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How do I configure the Dovecot message delivery agent to only allow imap connections from localhost?

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It's probably easiest to just listen only on localhost:

protocol imap {
    listen =
    ssl_listen =
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Thanks again for another answer :) I'm a bit green with all this, so what file would I make this change in? – linus1412 Apr 21 '11 at 11:10
Found it - dovecot.conf in /etc/dovecot – linus1412 Apr 21 '11 at 11:15

The listen = addr:port config is deprecated in newer versions of dovecot. The new way of doing things is with service { inet_listener imap { address = ... } }.

On my system it's in /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-master.conf:

service imap-login {
  inet_listener imap {
    address =
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