This documentation is for Dovecot v2.x, see wiki1 for v1.x documentation.
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Revision 8 as of 2006-08-16 12:00:44
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Editor: TimoSirainen
Revision 19 as of 2019-09-11 14:00:18
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Comment: Moved to new doc
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= Multiple Authentication Databases =

Dovecot supports defining multiple authentication databases, so that if the password doesn't match in the first database, it checks the next one. This can be useful if you want to easily support having both local system users in /etc/passwd and virtual users.

Currently the fallbacking works only with PLAIN authentication mechanism.

This can be configured in the following way:

auth default {
  mechanisms = plain

  # try to authenticate using SQL database first
  passdb sql {
    args = /etc/dovecot-sql.conf
  # fallback to PAM
  passdb pam {

  # look up users from SQL first (even if authentication was done using PAM!)
  userdb sql {
    args = /etc/dovecot-sql.conf
  # if not found, fallback to /etc/passwd
  userdb passwd {
Moved to

None: Authentication/MultipleDatabases (last edited 2019-09-11 14:00:18 by MichaelSlusarz)