[Dovecot] Question about SASL auth

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Mon Mar 8 00:39:45 EET 2010

I have recently upgraded from Dovecot 1.2.10 to 2.0.beta3.

I have Postfix 2.3.3 and use Dovecot to provide SASL auth for Postfix.

# dovecot -n
# 2.0.beta3: /usr/local/etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf
# OS: Linux 2.6.18-8.1.14.el5 i686 CentOS release 5 (Final)
auth_mechanisms = plain apop login
auth_worker_max_count = 5
mail_location = mbox:~/Mail:INBOX=/var/spool/mail/%u
mail_privileged_group = mail
mbox_write_locks = fcntl dotlock
passdb {
  args = /usr/local/etc/dovecot.passwd
  deny = no
  driver = passwd-file
  master = no
  pass = no
passdb {
  deny = no
  driver = pam
  master = no
  pass = no
protocols = imap pop3
service auth {
  unix_listener /var/spool/postfix/private/auth {
    mode = 0666
ssl_cert = </etc/postfix/sbh16-cert.pem
ssl_key = </etc/postfix/sbh16-key.pem
userdb {
  driver = passwd

Since upgrading to 2.0.beta3 I have started seeing notices like

Mar  6 07:06:20 sbh16 postfix/smtpd[30273]: warning: SASL: Connect to
private/auth failed: Resource temporarily unavailable
Mar  6 07:06:20 sbh16 postfix/smtpd[30273]: fatal: no SASL
authentication mechanisms

in my maillog. I don't see them too often (an average of about 2
occurences per day), and they seem to be related to spam or some kind
of attack. I am able to send using SASL authentication from my own
client OK.

The relevant postfix config settings are

smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtpd_sasl_path = private/auth
smtpd_sasl_type = dovecot

Postfix and its configuration haven't changed from what I used with
Dovecot 1.2.10.

With Dovecot 1.2.10, I rarely if ever saw these failures.

Is this a case of the socket being in use when another auth request
arrives or is it something else? And if it is the socket in use, is
there some change in 2.0.beta that would cause the socket to be busy

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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