SIEVEC(1) Pigeonhole SIEVEC(1)
sievec - Pigeonhole's Sieve script compiler
sievec [options] script-file [out-file]
The sievec command is part of the Pigeonhole Project (pigeonhole(7)), which adds Sieve
(RFC 5228) support to the Dovecot secure IMAP and POP3 server (dovecot(1)).
Using the sievec command, Sieve scripts can be compiled into a binary representation. The
resulting binary can be used directly to process e-mail messages during the delivery
process. The delivery of mail messages and - by means of the LDA Sieve plugin - also the
execution of Sieve scripts is performed by Dovecot's local delivery agent (LDA) called
dovecot-lda(1). Usually, it is not necessary to compile the Sieve script manually using
sievec, because dovecot-lda will do this automatically if the binary is missing. However,
in some cases dovecot-lda does not have permission to write the compiled binary to disk,
forcing it to recompile the script every time it is executed. Using the sievec tool, this
can be performed manually by an authorized user to increase performance.
The Pigeonhole Sieve implementation recognizes files with a .sieve extension as Sieve
scripts and corresponding files with a .svbin extension as the associated compiled binary.
This means for example that Dovecot's LDA process will first look for a binary file "dove-
cot.svbin" when it needs to execute "dovecot.sieve". It will compile a new binary when it
is missing or outdated.
The sievec command is also useful to verify Sieve scripts before using. Additionally,
with the -d option it can output a textual (and thus human-readable) dump of the generated
Sieve code to the specified file. The output is then identical to what the sieve-dump(1)
command produces for a stored binary file. This output is mainly useful to find bugs in
the compiler that yield corrupt binaries.
Alternative Dovecot configuration file path.
-d Don't write the binary to out-file, but write a textual dump of the binary instead.
In this context, the out-file value '-' has special meaning: it causes the the tex-
tual dump to be written to stdout. The out-file argument may also be omitted,
which has the same effect as '-'. The output is identical to what the
sieve-dump(1) command produces for a compiled Sieve binary file. Note that this
option is not allowed when the out-file argument is a directory.
-D Enable Sieve debugging.
Set the available extensions. The parameter is a space-separated list of the active
extensions. By prepending the extension identifiers with + or -, extensions can be
included or excluded relative to the configured set of active extensions. If no
extensions have a + or - prefix, only those extensions that are explicitly listed
will be enabled. Unknown extensions are ignored and a warning is produced.
For example -x "+imapflags -enotify" will enable the deprecated imapflags extension
and disable the enotify extension. The rest of the active extensions depends on the
sieve_extensions and sieve_global_extensions settings. By default, i.e. when
sieve_extensions and sieve_global_extensions remain unconfigured, all supported
extensions are available, except for deprecated extensions or those that are still
Specifies the script to be compiled. If the script-file argument is a directory,
all files in that directory with a .sieve extension are compiled into a correspond-
ing .svbin binary file. The compilation is not halted upon errors; it attempts to
compile as many scripts in the directory as possible. Note that the -d option and
the out-file argument are not allowed when the script-file argument is a directory.
Specifies where the (binary) output is to be written. This argument is optional.
If this argument is omitted, a binary compiled from <scriptname>.sieve is saved as
<scriptname>.svbin. If this argument is omitted and -b is specified, the binary
dump is output to stdout.
sievec will exit with one of the following values:
0 Compile was successful. (EX_OK, EXIT_SUCCESS)
1 Operation failed. This is returned for almost all failures. (EXIT_FAILURE)
64 Invalid parameter given. (EX_USAGE)
Dovecot's main configuration file.
Sieve interpreter settings (included from Dovecot's main configuration file)
Report bugs, including doveconf -n output, to the Dovecot Mailing List <dovecot@dove-
cot.org>. Information about reporting Dovecot and Pigeonhole bugs is available at:
dovecot(1), dovecot-lda(1), sieve-dump(1), sieve-filter(1), sieve-test(1), pigeonhole(7)
Pigeonhole for Dovecot v2.2 2013-05-09 SIEVEC(1)