This documentation is for Dovecot v2.x, see wiki1 for v1.x documentation.
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Revision 25 as of 2009-05-13 17:38:01
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 * '''Dovecot always logs an error message''' if anything goes wrong, so make sure you're looking at the correct log files. Debug messages may be written to a different log file than error messages. See [[Logging]].
 * Try logging in manually by sending IMAP commands. If you're trying with an IMAP client you can't be sure if the problem is with the client's configuration or Dovecot's configuration. Many IMAP clients handle all errors simply by showing you the login password dialog, even if the problem has nothing to do with authentication. See TestInstallation (or TestPop3Installation).
 * Are you using an older version than v1.0? RHEL 5.0 and Debian Etch distribute v1.0.rc15, and there have been a LOT of fixes since then. If you have a problem, see if [[http://dovecot.org/doc/NEWS|NEWS]] file mentions anything related to it. There are also [[PrebuiltBinaries|binary packages]] available for newer versions.
== It says "Authentication failed" ==
First of all enable {{{auth_debug_passwords=yes}}} and see if the logs show what the problem is. For non-PAM setups it should contain all the information needed to solve the problem. If it's trying to use a wrong password scheme, you can change that. See [[Authentication/PasswordSchemes]].
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 * Make sure you're looking at the correct log files. Debug messages may be in a different log file than error messages. See ["Logging"]
 * Try logging in manually by sending IMAP commands. If you're trying with an IMAP client you can't be sure if the problem is with the client's configuration or Dovecot's configuration. See TestInstallation (or TestPop3Installation).
If the client isn't even attempting to log in, you most likely have {{{disable_plaintext_auth=yes}}} (default) and the client isn't configured to use SSL/TLS (or you've also {{{ssl_disable=yes}}}).
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== It says password mismatch == If you're using [[PasswordDatabase/PAM|PAM]]:
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If you're using PAM:  * Make sure that dovecot-auth is running as root (assuming it's using {{{/etc/shadow}}}).
 * PAM errors aren't written to Dovecot's own logs. Usually they go to {{{/var/log/auth.log}}} or something similar.
  * Unfortunately PAM's error messages aren't always all that helpful in figuring out what exactly the problem is.
 * Usually the problem is that you don't have a correctly named file in {{{/etc/pam.d/}}}. See [[PasswordDatabase/PAM]].
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 * Make sure that dovecot-auth is running as root (assuming it's using shadow files).
 * PAM errors aren't logged to Dovecot's own logs. Usually they go to {{{/var/log/auth.log}}} or something similar.
  * Unfortunately PAM's error messages aren't all that helpful always in figuring out what the problem is.
 * Usually the problem is that you don't have correctly named file in {{{/etc/pam.d}}}. See ["PasswordDatabase/PAM"]
== It's not finding my emails ==
{{{mail_debug=yes}}} makes Dovecot log where it's really looking for mails. Also {{{əuth_debug=yes}}} may be helpful in debugging. See [[MailLocation]] for how to configure where the mails are looked up from.
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For non-PAM set {{{auth_debug_passwords=yes}}} and look at what it says in the logs. If it's trying to use a wrong password scheme, you can change that. See ["Authentication/PasswordSchemes"] == It says Can't load certificate ==
If the key isn't password protected and you get an error like:

{{{
Sep 29 01:33:54 mail dovecot: imap-login: Can't load certificate file /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-mail-cacert.pem: error:0906D06C:PEM routines:PEM_read_bio:no start line
Sep 29 01:33:54 mail dovecot: child 27252 (login) returned error 89
Sep 29 01:33:54 mail dovecot: imap-login: Can't load certificate file /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-mail-cacert.pem: error:0906D06C:PEM routines:PEM_read_bio:no start line
Sep 29 01:33:54 mail dovecot: child 27253 (login) returned error 89
}}}
You may have mixed up the {{{ssl_cert_file}}} and {{{ssl_key_file}}} settings in the config file. (v1.1.4+ mentions this in the error message.)

== User's IMAP connection gets unexpectedly closed while retrieving headers of a large folder ==
And the log looks like:

{{{
Sep 12 16:10:34 hostname dovecot: IMAP(username): block_alloc(): Out of memory
Sep 12 16:10:34 hostname dovecot: child 17717 (imap) returned error 83 (Out of memory)
}}}
You may need to increase the {{{mail_process_size}}} setting in the config file. (v1.1.4+ mentions this setting in the latter error message.)

Why doesn't Dovecot work?

  • Dovecot always logs an error message if anything goes wrong, so make sure you're looking at the correct log files. Debug messages may be written to a different log file than error messages. See Logging.

  • Try logging in manually by sending IMAP commands. If you're trying with an IMAP client you can't be sure if the problem is with the client's configuration or Dovecot's configuration. Many IMAP clients handle all errors simply by showing you the login password dialog, even if the problem has nothing to do with authentication. See TestInstallation (or TestPop3Installation).

  • Are you using an older version than v1.0? RHEL 5.0 and Debian Etch distribute v1.0.rc15, and there have been a LOT of fixes since then. If you have a problem, see if NEWS file mentions anything related to it. There are also binary packages available for newer versions.

It says "Authentication failed"

First of all enable auth_debug_passwords=yes and see if the logs show what the problem is. For non-PAM setups it should contain all the information needed to solve the problem. If it's trying to use a wrong password scheme, you can change that. See Authentication/PasswordSchemes.

If the client isn't even attempting to log in, you most likely have disable_plaintext_auth=yes (default) and the client isn't configured to use SSL/TLS (or you've also ssl_disable=yes).

If you're using PAM:

  • Make sure that dovecot-auth is running as root (assuming it's using /etc/shadow).

  • PAM errors aren't written to Dovecot's own logs. Usually they go to /var/log/auth.log or something similar.

    • Unfortunately PAM's error messages aren't always all that helpful in figuring out what exactly the problem is.
  • Usually the problem is that you don't have a correctly named file in /etc/pam.d/. See PasswordDatabase/PAM.

It's not finding my emails

mail_debug=yes makes Dovecot log where it's really looking for mails. Also əuth_debug=yes may be helpful in debugging. See MailLocation for how to configure where the mails are looked up from.

It says Can't load certificate

If the key isn't password protected and you get an error like:

Sep 29 01:33:54 mail dovecot: imap-login: Can't load certificate file /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-mail-cacert.pem: error:0906D06C:PEM routines:PEM_read_bio:no start line
Sep 29 01:33:54 mail dovecot: child 27252 (login) returned error 89
Sep 29 01:33:54 mail dovecot: imap-login: Can't load certificate file /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-mail-cacert.pem: error:0906D06C:PEM routines:PEM_read_bio:no start line
Sep 29 01:33:54 mail dovecot: child 27253 (login) returned error 89

You may have mixed up the ssl_cert_file and ssl_key_file settings in the config file. (v1.1.4+ mentions this in the error message.)

User's IMAP connection gets unexpectedly closed while retrieving headers of a large folder

And the log looks like:

Sep 12 16:10:34 hostname dovecot: IMAP(username): block_alloc(): Out of memory
Sep 12 16:10:34 hostname dovecot: child 17717 (imap) returned error 83 (Out of memory)

You may need to increase the mail_process_size setting in the config file. (v1.1.4+ mentions this setting in the latter error message.)

None: WhyDoesItNotWork (last edited 2018-09-09 05:36:49 by AkiTuomi)