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A container of mailboxes and possibly other directories (subdirectories or child directories).Directories can be used to create a “mailbox tree” or “mailbox hierarchy.” For example, I store my solicited-bulk-email boxes in a directory named SBE.

Note 3: These terms, especially the terms mailbox and directory, are not used consistently in IMAP software or on the web sites of IMAP service providers.This inconsistent terminology is a source of much confusion in the IMAP world.Some systems have very restrictive limits on what a username can be, but a user can often get her desired email address by creating an email alias.For more about this, see While Signing Up: Choosing Your Username, Password, Domain Name, Aliases, and More below.It is nice that I have received some donations and fees for referrals, but that is not the reason I'm doing this and it does not affect whether I recommend a provider.

(*) Update 2004 April 2: As I discuss in here, I am now a Verio Reseller.A list of mailboxes that a user has subscribed to using the IMAP subscription mechanism.A user's list of subscribed mailboxes for a particular IMAP server is usually stored on that IMAP server and is thus available to all IMAP clients (both desktop and web-based) that support IMAP subscriptions.For example, as you can see in the diagram at the right, I use the following terms to describe the objects in a user's mailbox space: Note 2: On some IMAP servers, for example Courier and Cyrus IMAP servers, it is possible for a mailbox and a directory to have the same name.On this type of server, a single name can be both a container of messages and a container of mailboxes.This might include adding & deleting users, creating & deleting shared and public mailboxes, setting ACLs (access control lists), maintaining shared LDAP address books, maintaining shared word sub-mailbox is misleading because it is possible to set up some IMAP clients so that a user's mailboxes are presented as a flat non-hierarchical structure, i.e., with no mailbox that is “under” or “sub” or “a child of” another mailbox.