[Dovecot] Dovecot unable to access the shadow file

kenwood temp583 at dsh.twilightparadox.com
Thu Jan 24 20:07:52 EET 2013

I am installing Dovecot-2.1.13 on Slackware 13.37.0 for the first time to
replace ipop3d and I have overcome all of the roadblocks as they have
developed except this last one and I finally have to say “uncle”.

The error messages that are showing up in the dovecot.log are as follows.

Jan 24 12:27:27 tux2 dovecot: auth: Error: passwd-file /etc/shadow:
open(/etc/shadow) failed: Permission denied (euid=202(dovecot)
egid=202(dovecot) missing +r perm: /etc/shadow, we're not in group
43(shadow), dir owned by 0:0 mode=0755)

Jan 24 12:27:27 tux2 dovecot: auth:
passwd-file(user,,<pw3xHwzUSQDAqAoC>): no passwd file:

Jan 24 12:27:29 tux2 dovecot: pop3-login: Warning: SSL alert: where=0x4008,
ret=256: warning close notify []

Jan 24 12:27:29 tux2 dovecot: pop3-login: Disconnected (auth failed, 1
attempts in 2 secs): user=<user>, method=PLAIN, rip=,
lip=, TLS: Disconnected, session=<pw3xHwzUSQDAqAoC>

Based on what I have read the only user that should access the shadow file
is root.  With that in mind I looked at all the configuration and .ext files
and the only file I could find that would indicate that root should be
checking the shadow file is 10-master.conf.  In that file it said the
default service auth-worker was root but since it was apparently not working
I removed the hash mark and made it explicit.   It still didn’t work.

As a last resort even though it was not good practice I tried adding user
dovecot to the group shadow but that did not work either.  It still says
dovecot is not in the group shadow even though it is.  Any suggestions?

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