[Dovecot] Dovecot POP3 problem: Authentication suddenly fails until dovecot gets restarted

Carsten Buchenau carsten.buchenau at edificom.ch
Sat Nov 29 08:45:03 EET 2008



I am running dovecot with postfix and OTRS2 on a fresh Ubuntu 8.10
Server system.


OTRS2 is configured to poll new email to otrs-incoming at localhost via
POP3 every 5 minutes. It works, but after approximately 20 hours it
suddenly stops working and only a restart of dovecot helps.


The outage starts at different times during night (00:15 on Thursday,
1:15 on Friday, 3:20 on Saturday). I checked all cron-jobs, but couldn't
find anything matching.


Anyone any idea? Thanks, carsten




Nov 29 07:10:13 wombat dovecot: auth-worker(default):
pam(otrs-incoming, pam_start() failed: Critical error -
immediate abort

Nov 29 07:10:14 wombat dovecot: pop3-login: Aborted login (auth failed,
1 attempts): user=<otrs-incoming>, method=PLAIN, rip=,
lip=, secured




protocols = pop3 pop3s

log_timestamp = "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S "

mail_location =  mbox:~/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/%u

mail_privileged_group = mail

protocol imap {


protocol pop3 {

  pop3_uidl_format = %08Xu%08Xv


protocol managesieve {




auth default {

  mechanisms = plain

  passdb pam {


  userdb passwd {


  user = root


dict {


plugin {






@include common-auth

@include common-account

@include common-session



Manual test of POP3 Authentication:

root at localhost:/etc/pam.d# telnet localhost 110


Connected to localhost.

Escape character is '^]'.

+OK Dovecot ready.

user otrs-incoming



-ERR Temporary authentication failure.

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