Chef cookbook to install and configure Dovecot.

Xabier de Zuazo 1cb3a6b9a5 added dovecot_test cookbook 10 years ago
attributes d11481fea0 removed an attribute duplication (login_access_sockets) 10 years ago
libraries 51955efcab improved namespace config support 10 years ago
recipes d08489f233 fixed to work in chef-10 10 years ago
templates d11481fea0 removed an attribute duplication (login_access_sockets) 10 years ago
test 1cb3a6b9a5 added dovecot_test cookbook 10 years ago
.gitignore 1cbb7dadad some basic integration tests added and a kitchen.yml file 10 years ago
.kitchen.yml 1cb3a6b9a5 added dovecot_test cookbook 10 years ago
Berksfile 1cb3a6b9a5 added dovecot_test cookbook 10 years ago 12a23afc52 First commit: basic packages installation 10 years ago
Gemfile 1cbb7dadad some basic integration tests added and a kitchen.yml file 10 years ago f59e4c6e9e README: Berkeley DB section title simplified 10 years ago
Vagrantfile 1cbb7dadad some basic integration tests added and a kitchen.yml file 10 years ago
metadata.rb d11481fea0 removed an attribute duplication (login_access_sockets) 10 years ago


Installs and configures Dovecot.



The following platforms has been tested:

  • Centos >= 6.0
  • Debian >= 7.0
  • Ubuntu >= 12.04

Let me know if you use it successfully on any other platform.


  • Dovecot >= 2: requires this version of dovecot to be available by the distribution package manager.


Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['user'] Dovector system user. Should no be changed. dovecot
node['dovecot']['group'] Dovector system group. Should no be changed. dovecot
node['dovecot']['lib_path'] Dovector library path. Should no be changed. calculated
node['dovecot']['conf_path'] Dovector configruration files path. Should no be changed. /etc/dovecot
node['dovecot']['conf_files_user'] System user owner of configuration files. root
node['dovecot']['conf_files_group'] System group owner of configuration files. node["dovecot"]["group"]
node['dovecot']['conf_files_mode'] Configuration files system file mode bits. 00644
node['dovecot']['conf_files']['core'] Dovecot core configuration files list. [
node['dovecot']['conf_files']['imap'] Dovecot IMAP configuration files list. ["conf.d/20-imap.conf"]
node['dovecot']['conf_files']['pop3'] Dovecot POP3 configuration files list. ["conf.d/20-pop3.conf"]
node['dovecot']['conf_files']['lmtp'] Dovecot LMTP configuration files list. ["conf.d/20-lmtp.conf"]
node['dovecot']['conf_files']['sieve'] Dovecot Sieve configuration files list. [
node['dovecot']['conf_files']['ldap'] Dovecot LDAP configuration files list. [
node['dovecot']['auth'] Dovecot Authentication Databases as a hash of hashes. Supported authdbs: checkpassword, deny, ldap, master, passwdfile, sql, system and vpopmail. {}
node['dovecot']['namespaces'] Dovecot Namespaces as an array of hashes. []
node['dovecot']['plugins'] Dovecot Plugins configuration as a hash of hashes. Supported plugins: mail_log, acl and quota. {
  "sieve" => {
    "sieve" => "~/.dovecot.sieve",
    "sieve_dir" => "~/sieve",
node['dovecot']['protocolos'] Dovecot Protocols configuration as a hash of hashes. Supported protocols: lda, imap, lmtp, sieve and pop3. {}
node['dovecot']['services'] Dovecot Services configuration as a hash of hashes. Supported services: director, imap-login, pop3-login, lmtp, imap, pop3, auth, auth-worker, dict, tcpwrap, managesieve-login and managesieve. {}
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_plugins'] Dovecot default enabled mail_plugins. []

Main configuration attributes

  • Configuration file: dovecot.conf.
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['listen'] A comma separated list of IPs or hosts where to listen in for connections. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['base_dir'] Base directory where to store runtime data. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['instance_name'] Name of this instance. Used to prefix all Dovecot processes in ps output. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['login_greeting'] Greeting message for clients. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['login_trusted_networks'] Space separated list of trusted network ranges. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['login_access_sockets'] Space separated list of login access check sockets. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['verbose_proctitle'] Show more verbose process titles (in ps). nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['shutdown_clients'] Should all processes be killed when Dovecot master process shuts down. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['doveadm_worker_count'] If non-zero, run mail commands via this many connections to doveadm server. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['doveadm_socket_path'] UNIX socket or host:port used for connecting to doveadm server. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['import_environment'] Space separated list of environment variables that are preserved on Dovecot startup and his childs. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['dict'] Dictionary server settings as a hash. nil

Authentication processes attributes

  • Configuration file: conf.d/10-auth.conf.

Director-specific attributes

  • Configuration file: conf.d/10-director.conf.
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['disable_plaintext_auth'] Disable LOGIN command and all other plaintext authentications unless SSL/TLS is used. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_cache_size'] Authentication cache size (e.g. 10M). 0 means it's disabled. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_cache_ttl'] Time to live for cached data. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_cache_negative_ttl'] TTL for negative hits (user not found, password mismatch). nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_realms'] Space separated list (or array) of realms for SASL authentication mechanisms that need them. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_default_realm'] Default realm/domain to use if none was specified. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_username_chars'] List of allowed characters in username. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_username_translation'] Username character translations before it's looked up from databases. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_username_format'] Username formatting before it's looked up from databases. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_master_user_separator'] If you want to allow master users to log in by specifying the master username within the normal username string, you can specify the separator character here (format: ). nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_anonymous_username'] Username to use for users logging in with ANONYMOUS SASL mechanism. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_worker_max_count'] Maximum number of dovecot-auth worker processes. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_gssapi_hostname'] Host name to use in GSSAPI principal names. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_krb5_keytab'] Kerberos keytab to use for the GSSAPI mechanism. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_use_winbind'] Do NTLM and GSS-SPNEGO authentication using Samba's winbind daemon and ntlm_auth helper. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_winbind_helper_path'] Path for Samba's ntlm_auth helper binary. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_failure_delay'] Time to delay before replying to failed authentications. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_ssl_require_client_cert'] Take the username from client's SSL certificate, using X509_NAME_get_text_by_NID() which returns the subject's DN's CommonName. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_mechanisms'] Space separated list of wanted authentication mechanisms: plain, login, digest-md5, cram-md5, ntlm, rpa, apop, anonymous, gssapi, otp, skey, gss-spnego "plain"
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['director_servers'] List of IPs or hostnames to all director servers, including ourself (as a string or as an array). nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['director_mail_servers'] List of IPs or hostnames to all backend mail servers. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['director_user_expire'] How long to redirect users to a specific server after it no longer has any connections. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['director_doveadm_port'] TCP/IP port that accepts doveadm connections (instead of director connections). nil

Log destination attributes

  • Configuration file: conf.d/10-logging.conf.
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['log_path'] Log file to use for error messages. "syslog" logs to syslog, /dev/stderr logs to stderr. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['info_log_path'] Log file to use for informational messages. Defaults to log_path. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['debug_log_path'] Log file to use for debug messages. Defaults to info_log_path. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['syslog_facility'] Syslog facility to use if you're logging to syslog. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_verbose'] Log unsuccessful authentication attempts and the reasons why they failed. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_verbose_passwords'] In case of password mismatches, log the attempted password. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_debug'] Even more verbose logging for debugging purposes. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_debug_passwords'] In case of password mismatches, log the passwords and used scheme so the problem can be debugged. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_debug'] Enable mail process debugging. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['verbose_ssl'] Show protocol level SSL errors. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['log_timestamp'] Prefix for each line written to log file. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['login_log_format_elements'] Space-separated list (or array) of elements we want to log. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['login_log_format'] Login log format. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_log_prefix'] Log prefix for mail processes. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['deliver_log_format'] Format to use for logging mail deliveries. nil

Mailbox locations and namespaces attributes

  • Configuration file: conf.d/10-mail.conf.
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_location'] Location for user's mailboxes. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_uid'] System user used to access mails. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_gid'] System group used to access mails. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_privileged_group'] Group to enable temporarily for privileged operations. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_access_groups'] Grant access to these supplementary groups for mail processes. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_full_filesystem_access'] Allow full filesystem access to clients. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mmap_disable'] Don't use mmap() at all. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['dotlock_use_excl'] Rely on O_EXCL to work when creating dotlock files. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_fsync'] When to use fsync() or fdatasync() calls: optimized, always or never nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_nfs_storage'] Mail storage exists in NFS. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_nfs_index'] Mail index files also exist in NFS. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['lock_method'] Locking method for index files: fcntl, flock or dotlock. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_temp_dir'] Directory in which LDA/LMTP temporarily stores incoming mails >128 kB. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['first_valid_uid'] Valid UID range for users, defaults to 500 and above. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['last_valid_uid'] Valid UID range for users, defaults to 500 and above. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['first_valid_gid'] Valid GID range for users, defaults to non-root/wheel. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['last_valid_gid'] Valid GID range for users, defaults to non-root/wheel. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_max_keyword_length'] Maximum allowed length for mail keyword name. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['valid_chroot_dirs'] ':' separated list of directories under which chrooting is allowed for mail processes. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_chroot'] Default chroot directory for mail processes. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['auth_socket_path'] UNIX socket path to master authentication server to find users. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_plugin_dir'] Directory where to look up mail plugins. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_cache_min_mail_count'] The minimum number of mails in a mailbox before updates are done to cache file. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mailbox_idle_check_interval'] When IDLE command is running, mailbox is checked once in a while to see if there are any new mails or other changes. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_save_crlf'] Save mails with CR+LF instead of plain LF. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['maildir_stat_dirs'] By default LIST command returns all entries in maildir beginning with a dot. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['maildir_copy_with_hardlinks'] When copying a message, do it with hard links whenever possible. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['maildir_very_dirty_syncs'] Assume Dovecot is the only MUA accessing Maildir. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mbox_read_locks'] Which read locking methods to use for locking mbox: dotlock, dotlock_try, fcntl, flock or lockfyy nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mbox_write_locks'] Which write locking methods to use for locking mbox: dotlock, dotlock_try, fcntl, flock or lockfyy nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mbox_lock_timeout'] Maximum time to wait for lock (all of them) before aborting. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mbox_dotlock_change_timeout'] If dotlock exists but the mailbox isn't modified in any way, override the lock file after this much time. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mbox_dirty_syncs'] When mbox changes unexpectedly simply read the new mails but still safely fallbacks to re-reading the whole mbox file whenever something in mbox isn't how it's expected to be. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mbox_very_dirty_syncs'] Like mbox_dirty_syncs, but don't do full syncs even with SELECT, EXAMINE, EXPUNGE or CHECK commands. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mbox_lazy_writes'] Delay writing mbox headers until doing a full write sync (EXPUNGE and CHECK commands and when closing the mailbox). nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mbox_min_index_size'] If mbox size is smaller than this (e.g. 100k), don't write index files. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mdbox_rotate_size'] Maximum dbox file size until it's rotated. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mdbox_rotate_interval'] Maximum dbox file age until it's rotated. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mdbox_preallocate_space'] When creating new mdbox files, immediately preallocate their size to mdbox_rotate_size. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_attachment_min_size'] Attachments smaller than this aren't saved externally. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_attachment_fs'] Filesystem backend to use for saving attachments: posix, sis posix or sis-queue posix. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['mail_attachment_hash'] Hash format to use in attachment filenames. nil

Master configuration file attributes

  • Configuration file: conf.d/10-master.conf.
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['default_process_limit'] Default process limit. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['default_client_limit'] Default client limit. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['default_vsz_limit'] Default VSZ (virtual memory size) limit for service processes. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['default_login_user'] Login user is internally used by login processes. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['default_internal_user'] Internal user is used by unprivileged processes. nil

SSL attributes

  • Configuration file: conf.d/10-ssl.conf.
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['ssl'] SSL/TLS support: true or false nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ssl_cert'] PEM encoded X.509 SSL/TLS certificate. calculated
node['dovecot']['conf']['ssl_key'] PEM encoded X.509 SSL/TLS private key. calculated
node['dovecot']['conf']['ssl_key_password'] If key file is password protected, give the password here. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ssl_ca'] PEM encoded trusted certificate authority. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ssl_verify_client_cert'] Request client to send a certificate. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ssl_cert_username_field'] Which field from certificate to use for username. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ssl_parameters_regenerate'] How often to regenerate the SSL parameters file. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ssl_cipher_list'] SSL ciphers to use nil

LDA specific attributes

Also used by LMTP.

  • Configuration files: conf.d/15-lda.conf.
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['postmaster_address'] Address to use when sending rejection mails. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['hostname'] Hostname to use in various parts of sent mails, eg. in Message-Id. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['quota_full_tempfail'] If user is over quota, return with temporary failure instead of bouncing the mail. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['sendmail_path'] Binary to use for sending mails. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['submission_host'] If non-empty, send mails via this SMTP host[:port] instead of sendmail. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['rejection_subject'] Subject: header to use for rejection mails. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['rejection_reason'] Human readable error message for rejection mails. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['recipient_delimiter'] Delimiter character between local-part and detail in email address. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['lda_original_recipient_header'] Header where the original recipient address (SMTP's RCPT TO: address) is taken from if not available elsewhere. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['lda_mailbox_autocreate'] Should saving a mail to a nonexistent mailbox automatically create it? nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['lda_mailbox_autosubscribe'] Should automatically created mailboxes be also automatically subscribed? nil

LMTP specific attributes

  • Configuration file: conf.d/20-lmtp.conf
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['lmtp_proxy'] Support proxying to other LMTP/SMTP servers by performing passdb lookups. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['lmtp_save_to_detail_mailbox'] When recipient address includes the detail (e.g. user+detail), try to save the mail to the detail mailbox. nil

Berkeley DB DB_CONFIG attributes

  • Configuration file: dovecot-db.conf.ext.
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['db'] DB_CONFIG for Berkeley DB as a hash. nil

Dictionary quota SQL attributes

  • Configuration files: dovecot-dict-sql.conf.ext.
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['dict_sql']['connect'] Dict sql connect configuration as a string or an array. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['dict_sql']['maps'] Dict sql database tables maps. nil

LDAP authentication attributes

  • Condiguration files: dovecot-ldap.conf.ext.
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['hosts'] Space separated list or array of LDAP hosts to use. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['uris'] LDAP URIs to use. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['dn'] Distinguished Name, the username used to login to the LDAP server. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['dnpass'] Password for LDAP server, if dn is specified. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['sasl_bind'] Use SASL binding instead of the simple binding. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['sasl_mech'] SASL mechanism name to use. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['sasl_realm'] SASL realm to use. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['sasl_authz_id'] SASL authorization ID, ie. the dnpass is for this "master user", but the dn is still the logged in user. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['tls'] Use TLS to connect to the LDAP server. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['tls_ca_cert_file'] TLS options, currently supported only with OpenLDAP. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['tls_ca_cert_dir'] TLS options, currently supported only with OpenLDAP. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['tls_cipher_suite'] TLS options, currently supported only with OpenLDAP. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['tls_cert_file'] TLS cert/key is used only if LDAP server requires a client certificate. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['tls_key_file'] TLS cert/key is used only if LDAP server requires a client certificate. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['tls_require_cert'] Valid values: never, hard, demand, allow, try nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['ldaprc_path'] Use the given ldaprc path. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['debug_level'] LDAP library debug level as specified by LDAP_DEBUG_* in ldap_log.h. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['auth_bind'] Use authentication binding for verifying password's validity. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['auth_bind_userdn'] If authentication binding is used, you can save one LDAP request per login if user's DN can be specified with a common template. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['ldap_version'] LDAP protocol version to use. Likely 2 or 3. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['base'] LDAP base. %variables can be used here. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['deref'] Dereference: never, searching, finding or always. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['scope'] Search scope: base, onelevel or subtree. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['user_attrs'] User attributes are given in LDAP-name=dovecot-internal-name list. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['user_filter'] Filter for user lookup. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['pass_attrs'] Password checking attributes. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['pass_filter'] Filter for password lookups. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['iterate_attrs'] Attributes to get a list of all users nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['iterate_filter'] Filter to get a list of all users nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['ldap']['default_pass_scheme'] Default password scheme. "{scheme}" before password overrides this. nil

SQL authentication attributes

  • Configuration file: dovecot-sql.conf.ext.
Attribute Description Default
node['dovecot']['conf']['sql']['driver'] Database driver: mysql, pgsql or sqlite. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['sql']['connect'] Database connection string or array. This is driver-specific setting. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['sql']['default_pass_scheme'] Default password scheme. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['sql']['password_query'] passdb query to retrieve the password. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['sql']['user_query'] userdb query to retrieve the user information. nil
node['dovecot']['conf']['sql']['iterate_query'] Query to get a list of all usernames. nil



Installs and configures Dovecot.


Creates the dovecot system user. Used by default recipe.


Generates all the configuration files. Used by default recipe.


Installs the required packages. Used by default recipe.


Configures the Dovecot service. Used by default recipe.



  • vagrant
  • berkshelf >= 1.4.0
  • test-kitchen >= 1.0.0.alpha
  • kitchen-vagrant >= 0.10.0

Running the tests

$ kitchen test


  1. Fork the repository on Github
  2. Create a named feature branch (like add_component_x)
  3. Write you change
  4. Write tests for your change (if applicable)
  5. Run the tests, ensuring they all pass
  6. Submit a Pull Request using Github

License and Author

Author: Xabier de Zuazo (
Copyright: Copyright (c) 2013 Onddo Labs, SL. (
License: Apache License, Version 2.0

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.