BlueOnyx 5106R – dovecot: Fatal: imap-login: No authentication sockets found

After installing a new wildcard SSL certificate on a BlueOnyx 5106R server, I performed the mandatory system tasks to spot any potential problems. Unfortunately the system was rapidly throwing the following error messages:

dovecot: Fatal: imap-login: No authentication sockets found
dovecot: Fatal: pop3-login: No authentication sockets found
dovecot: Fatal: pop3-login: No authentication sockets found
dovecot: Fatal: pop3-login: No authentication sockets found

This would imply that no customer on this server would be getting their mail any time soon, which would make for some unpleasant calls.
When querying the dovecot service for its status, it simply returned dovecot is stopped.
Trying to start dovecot returned the message:

Starting Dovecot Imap: Fatal: listen(0.0.0.0, 143) failed: Address already in use

To identify any process already running on port 143 we would use the lsof (list open files) command with the “-i” option to list IP sockets:

lsof -i :143

# Result
COMMAND     PID    USER   FD   TYPE   DEVICE SIZE/OFF NODE NAME
dovecot   26827    root    5u  IPv4 15401200      0t0  TCP *:imap (LISTEN)
imap-logi 28964 dovecot    4u  IPv4 15401200      0t0  TCP *:imap (LISTEN)

It turned out another dovecot instance was still running. Then it was simply a matter of killing the dovecot process in question and starting up dovecot anew with the following commands:

kill -9 26827
/etc/init.d/dovecot start

When you install a SSL certificate on a BlueOnyx system, it will automatically copy and configure the certificate for all services (apache, sendmail, dovecot) and restart these services to load the new configuration. It seems the reload of the dovecot server failed even though the configuration and certificate got updated correctly. I’ve never experienced this “bug” on newer versions of BlueOnyx, only with the trusted old 5106R edition. Well, maybe I should not have been renewing SSL certificates during peak business hours.

Dovecot IMAP and POP3 server
Starting Dovecot Imap: Fatal: listen(0.0.0.0, 143) failed: Address already in use

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