This documentation is for Dovecot v2.x, see wiki1 for v1.x documentation.
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 * Make sure you're modifying the correct config file! Ubuntu creates two of them. Other distributions may also have older config files lying around. For example add "garbage=blah" to the config file and verify that Dovecot now fails to starts up.  * Make sure you're modifying the correct config file! Ubuntu creates two of them. Other distributions may also have older config files lying around. For example add "garbage=blah" to the config file and verify that Dovecot now fails to start up.

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.

  • Make sure you're modifying the correct config file! Ubuntu creates two of them. Other distributions may also have older config files lying around. For example add "garbage=blah" to the config file and verify that Dovecot now fails to start up.
  • 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 set ssl=no).

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.
      • You could (temporarily) try to use passdb shadow instead to see if it logs something more understandable.

  • 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 auth_debug=yes may be helpful in debugging. See MailLocation for how to configure where the mails are looked up from.

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