[Dovecot] dovecot's documentation dearth

Postmaster postmaster at psy.miami.edu
Tue Aug 16 00:13:56 EEST 2011

Hello.  The first thing for me to say is thanks!  I've been using 
dovecot since test 61 and it has basically performed flawlessly for me 
from day number 1.  Dovecot makes me look like a genius sysadmin, 
especially compared to my colleagues struggling with exchange.  So 
thanks, gracias, obrigado!!

I'm working on a configuration for 2.0 and I'm finding the documentation 
somewhat difficult.  I think it would be very helpful to me to have 
encountered a single page that detailed all available configuration 
sections.  I don't know how to find out what the sections are, when to 
use them or what specifically they control.  So far I've encountered...

   local_name (and I think there is another one of these for ips)

The service section itself would benefit from a single page detailing 
all of the possible types of service sections available.

The next problem I've had is discovering that several parts of dovecot 
have no documentation at all even though they are standalone executables 
run by root.  config, log, and ssl_params all run as root but there is 
also anvil and they look to me like they could support listening on a 
port if inet_interfaces is defined.

You can say, "Relax fella, trust me.  These programs are all part of 
dovecot and are run only if they're needed."  Then I'll say, "Yes but 
I'm the administrator.  I need to know how the parts fit together to 
know if the system's broken."  Then you say, "Well that makes sense, but 
the things you're talking about aren't really configured.  They are 
mostly internal to dovecot, they just happen to be broken out into 
external programs.  You may as well be asking for documentation on a 
specific function in a library.  If that's what you want, you can read 
through the source code."

Well I guess that would be one solution.  The bottom line is that it 
gives me an uncomfortableness to not be able to control or explain the 
operation of the software I'm supposedly administering.  Take the 
program named log (which should be named dovecot-log or something less 
generic), it is launched even though I've specified syslog in the 
configuration.  Logging is not interrupted when the process is killed. 
So, why is it running?  What is it doing?  Why does it need root?  How 
do I control it?  I think these are all good questions for an 
administrator to ask.

That's my feedback for what it's worth, but mostly, thanks again for 

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