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wck 24th March 2013 14:38

[Solved] smtp sasl authentication failure, no explanation

Running ISPconfig 3 on Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS (Perfect server guide Howto)
ISPconfig is up to date and I allowed it to reconfigure services.

I cannot send emails through my server. After trying to connect via Gmail, the logs show :


Mar 24 13:14:07 servername postfix/submission/smtpd[16901]: connect from[]
Mar 24 13:14:07 servername dovecot: auth-worker: mysql(localhost): Connected to database dbispconfig
Mar 24 13:14:09 servername postfix/submission/smtpd[16901]: warning:[]: SASL PLAIN authentication failed:
Mar 24 13:14:09 servername postfix/submission/smtpd[16901]: disconnect from[]

After a lot of Googling I see there is generally an explanation after "authentification failed: " but here, there is none.

Something else I've tried to check saslauthd :


testsaslauthd -u -p password -s smtp
0: NO "authentication failed"

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

wck 24th March 2013 17:47

Well... problem solved.

Most tutorials about this problem mention smtpd.conf (which didn't exist on my server...) but the authentication code is actually in /etc/dovecot/dovecot-sql.conf

In this file, the SQL query has an extra "AND disable%Ls = 'n'" compared to what's usually in smtpd.conf and I realized `disablesmtp` was set to 'y' for the account I was trying to use (in dbispconfig.mail_user).

So, two solutions :
- manually set `disablesmtp` to 'n'
- check "enable receiving" in the settings for this email mailbox (although I'm using it purely to send email, not receiving).

testsaslauthd still tells me "authentication failed"... but eh, it works.

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