dovecot(8) An IMAP and POP3 mail server


dovecot [options]


dovecot is a POP3 and IMAP mail server that can work with standard mbox and maildir formats. It is fully compatible with UW-IMAP and Courier IMAP servers as well as mail clients accessing the mailboxes directly.

dovecot can be setup to authenticate against LDAP, Postgres or MySQL databases, but by default authentication is with PAM(7).

dovecot is normally started during the system boot, and runs as a background process but it can also be run through inetd(8). In the latter case, the /usr/lib/dovecot/imap-login or /usr/lib/dovecot/pop3-login binaries are run directly not /usr/sbin/dovecot .

dovecot will log all of its activities according to syslog.


-c <config file>
This option changes the default configuration file in which dovecot looks for its configuration.
dovecot will run in the foreground, and it will still log to syslog.
Print version information and exits.


Default configuration file.
Additional configuration for LDAP based authentication.
Additional configuration for database based authentication.
Location of dovecot modules.


dovecot is split into three packages:
  • dovecot-common contains files used by both servers
  • dovecot-imapd contains the IMAP server
  • dovecot-pop3d contains the POP3 server


Timo Sirainen <[email protected]>


Copyright (c) 2001-2002 Timo Sirainen

Dovecot is mostly licensed under the terms of the LGPL v2.1. See the file COPYING in the source distribution for exceptions.

This man page is copyright (c) 2004 by Kai Hendry <[email protected]> who wrote it for Debian GNU/Linux. It may be freely used by others under the terms of the BSD license.