How to install and configure Dovecot on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04

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This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install and configure Dovecot mail server on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 servers.

For the uninitiated, Dovecot an open-source and free mail server which focuses on security and can be installed on most Linux systems, including Ubuntu using a simple command.

Students and new user looking for a Linux system to start learning on, the easiest place to start is Ubuntu Linux OS…. It’s a great Linux operating system for beginners and folks looking for easier Linux distribution to use.

Ubuntu is an open source Linux operating systems that runs on desktops, laptops, server and other devices…

When using Ubuntu, you will find that Linux isn’t so different than Windows and other operating systems in so many ways, especially when it comes to using the system to get work done.…

Both Ubuntu and Windows systems allow you to be productive, easy to use, reliable and enable you to install and run thousands of programs from gaming to productivity suite software for individuals and businesses.

This tutorial is going to show you how….

To get stared follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install Dovecot on Ubuntu

Dovecot packages are available via Ubuntu default repositories. Using a simple command, you’ll be able to install it in no time.

To get Dovecot installed, run the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install dovecot-core dovecot-pop3d dovecot-imapd

When prompted whether to except the packages that will be downloaded and installed, type y for Yes.

Once the installation is complete, you can stop, start and enable the service using the commands below:

sudo systemctl stop dovecot
sudo systemctl start dovecot
sudo systemctl enable dovecot

Then enable command enables the service to automatically start up everytime the system boots up.

Step 2: Configure Dovecot

Now that Dovecot is installed, move below to learn how to configure it.

Just like many other mail servers, Dovecot comes with lots of different configuration options. Some are basic while others are more advanced.

Dovecot main configuration file is located at /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf.

Run the commands below to open its default configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf

Then make your changes and save the file.

#uncomment line 30
listen = *, ::

There are three Dovecot configuration options that are mostly configured in a live environment. listenprotocols, and mail_location.

To specify the IP addresses that Dovecot can listen on, you use the listen configuration option. For all IPv4 address, use the wildcard value ( * ). IPv6 is represented as ( :: )


listen = *, ::

The protocol option specifies which protocol Dovecot communicate over. Dovecot support IMAP, POP3 and few others.


protocols = imap, pop3, pop3s, lmtp

f you like, you can enable all the above protocols, or you can choose to enable just one or any number of them.

The mail_location option defines where mails are pick up from.

The mail location can be configured at:

sudo nano /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-mail.conf

Edit and save your changes

# At line 30: change to Maildir
mail_location = maildir:~/Maildir

Besides the configuration options above, Dovecot also comes with a self-signed certificate settings that come configured on the system.

Dovecot self-signed SSL certificate file is located at /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf.

Many of other Dovecot configurations are located in the /etc/dovecot directory. most protocols are setup in thy conf.d folder of the directory.

When connecting to the service for the first time, you will receive a warning message because they are self-signed and not CA certificates.


This post shows you how to install and configure Dovecot mail server on Ubuntu. If you find any error above, please use the comment form below to report it.

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