Some of the most notable features of Dovecot include:
- Dovecot is among the highest performing IMAP servers
while still supporting the standard
formats. The mailboxes are transparently indexed, which gives Dovecot its
good performance while still providing full compatibility with existing
mailbox handling tools.
- Dovecot is standards compliant. Dovecot v1.1 passes
all IMAP server
standard compliancy tests while most other servers fail many of
- Dovecot's indexes are self-optimizing. They contain
exactly what the user's client commonly needs, no more and no less.
- Dovecot is self-healing. It tries to fix most of the
problems it notices by itself, such as broken index files. The problems are
however logged so the administrator can later try to figure out what caused
- Dovecot tries to be admin-friendly. Common error
messages are made as easily understandable as possible. Any crash, no
matter how it happened, is considered a bug that will be fixed.
- Dovecot allows mailboxes and their indexes to be modified by multiple
computers at the same time, while still performing well. This means that
Dovecot works well with clustered filesystems.
NFS has caching problems,
but you can work around them with
- Dovecot's user authentication is extremely flexible and feature-rich,
supporting many different
- Postfix 2.3+ and
Exim 4.64+ users can do SMTP
authentication directly against Dovecot's authentication backend without
having to configure it separately.
- Dovecot supports easy
migration from many existing
IMAP and POP3 servers, allowing the change to be transparent to
- Dovecot supports workarounds
for several bugs in IMAP and POP3 clients. Since the workarounds may cause
the protocol exchange to be slightly less optimal, you can enable only the
workarounds you need.
- Dovecot's design
and implementation is highly focused on
security. Rather than taking the traditional road of just fixing
vulnerabilities whenever someone happens to report them,
I offer 1000 EUR of my own money to the first
person to find a security hole from Dovecot.
- Dovecot is easily extensible.
Plugins can add new commands,
modify existing behavior, add their own data into index files or even add
support for new mailbox formats. For example
ACL support are completely
implemented as plugins.