only user accounts, or is it only available for shell accounts?


The answer, I think, is “yes, kind of”.

The goal is to do some filtering for

The solution I see is:

  • set up a shell user (, which will also create the mailbox “shelluser.”
  • In the control panel Address page, have mailuser deliver to shelluser. (Alternatively, make “shelluser” the default address for
  • Set up a mailbox for “mailuser-2971952” (some sequence long enough not to
    be guessed by spammers)
  • Set up the shelluser procmail file to do all processing for mailuser (and any other accounts)
  • After other procmail processing, have mail that was addressed to mailuser delivered to
  • Set up your email client to check the mailbox for mailuser-2971952 but send outgoing mail from mailuser

Is there an easier way (i.e., a way to edit mailuser’s procmail file directly)?

How does your solution deal with a case where an email is sent to multiple accounts, including one or more mail-only users? I don’t think your scenario deals with a situation like this very gracefully. And what happens to mail that isn’t explicitly addressed to an alias pointing to the mail only user.

I think it’s better to create an ftp / shell user for the user you want to setup procmail for (or, if they fit your needs, use the filters option from the panel). Note also that we are finally working on better spam / virus filtering options (as noted elsewhere).

[quote]I think it’s better to create an ftp / shell user for the user you want to setup procmail for


I agree with Will that it’s better to create a shell account for each user that will use procmail. I think that what you really want is to use procmail as an MTA, but

* * * Procmail Is Not An MTA * * *

and you will have endless problems if you try to use it as an MTA. I discuss this in my Procmail Quick Start and if you read the Procmail mailing list, you will see it discussed there all the time. To find out more about this, search for “envelope” or “original envelope” on procmail-related sites (e.g., mine!).

Good luck,

Infinite Ink ~
Deflexion & Reflexion ~