Dovecot (software)

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Original author(s) Timo Sirainen
Developer(s) Timo Sirainen and contributors
Initial release July 2002; 15 years ago (2002-07)
Stable release
2.2.31 / June 26, 2017; 24 days ago (2017-06-26)[1]
Written in C
Operating system UNIX-like
Type POP3 and IMAP server
License Mostly MIT and LGPLv2[2]

Dovecot is an open-source IMAP and POP3 server for Linux/UNIX-like systems, written primarily with security in mind.[3] Timo Sirainen originated Dovecot and first released it in July 2002. Dovecot developers primarily aim to produce a lightweight, fast and easy-to-set-up open-source mailserver.

According to Openemailsurvey[4] Dovecot has an installed base of more than 3 million email servers and a global market share of 68% of all IMAP servers. While Dovecot software can be used in commercial use without any license fees, a commercial version is also available as Dovecot Pro. The commercial version is provided by Dovecot Oy along with support and enterprise add-ons such as the object storage and full-text search plugins. Since March 2015, Dovecot Oy has been part of the Open-Xchange Family.


Dovecot can work with standard mbox, Maildir, and its own native high-performance dbox formats.[5] It is fully compatible with UW IMAP and Courier IMAP servers’ implementation of them, as well as mail clients accessing the mailboxes directly.

Dovecot also includes a Mail delivery agent (called Local delivery agent in Dovecot’s documentation) and an LMTP server, with optional Sieve filtering support.

Dovecot supports a variety of authentication schemas for IMAP and POP access including CRAM-MD5 and the more secure DIGEST-MD5.

With version 2.2 some new features have been added to Dovecot, e.g. additional IMAP command extensions, dsync has been rewritten or optimized, and shared mailboxes now support per-user flags.[6]

Apple Inc. includes Dovecot for email services since Mac OS X Server 10.6 Snow Leopard.

In 2017, Mozilla, via the Mozilla Open Source Support program, conducted a security audit on the Dovecot software, the first public audit of the Dovecot code.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sirainen, Timo (26 June 2017). "v2.2.31 released". Dovecot-news (Mailing list). Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  2. ^ "COPYING.LGPL file in dovecot 7repository". Retrieved 2016-12-03. 
  3. ^ "Dovecot website". Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  4. ^ "Open email survey". Retrieved 2016-03-01. 
  5. ^ "Mailbox Format: dbox". Dovecot v2.x Wiki. 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  6. ^ "v2.2.0 released". 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  7. ^ "Mozilla Security Audit". Retrieved 2017-01-13. 

External links[edit]