Guide to Unix/Explanations/Mail Server Overview/Incoming mail
Incoming mail is held in mailboxes hosted by various providers
Incoming Mail is delivered to mailboxes held by various service providers.
The spam filtering program marks junk mail as spam.
The filtered mail is forwarded to the mail delivery agent, either directly, or via a mail transport agent (depending on the capabilities of the mail retrieval agent). The mail delivery agent delivers the mail to either the spam box or the inbox the users maildir directory depending on whether or not the mail is marked as spam.
The IMAP server
The messages are now made visible to users via the imap server.