major email problems

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major email problems

Glenn English-5
Buster, Stretch, Wheezy

I know this is probably the wrong place to ask, but DU is full of
knowledgeable folks...

This morning I quit receiving IMAP email (Dovecot, Thunderbird). I
installed and tried several other clients (iMail, Geary, Sylpheed) and
none worked. They said things like my AuthenticationMethod (PLAINTEXT)
was wrong -- I tried several others; none worked. They said my
userName/Password was wrong. I re-entered the password, still nothing.
But I could log into the server with the name/password.

Since several clients wouldn't work, I looked at Dovecot's config. I
couldn't find anything there that looked promising -- and besides, it
was fine yesterday.

I reinstalled Dovecot from a Buster mirror.. Same errors.

I tried 'telnet <srv> 143', and entering IMAP commands by hand. I got
some useful info: PLAINTEXT was disallowed on non TLS logins. It said
that right after I entered the userName, not when I entered the
password. It said the same thing when I did enter the password.

I couldn't find anything in the Dovecot config files that addressed
that, except a commented out line: "#disable_plaintext_auth = yes."
But Dovecot seems to be tossing PLAINTEXT anyway. I didn't try
deleting the line.

I tried a different computer (old server - Wheezy) thinking there
might have been a Dovecot update that made all my clients fail. Same
thing.

The mail log from yesterday shows successful logins all afternoon --
but this morning is shows authentication fails. So I tried changing
Dovecot's auth source from PAM to the shadow file. Nope.

I'm completely at a loss. I've been dealing with Dovecot for years
with no problems. Today, I swear some bit flipped all by itself. And I
can't find it.

If you have any idea of what I may have missed, I'd sure appreciate
hearing about it. And since I can't see the debian-user list, please
respond directly to me at [hidden email]

TIA++.

--
Glenn English

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Re: major email problems

Kushal Kumaran-4
Glenn English <[hidden email]> writes:

> Buster, Stretch, Wheezy
>
> I know this is probably the wrong place to ask, but DU is full of
> knowledgeable folks...
>
> This morning I quit receiving IMAP email (Dovecot, Thunderbird). I
> installed and tried several other clients (iMail, Geary, Sylpheed) and
> none worked. They said things like my AuthenticationMethod (PLAINTEXT)
> was wrong -- I tried several others; none worked. They said my
> userName/Password was wrong. I re-entered the password, still nothing.
> But I could log into the server with the name/password.
>
> Since several clients wouldn't work, I looked at Dovecot's config. I
> couldn't find anything there that looked promising -- and besides, it
> was fine yesterday.
>
> I reinstalled Dovecot from a Buster mirror.. Same errors.
>
> I tried 'telnet <srv> 143', and entering IMAP commands by hand. I got
> some useful info: PLAINTEXT was disallowed on non TLS logins. It said
> that right after I entered the userName, not when I entered the
> password. It said the same thing when I did enter the password.
>
> I couldn't find anything in the Dovecot config files that addressed
> that, except a commented out line: "#disable_plaintext_auth = yes."
> But Dovecot seems to be tossing PLAINTEXT anyway. I didn't try
> deleting the line.
>

Set disable_plaintext_auth = no

https://wiki.dovecot.org/BasicConfiguration

> I tried a different computer (old server - Wheezy) thinking there
> might have been a Dovecot update that made all my clients fail. Same
> thing.
>
> The mail log from yesterday shows successful logins all afternoon --
> but this morning is shows authentication fails. So I tried changing
> Dovecot's auth source from PAM to the shadow file. Nope.
>
> I'm completely at a loss. I've been dealing with Dovecot for years
> with no problems. Today, I swear some bit flipped all by itself. And I
> can't find it.
>

The documentation for the disable_plaintext_auth parameter seems like it
is exactly what you need to tweak.  I cannot tell why you didn't run
into this earlier.

# Disable LOGIN command and all other plaintext authentications unless
# SSL/TLS is used (LOGINDISABLED capability). Note that if the remote IP
# matches the local IP (ie. you're connecting from the same computer), the
# connection is considered secure and plaintext authentication is allowed.
#disable_plaintext_auth = yes

> If you have any idea of what I may have missed, I'd sure appreciate
> hearing about it. And since I can't see the debian-user list, please
> respond directly to me at [hidden email]
>
> TIA++.

--
regards,
kushal

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Re: major email problems

mick crane
In reply to this post by Glenn English-5
On 2019-05-18 23:58, Glenn English wrote:

> I couldn't find anything in the Dovecot config files that addressed
> that, except a commented out line: "#disable_plaintext_auth = yes."
> But Dovecot seems to be tossing PLAINTEXT anyway. I didn't try
> deleting the line.
>

Dunno why it suddenly stopped working.
The commented out lines in the config file normally show the default.
https://wiki.dovecot.org/TestInstallation

Is the place to start.

good luck

mick
--
Key ID    4BFEBB31

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Re: major email problems

Glenn English-5
On Sat, May 18, 2019 at 11:39 PM mick crane <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dunno why it suddenly stopped working.

I don't either.

> The commented out lines in the config file normally show the default.

Oh, yeah. I knew that once :-)

Copying the line, uncommenting it, and change it to 'no' made the fail
take longer, but it still failed.

> https://wiki.dovecot.org/TestInstallation

Bears looking into. Thanks.

--
Glenn English

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Re: major email problems

Glenn English-5
In reply to this post by Kushal Kumaran-4
On Sat, May 18, 2019 at 11:29 PM Kushal Kumaran <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The documentation for the disable_plaintext_auth parameter seems like it
> is exactly what you need to tweak.  I cannot tell why you didn't run
> into this earlier.

I did. But what I did to try to get it to work, didn't.

--
Glenn English

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Re: major email problems

Glenn English-5
In reply to this post by mick crane
On Sat, May 18, 2019 at 11:39 PM mick crane <[hidden email]> wrote:

> https://wiki.dovecot.org/TestInstallation

That looks great -- first thing in the morning :-)

--
Glenn English

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Re: major email problems

mick crane
On 2019-05-19 00:58, Glenn English wrote:
> On Sat, May 18, 2019 at 11:39 PM mick crane <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> https://wiki.dovecot.org/TestInstallation
>
> That looks great -- first thing in the morning :-)

which file are you editing ?
I think how it works is that apt puts its files in /usr/share/dovecot
and update overwrites those, whereas "your" files are in /etc/dovecot.

mick
--
Key ID    4BFEBB31

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Re: major email problems

Glenn English-5
On Sun, May 19, 2019 at 6:06 AM mick crane <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> which file are you editing ?
> I think how it works is that apt puts its files in /usr/share/dovecot
> and update overwrites those, whereas "your" files are in /etc/dovecot.

Didn't know about the configs in share, but I was working on
/etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-auth.conf. It did seem to attract Dovecot's
attention a bit :-)

--
Glenn English

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Re: major email problems

Glenn English-5
In reply to this post by mick crane
On Sat, May 18, 2019 at 11:39 PM mick crane <[hidden email]> wrote:

> https://wiki.dovecot.org/TestInstallation

TestInstallation is lovely document. I got Dovecot to answer
everything pretty well, considering that TLS and such don't apply here
(the server is on my LAN, and it's just 10 or 20 feet of Cat5e away).

It seems I was sending the wrong password to the server (my local
password doesn't work anymore; the one on the IMAP server does).
Thunderbird and Geany still aren't working, but Sylpheed is. And I
still don't for sure understand why. In 10-auth.conf, there's talk of
password database(s), and I suspect one of mine got bent somehow.

Next step: finding them.

I thank all of the respondents for the help and suggestions. I'm kinda
back on line, but loss of email is a life-threatening catastrophe :-)

--
Glenn English