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 stable you can get newer versions from [] (currently 1:1.0.13-1~bpo40+1). Follow the instructions from and then run the above apt-get install command.

Automatically Built Packages

For those of you who like to live on the edge, there is a Debian-testing repository available with hourly updates from recent Dovecot-1.1 changes in the Mercurial repositories. It automatically releases a new set of packages if it notices any changes in any of the repositories. The packages are built with dovecot-sieve-1.1 and dovecot-1.1-managesieve included. Currently, it provides binaries only for the i386 architecture. Source packages are available to build the packages for other architectures. The small Debian-specific patches that are included in the official Debian packages are currently not included for this repository. Also, the packages are currently not PGP signed.

Needless to say: do NOT use this repository for systems that need to be STABLE.

Usage should be similar to the repository (see explanation above), but add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list for the binary packages:

deb testing-auto main

And if you would like to get the source packages, you should add:

deb-src testing-auto main

For questions, comments and requests, you can send an e-mail to Stephan Bosch (stephan at rename-it dot nl).


apt-get install dovecot-imapd dovecot-pop3d 

The current release Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" (from 18th October 2007 till April 2008) includes Dovecot 1.0.5. The next release Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" (from April 2008 till October 2008) will include Dovecot 1.0.10.

These packages including the Dovecot Sieve Plugin and all other nice features.

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

Fedora includes dovecot since its first release, RHEL since RHEL4. The versions included in the still supported releases are


dovecot-1.0-1.2.rc15.el5 (1.0.rc15)



Fedora 9 (rawhide)

dovecot-1.0.13-6.fc9 (1.0.13)

Fedora 8

dovecot-1.0.13-6.fc8 (1.0.13)

Fedora 7

dovecot-1.0.13-18.fc7 (1.0.13)

For historical reference these were the versions found in older Fedora releases until they reached their EOL:

Fedora Core 6

dovecot-1.0.1-4.fc6 (1.0.1)

Fedora Core 5

dovecot-1.0-0.beta8.3.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 newer Dovecot and Sieve packages

You can get the latest stable dovecot package and the 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

There are situations where the supplied packages don't suit your needs, for example when there is a patch you want to add, or perhaps the packages have not yet updated to the latest versions as fast as you need them.

Note that the following only discusses plain rebuilds of a src.rpm. The true work is in modifying the src.rpm which is out of the scope of this wiki. Use standard rpm procedures to extract the contents of the src.rpm, edit the specfile, add patches, update sources etc. The following will assume you have crafted a src.rpm similar to the one at ATrpms'.

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

# rpmbuild --rebuild dovecot-*.src.rpm

This works on Fedora Core w/o any further modifications.

If you are on a platform with an rpm version older that 4.4 (for example RHEL4 and RHEL3) then create the following file (or add the contents to /etc/rpm/macros or ~/.rpmmacros)

# /etc/rpm/macros.bcond
# macros used in rpm 4.4, not available in previous versions
%bcond_with()           %{expand:%%{?_with_%{1}:%%global with_%{1} 1}}
%bcond_without()        %{expand:%%{!?_without_%{1}:%%global without_%{1} 1}}
%with()         %{expand:%%{?with_%{1}:1}%%{!?with_%{1}:0}}
%without()      %{expand:%%{?without_%{1}:0}%%{!?without_%{1}:1}}

There are also special switches for older platforms:

--without inotify   Don't try to use inotify
--with forcequota2  For the use of quota version 2 (if otherwise wrongly detected)

For example on RHEL4 you need

# rpmbuild --rebuild --without inotify --with forcequota2 dovecot-*.src.rpm

For RHEL3 you only need (on RHEL3 quota headers are not broken)

# rpmbuild --rebuild --without inotify dovecot-*.src.rpm


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 lines 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 and 2007.1

Install with rpm or urpmi.

urpmi dovecot 

The Mandriva default locations where executables, doc etc. are installed, are sometimes different from other platforms. 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 (imap-login, imap, etc.)
/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
/etc/ssl/dovecot/[certs,private]/ to store the OpenSSL certificate and key

Arch Linux

pacman -Sy extra/dovecot 

Also see