I have dovecot imap server and exim4 running on Debian Buster. I am using exim4 for smtp, but at the Debian upgrade before last (early Jan 2021), Debian arbitrarily turned on submission in dovecot by adding the file /usr/share/dovecot/protocols.d/submissiond.protocol. That blocks exim from properly servicing smtp.

It took me ages to find this was the cause, but once I had, I renamed that file to submissiond.protocol.unused and all was well. However, I did a Debian upgrade again today (with apt) in response to a security alert in an unrelated package, and it put that file back again and broke smtp once more.

Clearly I am not turning this protocol off in the correct way. What should I do to turn it off in such a way it stays off over Debian upgrades?


1 Answer 1


If you don't need the Dovecot submission daemon, you can just remove the package that provided that functionality.

ec2-user@vmtest-debian10:~$ sudo apt purge dovecot-submissiond 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 1,165 kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] 
(Reading database ... 39064 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing dovecot-submissiond (1: ...
Processing triggers for dovecot-core (1: ...
(Reading database ... 39057 files and directories currently installed.)
Purging configuration files for dovecot-submissiond (1: ...

If apt didn't restart dovecot during the removal, you will need to do so yourself.

  • Thanks. I was under the mistaken impression that dovecot had been installed as part of "apt install dovecot" (a long time ago) and then a later upgrade. However, it appears there never was an umbrella package for dovecot and that its modules are installed individually (otherwise the above would not work, presumably). Feb 16, 2021 at 9:59

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