Dovecot LDA errors

Larry Rosenman larryrtx at
Fri Jun 1 19:42:28 EEST 2018

I moved from the LDA to LMTP and a lot of “weird” things stopped.

Let me know if you’d like to see my exim setup. (I’m also on FreeBSD, and the Dovecot maintainer and committer).

Larry Rosenman           
Phone: +1 214-642-9640             E-Mail: larryrtx at
US Mail: 5708 Sabbia Drive, Round Rock, TX 78665-2106

From: dovecot <dovecot-bounces at> on behalf of Andy Smith <a.smith at>
Date: Friday, June 1, 2018 at 11:40 AM
To: Dovecot List <dovecot at>
Subject: Dovecot LDA errors

Hi list,

  I'm having an issue on a server thats been running ok for years, its running Exim 4.91 onto of FreeBSD 10.4 with Dovecot 2.3.1.

Recently I've started seeing messages getting stuck in the queue for local delivery and upon checking the Exim log I see this:

2018-06-01 17:31:09.339 [48228] 1fOmxJ-000CXp-3s <a.smith at>: dovecot_delivery transport output: lda(a.smith): Fatal: Invalid -f parameter: Path is empty string
2018-06-01 17:31:09.339 [48228] 1fOmxJ-000CXp-3s == a.smith at <a.smith at> R=virtual_localuser T=dovecot_delivery defer (0): Child process of dovecot_delivery transport returned 64 (could mean usage or syntax error) from command: /usr/local/libexec/dovecot/dovecot-lda

I'm using this line for the LDA in my exim config:

command = /usr/local/libexec/dovecot/dovecot-lda -d $local_part@$domain -f "$s
ender_address" -a $original_local_part@$original_domain

I haven't changed any of the config, but I have updated both Exim and Dovecot. So obviously the reason seems to be that $sender_address is null, the obvious place to look I suppose is Exim but I'm seeing this particularly for things like sieve out of office, which are generated by the LDA itself and then give this error when trying to deliver the out of office message to a local user.

I'll post a question also to the Exim forum, but wondered if this problem rings any bells for anyone on here?

thanks in advance! Andy.

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