User authentication / activity log

Karl Denninger karl at
Thu Jul 7 14:15:40 UTC 2022

I'm on (9b53102964) running on FreeBSD, if it matters.

I have a set of maintenance "things" that I want to have happen if 
someone does not authenticate against Dovecot (to check mail) after some 
period of time.  I was running the Z-Push exchange server, which (as its 
in PHP) made sticking an "you were here" flag in the user's filesystem 
easy, which of course means checking it is easy since the modification 
time on the file is sufficient.

I was looking for something similar that I could use with Dovecot and my 
first thought was the cache or index files, but as it turns out local 
delivery (I'm running Postfix) updates those, so they're not left alone 
if no client is connected.

I also don't see anything appropriate in the syslog that dovecot dumps 
into there I can scan for on a sign-in.

My auth mechanism is "straight" login, no LDAP or similar, and I use pam 
as the mechanism.  I don't see anything in the auth.log file or 
dovecot's logs.

My authentication section for dovecot is pretty-basic:

auth_mechanisms = login
disable_plaintext_auth = yes
passdb {
   args = session=yes dovecot
   driver = pam
protocols = imap

Does Dovecot maintain something that I can reasonably find in the 
filesystem for this?  A perusal of the documentation doesn't appear to 
show anything directly pertinent -- but I may have missed it.

It appears that the event export capacity might be able to do this but 
I'm confused on how to set it up; what would be very useful is if, for 
each user, the log point could be different (e.g. in their home 
directory) and if it allowed overwriting (thus becoming an activity 
flag, basically.)

Thanks in advance!

Karl Denninger
karl at
/The Market Ticker/
/[S/MIME encrypted email preferred]/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: smime.p7s
Type: application/pkcs7-signature
Size: 4864 bytes
Desc: S/MIME Cryptographic Signature
URL: <>

More information about the dovecot mailing list