[Dovecot] 'unknown user' using dovecot LDA

Charles Marcus CMarcus at Media-Brokers.com
Sun Dec 22 18:24:26 EET 2013

On 2013-12-22 10:49 AM, Tom Hendrikx <tom at whyscream.net> wrote:
> On 22-12-13 16:43, Charles Marcus wrote:
>> 2013-12-22T10:29:55-05:00 host postfix/pickup[31400]:
>> C67FD90F676B2: uid=0 from=<newsrv+rkhunter at example.com>
>> 2013-12-22T10:29:55-05:00 host postfix/cleanup[22349]:
>> C67FD90F676B2:
>> message-id=<20131222152955.C67FD90F676B2 at smtp2.example.com>
>> 2013-12-22T10:29:55-05:00 host postfix/qmgr[31401]: C67FD90F676B2:
>> from=<newsrv+rkhunter at example.com>, size=1555, nrcpt=1 (queue
>> active) 2013-12-22T10:29:55-05:00 host dovecot:
>> auth-worker(22365): passwd(user1 at example.com): unknown user
> This is an error from the passwd authentication backend, not from the
> mysql one you're checking below. Seems that you have 2 auth backends
> enabled in dovecot...

Ah, right you are, thanks!

Missed that (it was staring me in the face) - doveconf -n shows:

userdb {
   driver = passwd
userdb {
   args = /etc/dovecot/dovecot-sql.conf.ext
   driver = sql

One thing about dovecots config I've learned during this process... it 
is confusing sometimes to determine where any given setting is coming 
from, given the number of different default config files..

Grepping of course will help you find it, but it would be nice if there 
was some way to simplify this...

Maybe cut down on the number of different config files (ie, combine all 
of the different auth-* files into one)?

Or maybe a verbose flag you could pass to doveconf -n - ie, 'doveconf 
-nv' - that would sort the output based on the config file that each 
group of settings came from, with a comment above each group of 
settings, ie:

doveconf -nv
# from /etc/dovecot/conf.d/auth-system.conf.ext
userdb {
   driver = passwd
# from /etc/dovecot/conf.d/auth-sql.conf.ext
userdb {
   args = /etc/dovecot/dovecot-sql.conf.ext
   driver = sql

But, like I said, it isn't all that difficult to find them so not a huge 

Anyway, problem solved - thanks again Tom...


Best regards,


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