Postfix/Dovecot - warning: SASL: Connect to private/auth failed: No such file or directory

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Submitted by falko (Contact Author) (Forums) on Wed, 2011-08-24 09:31. :: Errors

Error: Postfix/Dovecot - warning: SASL: Connect to private/auth failed: No such file or directory

You have the following error messages in your mail log:

Aug 23 15:55:01 server1 postfix/smtpd[15194]: warning: SASL: Connect to private/auth failed: No such file or directory
Aug 23 15:55:01 server1 postfix/smtpd[15194]: fatal: no SASL authentication mechanisms
Aug 23 15:55:02 server1 postfix/master[3979]: warning: process /usr/libexec/postfix/smtpd pid 15194 exit status 1
Aug 23 15:55:02 server1 postfix/master[3979]: warning: /usr/libexec/postfix/smtpd: bad command startup -- throttling



Open your dovecot.conf (/etc/dovecot.conf or /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf, depending on your distribution) and make sure you have the following lines in it:

client {
       path = /var/spool/postfix/private/auth
       mode = 0660
       user = postfix
       group = postfix

Restart Dovecot.

Then check if /var/spool/postfix/private/auth got created:

ls -l /var/spool/postfix/private/auth

Also make sure you have

queue_directory = /var/spool/postfix

in /etc/postfix/ If not, add it and restart Postfix.

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Submitted by benjaminbih (not registered) on Sun, 2013-06-16 17:36.

Take a look in /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-masert.conf for:

service auth {

  # auth_socket_path points to this userdb socket by default. It's typically
  # used by dovecot-lda, doveadm, possibly imap process, etc. Users that have
  # full permissions to this socket are able to get a list of all usernames and
  # get the results of everyone's userdb lookups.
  # The default 0666 mode allows anyone to connect to the socket, but the
  # userdb lookups will succeed only if the userdb returns an "uid" field that
  # matches the caller process's UID. Also if caller's uid or gid matches the
  # socket's uid or gid the lookup succeeds. Anything else causes a failure.
  # To give the caller full permissions to lookup all users, set the mode to
  # something else than 0666 and Dovecot lets the kernel enforce the
  # permissions (e.g. 0777 allows everyone full permissions).
  unix_listener auth-userdb {
    #mode = 0666
    #user =
    #group =

  # Postfix smtp-auth
  #unix_listener /var/spool/postfix/private/auth {
    #mode = 0666

  # Auth process is run as this user.
  #user = $default_internal_user


And change it to fit your needs

Submitted by Henry Motu (not registered) on Mon, 2012-12-10 21:42.
Thanks, that helps a lot

My server  - Debian Squeeze (Debian 6.0) With BIND, Dovecot & Nginx

The following line was absent in my Postfix configuration file:

queue_directory = /var/spool/postfix
Submitted by Konrad (not registered) on Tue, 2012-09-11 13:12.

dovecot[9075]: doveconf: Fatal: Error in configuration file /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf line 101: Unknown setting: client

 Dosen't work. It should be in 10-master.conf this line. But I don't know why it dosen't work after all 

Submitted by Jeff Green (not registered) on Thu, 2012-11-22 10:25.
Yea, good ole Dovecot like messing things around to screw people up. Really kills productivity when the do this, and with millions of bytes of advice all refering to old versions you'll never find the answer on Google

The guy who thought it would be blast to change this needs stabbing in the eyes with a pencil!
Submitted by easyorange (not registered) on Sun, 2013-01-20 15:54.
I had exactly the same problem and the instructions on this page did not help at all. In fact, the instructions on postfix site did not help either.

On our system, here's what helped -

 chown postfix:postfix /var/spool/postfix/private/auth

 chmod 666 /var/spool/postfix/private/auth

 And, in /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-master.conf (or /usr/local/etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-master.conf) set the config like this -

  unix_listener auth-userdb {

    mode = 0666

    user = postfix

    group = postfix


  # Postfix smtp-auth

  unix_listener /var/spool/postfix/private/auth {

    mode = 0666



/etc/init.d/dovecot restart


Submitted by Bob Campbell (not registered) on Fri, 2014-08-15 06:33.
EasyOrange! This really works.. 2 days trying to figure out why SASL wouldn't authenticate when I could get IMAP working perfectly. I think it was adding this back in that did the trick: unix_listener auth-userdb { mode = 0666 user = postfix group = postfix } I had commented it out thinking "user_listener" was all I needed... BOTH protocols IMAP and SMTP are rocking and authenticating on STARTTLS now... Thanks so much! Bob Campbell PS.. for those out there thinking Cyrus/saslauthd and Postfix are a perfect match are nuts! Postfix is a killer program, but Dovecot really comes on strong in the IMAP department.
Submitted by Matt (not registered) on Sun, 2014-07-27 05:45.
The solution posted by easyorange worked for me with Dovecot v2.2.9. Thank you!
Submitted by Alvaro (not registered) on Sun, 2014-02-02 21:30.
Thanks, easyorange.
Submitted by David Shockey (not registered) on Sun, 2013-09-08 05:29.
The solution posted by easyorange worked for me on Dovecot version 2.0.21 running with Postfix version 2.10.0