Installing Dovecot and sieve on a vpopmail + qmail server

February 10, 2023 Roberto Puzzanghera 67 comments


  • Feb 10, 2023
    - added a patch to restore the old vpopmail-auth driver (tx Ali Erturk TURKER)
  • Nov 2, 2022
    -added mailbox_list_index = yes and mail_always_cache_fields = to 10-mail.conf (tx JonTDW, more info here)
  • Aug 9, 2022
    -improved the sql stuff in case of --disable-many-domains (tx kengheng)
  • Apr 21, 2022
    -Solr support added
  • Apr 17, 2022
    -auth-sql.conf.ext: changed the userdb lookup for LDA from static to sql, as the home dir was not retrieved correctly if positioned in a subfolder (i.e. domains/0/domainname).
  • June 20, 2021
    -15-mailboxes.conf: added Junk.TeachSpam and Junk.TeachNotSpam mailboxes to store messages for the learning and reporting systems (more info here)
  • March 17, 2021
    - 90-quota.conf: quota definition adjusted in this way quota = maildir:: as the GETQUOTA command was not returning the quota (thanks a.key)
  • March 2, 2021
    - "one table per domain" support added (--disable-many-domains)
    - added domains limits support to password_query (you have to compile vpopmail --enable-mysql-limits)
  • January 29, 2021
    - auth-sql.conf.ext now uses the userdb's prefetch driver in order to perform one single query when doing the auth
    - dovecot-sql.conf.ext has been modified to allow authentication both with real and alias domains, provided that you patched vpopmail accordingly. More info in this page.
    - the iterate_query in the sql driver now extracts the "user" field (was "username") as required by the docs.


Dovecot is an open source IMAP and POP3 email server for Linux/UNIX-like systems, written with security primarily in mind. Dovecot is an excellent choice for both small and large installations. It's fast, simple to set up, requires no special administration and it uses very little memory.

Setting up your firewall with fail2ban

November 20, 2022 Roberto Puzzanghera 19 comments

Fail2ban scans log files (e.g. /var/log/apache/error_log) and bans IPs that show the malicious signs -- too many password failures, seeking for exploits, etc. Generally Fail2Ban is then used to update firewall rules to reject the IP addresses for a specified amount of time, although any arbitrary other action (e.g. sending an email) could also be configured. Out of the box Fail2Ban comes with filters for various services (apache, courier, ssh, etc).

I will show shortly how to install and configure fail2ban to ban malicious IPs, especially those related to the qmail-dnsrbl patch. This will avoid to be banned ourselves by spamhaus, which is free up to 100.000 queries per day.

fail2ban requires that you have a firewall as nftables or iptables active.


  • Nov 20, 2022
    - switched all actions to nftables, as it has now replaced iptables and fail2ban has support for it. Just replace "iptables" with "nftables" in your jails.
  • Nov 18, 2022
    - fail2ban upgraded to v. 1.0.2
    - jails now have a different action's declaration (iptables[type=multiport] instead of iptables-multiport[])
    - added a short note on how to configure the server with a network bridge