This documentation is for Dovecot v2.x, see wiki1 for v1.x documentation.

Installing Prebuilt Binaries

Debian

apt-get install dovecot-imapd dovecot-pop3d

Fedora Core

Doing a fresh install of (the current) Fedora Core 2 dovecot will be installed by default. Upgrading from previous Fedora Core 1 the Cyrus-IMAPd will be installed exchanging the obsolete uw-imapd. To install dovecot uninstall Cyrus-IMAPd with

yum remove cyrus-imapd*

and install dovecot with

yum install dovecot

Of course you can use too up2date or apt to do so.

Once the dovecot package is installed you can configure it by editing /etc/dovecot.conf. The default configuration has the POP3 protocol disabled and only IMAP enabled. The default storage format is mbox and as INBOX the file /var/spool/mail/$USER is used. If you migrate from uw-imapd and having mail stored inside the users' home directories as well, you then will have to do some steps foreach mail user

cd $HOME
mv $(cat .mailboxlist) ./mail/
mv .mailboxlist ./mail/.subscriptions

For more explainations and details please see [wiki:Migration Migration].

To start the dovecot daemon and being sure it start with each system boot run

service dovecot start
chkconfig dovecot on

FreeBSD and OpenBSD

cd /usr/ports/mail/dovecot; make install