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Chapter 12. Installing and configuring Dovecot for IMAP and POP3

The imap-login and pop3-login processes that implement the IMAP and POP3 protocols are spawned by the master dovecot daemon included in the Dovecot package. The use of IMAP and POP is configured through the /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf; by default, dovecot runs IMAP and POP3 together with their secure versions using SSL.


To install and configure dovecot to use IMAP, complete the following steps:

  1. To install Dovecot

    # yum install dovecot
  2. To enable and start the Dovecot service.

    # systemctl enable dovecot
    # systemctl start dovecot

    The dovecot. conf is the main configuration file. Perform the following steps to add few options in the /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf file:

    • listen:- Allows to set the IP addresses to listen to the services. For IPv4 addresses use the asterisk (*) and for IPV6 addresses use a colon (: :)

      For example:
      listen = *, : :
    • protocols:- Allows specifying the type of protocol.

      For example:
      protocols = imap, pop3
    • mail_location:- Sets the sender’s mail location. By default, this option is empty, as Dovecot locates the mail automatically. Following is the format of the mail_location option:
    • mailbox-format:- <path> [ : key = <value> … ]
    • Make the changes operational for the current session

      # systemctl restart dovecot


  • Verify the Dovecot status

    # doveadm instance list

To check the logs, run the following command:

# journalctl -u dovecot -b