I am struggling with the error above for more than 5 hours. I had tried to remove Postfix completely and I had followed the instructions of the next manual and the SASL manual in order to reinstall it.

When I am trying to login with telnet, the server blocks the login and I am getting this:(with smtpd -v for more verbose):

postfix/smtpd[26301]: xsasl_cyrus_server_create: SASL service=smtp, realm=(null)  
postfix/smtpd[26301]: name_mask: noanonymous  
postfix/smtpd[26301]: warning:   xsasl_cyrus_server_get_mechanism_list: no applicable SASL mechanisms  
postfix/smtpd[26301]: fatal: no SASL authentication mechanisms  

here are the results of postconf -n:

alias_database = hash:/etc/aliases
alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases
allow_percent_hack = no
append_dot_mydomain = no
biff = no
broken_sasl_auth_clients = yes
config_directory = /etc/postfix
home_mailbox = Maildir/
inet_interfaces = all
mailbox_command = /usr/bin/procmail-wrapper -o -a $DOMAIN -d $LOGNAME
mailbox_size_limit = 0
mydestination = theflipapp.com, localhost.com, , localhost
myhostname = theflipapp.com
mynetworks = [::ffff:]/104 [::1]/128
myorigin = /etc/mailname
readme_directory = no
recipient_delimiter = +
relayhost =
sender_bcc_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/bcc
smtp_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${data_directory}/smtp_scache
smtpd_banner = $myhostname ESMTP $mail_name (Debian/GNU)
smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_mynetworks permit_sasl_authenticated reject_unauth_destination
smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtpd_sasl_security_options = noanonymous
smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem
smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key
smtpd_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${data_directory}/smtpd_scache
smtpd_use_tls = yes
virtual_alias_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/virtual

postfix master config:

root@domain:/# cat /etc/postfix/master.cf | grep ^smtp
smtp    inet    n       -       -       -       -       smtpd -v -o smtpd_sasl_auth_enable=yes
smtp      unix  -       -       -       -       -       smtp

Hopes this data will help you to help me..

  • For my case, on Ubuntu Server 16.04, dovecot daemon was not running, typing dovecot did the trick. However, this highlights an underlying issue that it's not running in bootup. You may read how to add it here: help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuBootupHowto Dec 10, 2016 at 11:18
  • Does dovecot need cyrus for SASL???
    – 71GA
    Dec 11, 2020 at 15:23

3 Answers 3


You can have saslauthd installed but not have any mechanisms installed. It's quite frustrating and poor error-proofing, IMO.

"no applicable SASL mechanisms" literally means it can't find any of its mechanisms. On a Fedora-based system you'd need to install the cyrus-sasl-plain package if you want to use the 'PLAIN' auth mechanisms (i.e. SMTP/STARTTLS).

yum install cyrus-sasl-plain


apt-get install libsasl2-modules
  • Many thanks! It's really hard to find the cause of such issues and the messages in the logs don't help - only as keywords in search to find such awesome answers. You saved my day.
    – hgoebl
    Apr 15, 2019 at 10:35
  • 3
    After apt install libsasl2-dev it worked on my machine. Nov 29, 2019 at 20:32
  • It is worth noting that Dovecot also provides a SASL daemon usable to Postfix.
    – DustWolf
    May 22, 2022 at 12:50

the solution was very simple, the SASL daemon was down. /etc/init.d/saslauthd start

Some hacker managed to shut it down again and again so eventually I had closed it completely.


At first, try to change the delimiters of smtpd_recipient_restrictions to commas. Spaces are, if I remember correctly, incorrect here.

Then try to temporarily disable smtpd_sasl_security_options = noanonymous.

Are you trying to authenticate against a CYRUS IMAP server?

  • 1
    According to the main.cf man page linux.die.net/man/5/main.cf under smtpd_recipient_restrictions it sais: 'Specify a list of restrictions, separated by commas and/or whitespace.' So just whitespaces as a separator is just fine.
    – Pete
    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:20

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