[Dovecot] Getting rid of the common newbie problems

Steffen Kaiser skdovecot at smail.inf.fh-bonn-rhein-sieg.de
Wed May 16 10:21:56 EEST 2007

Hash: SHA1

On Tue, 15 May 2007, Timo Sirainen wrote:

> * Logging
> Logging to eg. /var/log/dovecot.log by default would be helpful here,

Personally, I found logging to a separate file helpful during setting up 
Dovecot, because you can focus on Dovecot that way.

> * Authentication
> So the last "n failed authentications" could be added, where n could
> also be 0.

This message is user-specific, isn't it?
How about a login-statistics of the last 10 or so attempts? Maybe one can 
use the utmp/wtmp service.

> rip=, lip=, secured, 1 failed authentications (set
> auth_debug_passwords=yes to debug the problem)"

It usually is not enough to set the option, I think.
Shouldn't it be: "read doc/debug_auth_problems.txt"
with one of the first text therein "set auth_debug_passwords=yes"

> * Mail location
> It seems to be difficult for some people to set mail_location. I don't

IMHO: It looks wierd first, but the doc is OK.
The most problem for myself was that it's spelled maildir:%h/maildir
rather than maildir=%h/maildir, I mean anything else is in key=value 

> "Home directory is used in mail_location, but userdb didn't return a
> home directory"
> It would be nice if it didn't say userdb, but rather the userdb's name.

When the userdb is logged, you could add a note that the particular userdb 
is user-specific, but mentioned in the logs.

> * Mail permissions
> Another possibility would be to drop the dovecot user completely and
> instead use "nobody". That would mean that other nobody processes could
> kill Dovecot's login processes, but that's pretty much it.

I would say no :-) Stick with a specific user.
Otherwise, if it is still possible to run Dovecot with a specific user, 
... . I like to see in ps or top, which process belongs to which "package" 
at easy glancing.

> Add new "mail_uid" and "mail_gid" settings to dovecot.conf. Deprecate
> user_global_uid/gid in dovecot-ldap.conf and make all the userdbs
> mention that the uid/gid returned by userdb can be used to override the
> global mail_uid/gid. Perhaps also add "mail_home" template. This change
> makes it unnecessary to have a userdb configured at all.
> - "How do I tell Dovecot to run as vmail user?"
> - "Set mail_uid = vmail" in dovecot.conf
> - "Thanks"

As long as this is transparent, I mean, one need no "mail_uid" in the LDAP 
backends, this might solve lots of vmail support requests.
If I see it correct, this effectively makes userdb static the default - 
without explizit userdb { } block. BTW: Is mail_home the same as 
mail_location then?


- -- 
Steffen Kaiser
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