This documentation is for Dovecot v1.x, see wiki2 for v2.x documentation.


Dovecot supports logging post-login IMAP/POP3 traffic (also TLS/SSL encrypted) using rawlog binary. It works by checking if dovecot.rawlog/ directory exists in the logged in user's home directory, and writing the traffic to and .out files. Each connection gets their own in/out files.

With imap you may see extra * TIMESTAMP lines in the log files. These aren't really part of the IMAP traffic, just something that rawlog writes itself after the connection has been idle for a while. They're meant to help debugging.

Home directory

Note that for rawlog to work, your userdb must have returned a home directory for the user. If you can't get rawlog to work, you should verify that the home directory really is where you expected it to be by setting mail_debug=yes and checking the logs. You should see a line such as:

Effective uid=1000, gid=1000, home=/home/user

In above configuration rawlog would expect to find /home/user/dovecot.rawlog/ directory writable by uid 1000. NOTE: Dovecot versions older than v1.0.rc23 don't log the home directory even if it exists.

If you don't have the home directory and you can't or don't want to modify userdb configuration, you can add the home to plugin section:

plugin {
  # ..
  home = /home/%u
  # or temporarily even e.g. home = /tmp/temp-home


To enable rawlog, you must modify mail_executable setting(s) to execute rawlog instead of imap or pop3. For example:

protocol imap {
  mail_executable = /usr/local/libexec/dovecot/rawlog
  # ..
protocol pop3 {
  mail_executable = /usr/local/libexec/dovecot/rawlog
  # ..

Dovecot v1.1+ rawlog supports -b parameter. This makes it log IP packet boundaries by writing it as <<<packet>>>.

Debugging/Rawlog (last edited 2011-05-17 18:49:31 by TimoSirainen)