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

Installing Prebuilt Binaries

In binary packages the configuration file is typically in /etc/dovecot.conf.



apt-get install dovecot-imapd dovecot-pop3d 

For sarge you can get newer versions from [].

Fedora Core and RHEL (and CentOS/Scientific Linux/...)

Fedora Core includes dovecot since the first release, RHEL since RHEL4. Up to FC6 and RHEL4 the versions included are



Fedora Core 6

dovecot-1.0-0.1.rc7.fc6 (1.0.rc7)

Fedora Core 5

dovecot-1.0-0.beta8.2.fc5 (1.0.beta8)

Fedora Core 4


Fedora Core 3


Fedora Core 2


Fedora Core 1


Doing a fresh install of Fedora Core 2 and later, Dovecot will be installed as the default IMAP server. If you're upgrading from Fedora Core 1, see /FedoraUpgrade.

If you don't have Dovecot already installed, use:

yum install dovecot 

(replace yum with smart/apt/up2date if that's your depsolver)

To start the dovecot daemon and ensure it starts with each system boot run

service dovecot start
chkconfig dovecot on 

RPMs of 1.0 rc versions and the sieve plugin

You can get 1.0rc versions and package for the sieve plugin from [] under and The RHEL packages will also work with CentOS/Scientific Linux and any other RHEL clone.

Building your own rpms

If you want to rebuild the rpms using ATrpms' src.rpm, use this command:

# rpmbuild --rebuild


Dovecot ships with SUSE for quite some time. Upto 10.0 SUSE shipped with 0.99.xx. SUSE 10.1 will have 1.0-beta3, including [:LDA:LDA support].

yast -i dovecot
chkconfig dovecot on
rcdovecot start 

By default ssl disabled. so you need to create an SSL certificitate and than enable it in the dovecot config. For your private server you can do:

cd /usr/share/doc/packages/dovecot/
sed -i -e 's|ssl_disable = .*|ssl_disable = no|' /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf
rcdovecot restart 


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


Use the OpenBSD Package system. For background information see the[ Packages and Ports FAQ].

Here's an example from a fresh OpenBSD 3.9 install where I've given my account sudo privileges and I'm using the default OpenBSD shell (ksh).

Set up your PKG_SRC environment variable by adding a line like the following to your .profile and then logging out and back in again to get the .profile re-read. (There's probably a more graceful way of doing this but this!)

$ export PKG_PATH=ftp://your.ftp.mirror/pub/OpenBSD/3.9/packages/`machine -a`/

Install the package using pkg_add, with the -i option to allow you to choose which version of the package you want. Here's a case where I chose the later of the two postgresql ports that were available on my repository, and this caused the packages system to prompt me for a choice on the postgresql client dependency.

$ sudo pkg_add -i dovecot
Ambiguous: dovecot could be dovecot-1.0.beta3 dovecot-1.0.beta3-ldap dovecot-1.0.beta3-ldap-mysql-postgresql dovecot-1.0.beta3-mysql dovecot-1.0.beta3-postgresql dovecot-1.0.beta8 dovecot-1.0.beta8-ldap dovecot-1.0.beta8-ldap-mysql-postgresql dovecot-1.0.beta8-mysql dovecot-1.0.beta8-postgresql
Choose one package
         0: <None>
         1: dovecot-1.0.beta3
         2: dovecot-1.0.beta3-ldap
         3: dovecot-1.0.beta3-ldap-mysql-postgresql
         4: dovecot-1.0.beta3-mysql
         5: dovecot-1.0.beta3-postgresql
         6: dovecot-1.0.beta8
         7: dovecot-1.0.beta8-ldap
         8: dovecot-1.0.beta8-ldap-mysql-postgresql
         9: dovecot-1.0.beta8-mysql
        10: dovecot-1.0.beta8-postgresql
Your choice: 10
Choose dependency for dovecot-1.0.beta8-postgresql:
         0: postgresql-client-8.1.4
         1: postgresql-client-8.1.3
Your choice: 0
dovecot-1.0.beta8-postgresql:libiconv-1.9.2p3: complete
dovecot-1.0.beta8-postgresql:postgresql-client-8.1.4: complete
dovecot-1.0.beta8-postgresql: complete
--- dovecot-1.0.beta8-postgresql -------------------
Files to facilitate the generation of a self-signed
certificate and key for Dovecot have been installed:
/etc/ssl/dovecot-openssl.cnf (Edit this accordingly!)
If this has been or will be accomplished by other means,
use the following paths for the files:
If you wish to have Dovecot started automatically at boot time,
simply add the follow lines to /etc/rc.local:
if [ -x /usr/local/sbin/dovecot ]; then
        echo -n ' dovecot';       /usr/local/sbin/dovecot

Follow the advice about adding the lies to /etc/rc.local.

In the above case, you would also need a postgresql server somewhere - you could install it on the same machine using "pkg_add -i postgresql-server".

NetBSD and DragonFly

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

Mac OS X Darwinports

port install dovecot 

Mandriva 2007.0

The Mandriva default locations to install executables, doc etc. are sometimes different from other plaforms. The default rpm (created from the source rpm as described in the 'Compiling Dovecot from sources' chapter) uses the following locations:

/usr/lib/dovecot/ to store executable files
/usr/sbin/ for dovecot and dovecotpw
/usr/share/dovecot/ for .la and .lo files
/usr/share/dovecot/pop3/ hold symlinks to the files one level up
/usr/share/doc/dovecot-1.0.rc14/ to store template .conf, .cnf, .pl, README, etc. files 
/etc to store the live dovecot.conf

urpmi dovecot