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


MTA is an acronym for Mail Transport Agent. It is the software that works behind the scenes to transport E-Mail messages from one computer to another. MUAs (such as mutt, firefox, sylpheed, evolution, kmail) hand off newly sent messages to an MTA.

MTA is a generic term and usually refers to one of these popular software packages:

Some people also subsume mail fetching utilities under the MTA category, among them:

These mail fetching utilities can be used to store mail for later retrieval by dovecot.

Contrast this to the ["MDA" message delivery agent (MDA)], sometimes called local delivery agent (LDA).