This documentation is for Dovecot v1.x, see wiki2 for v2.x documentation.

Postfix and Dovecot SASL

Since version 2.3, Postfix supports SMTP AUTH through Dovecot SASL as introduced in the Dovecot 1.0 series. If using Postfix obtained from a binary (such as a .rpm or .deb file), you can check if Postfix was compiled with support for Dovecot SASL by running the command:

postconf -a

Look for "dovecot" in the output:

$ postconf -a

Once you have verified that your installation of Postfix supports Dovecot SASL, it's very simple to configure:

Example dovecot.conf excerpt

auth default {
      mechanisms = plain login
      passdb pam {
      userdb passwd {
      socket listen {
        client {
          # Assuming the default Postfix $queue_directory setting
          path = /var/spool/postfix/private/auth
          mode = 0660
          # Assuming the default Postfix user and group
          user = postfix
          group = postfix
        # deliver and some other programs need also auth-master:
        #master {
        #  path = /var/run/dovecot/auth-master
        #  mode = 0600

Example Postfix excerpt

smtpd_sasl_type = dovecot
# Can be an absolute path, or relative to $queue_directory
# Debian/Ubuntu users: Postfix is setup by default to run chrooted, so it is best to leave it as-is below
smtpd_sasl_path = private/auth
# and the common settings to enable SASL:
smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_mynetworks, permit_sasl_authenticated, reject_unauth_destination

See also:


If Outlook Express (and/or Windows Mail) doesn't seem to login, even though you checked "My server requires authentication" in its configuration, then verify that the "mechanisms" line contains "login" in addition to "plain". "plain" is the default, and most clients can work with it, but Outlook Express needs the "login" mechanism. Also see:

HowTo/PostfixAndDovecotSASL (last edited 2013-06-11 18:37:36 by 216-86-112-192)