Dovecot can't log in Virtual user - please help

Andrej Rehak andrej.rehak at
Wed Nov 20 20:22:53 EET 2019

Thank you very much.
It trully was a wrong passwd file format.
I fixed that and removed the PAM driver dependency and finally moved forward.
I encountered a differrent issue but i think i can tacke this one on my own.

So thank you very much!
From: dovecot <dovecot-bounces at> on behalf of Andrej Rehak via dovecot <dovecot at>
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 3:40 AM
To: Aki Tuomi <aki.tuomi at>; dovecot at <dovecot at>
Subject: Re: Dovecot can't log in Virtual user - please help


Actually im not using PAM at all. So yes its true i could drop that.
But i see that you have put additional empty double colons in your passwd file which i didn't.
So maybe this is the issue?
I will try.

Thank you

From: Aki Tuomi <aki.tuomi at>
Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 10:49 PM
To: Andrej Rehak <andrej.rehak at>; dovecot at <dovecot at>
Subject: Re: Dovecot can't log in Virtual user - please help

On 19.11.2019 19.21, Andrej Rehak via dovecot wrote:

Im having issues login to dovecot using imap through telnet.

Im running Linux 4.9.0-11-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.189-3+deb9u1 (2019-09-20) x86_64 GNU/Linux

Im totally new to setting up mailservers. I havesetup a postfix for SMTP and it can receive emails. Postfix version is mail_version = 3.1.12

I have also installed Dovecot version:2.2.27 (c0f36b0) My configuration is such that POSTFIX is configured to use DOVECOT SASL through local socket.

My system is configured to store emails in /var/mail/<username>. For each domain i have my own passwd file where dovecot is supposed to lookup usernames and passwords. /var/mail/

I have created virtualuser for accessing mails and authenticating users. My dovecot (dovecot -n output) configuration is:


# 2.2.27 (c0f36b0): /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf
# Pigeonhole version 0.4.16 (fed8554)
# OS: Linux 4.9.0-11-amd64 x86_64 Debian 9.11
auth_debug = yes
auth_mechanisms = plain login
auth_verbose = yes
debug_log_path = /var/log/dovecot-debug.log
disable_plaintext_auth = no
info_log_path = /var/log/dovecot-info.log
listen =
log_path = /var/log/dovecot.log
mail_home = /var/mail/home/%d/%n
mail_location = mbox:~/mail:INBOX=/var/spool/mail/%d/%n
mail_privileged_group = virtualmail
namespace inbox {
  inbox = yes
  location =
  mailbox Drafts {
    special_use = \Drafts
  mailbox Junk {
    special_use = \Junk
  mailbox Sent {
    special_use = \Sent
  mailbox "Sent Messages" {
    special_use = \Sent
  mailbox Trash {
    special_use = \Trash
  prefix =
passdb {
  driver = pam

Are you using PAM intentionally? You might want to drop this along with userdb with passwd as driver. the passwd-file one is ok. By dropping PAM you probably get quite nice speedup, too.

But I tested your configuration locally here and it seems to work. At least with following passwd file:

$ sudo cat /var/mail/

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the dovecot mailing list