vmm(1) reads its configuration data from vmm.cfg.

The configuration file is split into multiple sections. A section starts with the section name, enclosed in square brackets `[' and `]', followed by `option = value' pairs.

Whitespace around the `=' and at the end of a value is ignored. Empty lines and lines starting with `#' or `;' will be ignored.

Each value uses one of the following data types:


to indicate if something is enabled/activated (true) or disabled/deactivated (false).

Accepted values for true are: 1, yes, true and on.

Accepted values for false are: 0, no, false and off.


an integer number, written without a fractional or decimal component.

For example 1, 50 or 321 are integers.


a sequence of characters and/or numbers.

For example `word', `hello world' or `/usr/bin/strings' are strings.

Most options have a default value, shown in parentheses after the option's name. In order to use a option's default setting, comment out the line, either with a # or ; or simply remove the setting from vmm.cfg.

A minimal vmm.cfg would be:

user = me
pass = xxxxxxxx

dovecot_version = 1.2.16


By default vmm(1) looks for the vmm.cfg file in the following directories in the order listed:




The first configuration file found will be used.


The options in the section account are used to specify user account related settings.


delete_directory (default: false) : Boolean

Determines the behavior of vmm(1) when an account is deleted (userdelete). If this option is set to true the user's home directory will be deleted recursively.


directory_mode (default: 448) : Int

Access mode for a user's home directory and all directories inside. The value has to be specified in decimal (base 10) notation.

For example: `drwx------' \(-> octal 0700 \(-> decimal 448


disk_usage (default: false) : Boolean

Determines whether the disk usage of a user's mail directory always should be summarized, using du(1), and displayed with the account information (userinfo).

This could be slow on large Maildirs. When you have enabled quotas, vmm's userinfo subcommand will also display the current quota usage of the account. You may also use userinfo's optional details-argument du or full, in order to display the current disk usage of an account's mail directory.


password_length (default: 8) : Int

Determines how many characters and/or numbers should be used for randomly generated passwords. Any value less than 8 will be increased to 8.


random_password (default: false) : Boolean

Determines whether vmm(1) should generate a random password when no password was given for the useradd subcommand. If this option is set to false vmm will prompt you to enter a password for the new account.

You can specify the password length of generated passwords with the account.password_length option.


The bin section is used to specify some paths to some binaries required by vmm(1).


dovecotpw (default: /usr/sbin/dovecotpw) : String

The absolute path to the dovecotpw(1) binary. Use the absolute path to the doveadm(1) binary, if you are using Dovecot v2.0.

This binary is used to generate a password hash, if misc.password_scheme is set to one of `CRAM-MD5', `HMAC-MD5', `LANMAN', `OTP', `RPA' or `SKEY'. This binary will be also required if your Python installation doesn't support the:

  • md4 hash algorithm (hashlib + OpenSSL or PyCrypto) used for the password schemes: `PLAIN-MD4' and `NTLM'

  • sha256 hash algorithm (hashlib or PyCrypto \(>= 2.1.0alpha1) used for the password schemes: `SHA256' and `SSHA256'

  • sha512 hash algorithm (hashlib) used for the password schemes: `SHA512' and `SSHA512'

The doveadm(1) binary is also used to create a user's INBOX and additional mailboxes (mailbox.folders), when the mailbox.format is set to mdbox or sdbox.


du (default: /usr/bin/du) : String

The absolute path to du(1). This binary is used to summarize the disk usage of a user's mail directory.


postconf (default: /usr/sbin/postconf) : String

The absolute path to Postfix' postconf(1). This binary is required when vmm(1) has to check for some Postfix settings, e.g. the virtual_alias_expansion_limit.


The database section is used to specify some options required to connect to the database.

host (default: localhost) : String

Hostname or IP address of the database server.


module (default: psycopg2) : String

The Python PostgreSQL database adapter module to be used. Supported modules are psycopg2 and pyPgSQL.

name (default: mailsys) : String

Name of the database.


pass (default: None) : String

Database password.


port (default: 5432) : Int

The TCP port, on which the database server is listening for connections.


sslmode (default: prefer) : String

Determines whether and with what priority an SSL connection will be negotiated with the database server. Possible values are: disabled, allow, prefer, require, verify-ca and verify-full. The modes verify-ca and verify-full are available since PostgreSQL 8.4

This setting will be ignored when the database.module is set to pyPgSQL.


user (default: None) : String

Name of the database user.


The domain section specifies some domain related settings.

The quota limit (quota_bytes and quota_messages), service settings (imap, pop3, sieve and smtp) and the transport setting will be applied when a domain is created. In order to modify those settings for an existing domain, use one of the following vmm(1) subcommands:


in order to update a domain's quota limit


in order to assign a different service set to a domain


in order to set a new default domain transport

When an account is created, it inherits all the settings of the domain to which it is added. Different settings for an existing account can be set using the subcommands userquota, userservices and usertransport.


auto_postmaster (default: true) : Boolean

Determines if vmm(1) should create also a postmaster account when a new domain is created (domainadd).


delete_directory (default: false) : Boolean

Specifies whether the domain directory and all user directories inside should be deleted when a domain is deleted (domaindelete).


directory_mode (default: 504) : Int

Access mode for the domain directory in decimal (base 10) notation.

For example: `drwxrwx---' \(-> octal 0770 \(-> decimal 504


force_deletion (default: false) : Boolean

Force the deletion of accounts and aliases when a domain is deleted (domaindelete).


imap (default: true) : Boolean

Determines whether newly created users can log in via IMAP.


pop3 (default: true) : Boolean

Determines whether newly created users can log in via POP3.


quota_bytes (default: 0) : String

Quota limit in bytes. 0 means unlimited. This limit will be applied to all newly created domains.

The option's value can be written as an integer value, e.g.: 20480. It's also possible to append one of the following prefixes to the limit: b (bytes), k (kilobytes), M (megabytes) or G (gigabytes).

1024 is the same as 1024b or 1k.


quota_messages (default: 0) : Int

Quota limit in number of messages. 0 means unlimited. This limit will be applied to all newly created domains.


sieve (default: true) : Boolean

Determines whether newly created users can log in via SIEVE (ManageSieve).


smtp (default: true) : Boolean

Determines whether newly created users can log in via SMTP (SMTP AUTH).


transport (default: dovecot:) : String

Default transport for domains and accounts. For details see transport(5).


The mailbox section is used to specify some options for new created mailboxes in the users home directories. The INBOX will be created always.


folders (default: Drafts:Sent:Templates:Trash) : String

A colon separated list of mailboxes that should be created. If no additionally mailboxes should be created, set the value of this option to a single colon (`:').

If you want to create folders containing one or more subfolders, separate them with a single dot (`.').

If you want to use internationalized mailbox names (e.g. `Wysłane' or `Gelöschte Objekte'), write their names UTF-8 encoded. vmm(1) will convert internationalized mailbox names to a modified version of the UTF-7 encoding (see also: RFC 3501, section 5.1.3).


format (default: maildir) : String

The mailbox format to be used for a user's mailbox. Depending on the used Dovecot version (misc.dovecot_version) vmm(1) supports up to three formats:


Dovecot \(>= v1.0.0


Dovecot \(>= v2.0.beta5


Dovecot \(>= v2.0.rc3


root (default: Maildir) : String

Name of the mailbox root directory in a user's home directory. Commonly used names, depending on the used mailbox.format, are Maildir, mdbox or sdbox.


subscribe (default: true) : Boolean

When this option is set to true, the mailboxes from the mailbox.folders option will be listed in the user's subscriptions file. If you don't want to subscribe the created mailboxes, set this option to false.


The misc section is used to define miscellaneous settings.


base_directory (default: /srv/mail) : String

All domain directories will be created inside this directory.


crypt_blowfish_rounds (default: 5) : Int

Number of encryption rounds for the password_scheme BLF-CRYPT.

The value must be in range 4 - 31.


crypt_sha256_rounds (default: 5000) : Int

Number of encryption rounds for the password_scheme SHA256-CRYPT.

The value must be in range 1000 - 999999999.


crypt_sha512_rounds (default: 5000) : Int

Number of encryption rounds for the password_scheme SHA512-CRYPT.

The value must be in range 1000 - 999999999.


dovecot_version (default: None) : String

The version number of the currently used Dovecot version. (see: dovecot --version)

When, for example, the command dovecot --version prints 2.0.beta4 (8818db00d347), set the value of this option to 2.0.beta4.


password_scheme (default: CRAM-MD5) : String

Password scheme to use. To get a list of all usable password schemes execute the command vmm lp.

With Dovecot \(>= v1.1.alpha1 it is also possible to append an encoding suffix to the password_scheme. Supported encoding suffixes are: .b64, .base64 and .hex. For example: PLAIN.BASE64


An example configuration. All options that are not listed in the configuration file will have their default values.

password_length = 10
random_password = true

dovecotpw = /usr/bin/doveadm

host =
pass = PY_SRJ}L/0p-oOk
port = 5433
sslmode = require
user = vmm

quota_bytes = 500M
quota_messages = 10000
transport = lmtp:unix:private/dovecot-lmtp

folders = Drafts:Sent:Templates:Trash:Lists.Dovecot:Lists.Postfix

crypt_sha512_rounds = 10000
dovecot_version = 2.0.beta4
password_scheme = SHA512-CRYPT.hex

RELATED TO vmm.cfg…

postconf(1), vmm(1), transport(5)



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vmm and its manual pages were written by Pascal Volk <user+vmm AT> and are licensed under the terms of the BSD License.