How to monitor and troubleshoot Dovecot

Keeping Your Email Services Running Smoothly

Find out how to effectively and easily monitor and troubleshoot Dovecot using Netdata


What is Dovecot

Dovecot is a free and open source IMAP and POP3 server for Unix-like systems. It provides an efficient, secure, and highly configurable platform for storing and retrieving email. Dovecot is a powerful server that provides an extensible architecture, allowing users to implement custom authentication, access control, and retrieval strategies. It also provides advanced features such as easy deployment, mailbox management, secure connections, and support for multiple protocols.

Monitoring Dovecot with Netdata

The prerequisites for monitoring Dovecot with Netdata are to have Dovecot and Netdata installed on your system.

Netdata auto discovers hundreds of services, and for those it doesn’t turning on manual discovery is a one line configuration. For more information on configuring Netdata for Dovecot monitoring please read the collector documentation.

You should now see the Dovecot section on the Overview tab in Netdata Cloud already populated with charts about all the metrics you care about.

Netdata has a public demo space (no login required) where you can explore different monitoring use-cases and get a feel for Netdata.

What Dovecot metrics are important to monitor?


  • The number of active sessions connected to Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server. image


  • The number of successful logins to the Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server. image

  • The authentication activity of Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server. image


  • The number of commands sent to the Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server. image

Page faults

  • The number of major and minor faults encountered by the Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server. image

Context switches

  • The number of voluntary and involuntary context switches that occur in Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server. image


  • The Disk I/O activity of Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server. image


  • The network activity of Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server. image


  • The system calls made by Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server. image


  • The lookup activity of Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server. image


  • The cache activity of Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server. image


Troubleshooting Dovecot with Netdata


Netdata has built-in alerts to reduce the monitoring burden for you.

If you would like to update the alert thresholds for any of these alerts or want to create your own alert for another metric – please follow the instructions here.

By default you will receive email notifications whenever an alert is triggered – if you would not like to receive these notifications you can turn them off from your profile settings.

Anomaly Advisor

Anomaly Advisor lets you quickly identify if the system you are monitoring has any anomalies and allows you to drill down into which metrics are behaving anomalously.

To learn more about how to use Anomaly Advisor to troubleshoot your Apache web server check out the documentation or visit the anomalies tab in the demo space to play with it right now.

Metric Correlations

Metric Correlations lets you quickly find metrics and charts related to a particular window of interest that you want to explore further. By displaying the standard Netdata dashboard, filtered to show only charts that are relevant to the window of interest, you can get to the root cause sooner.

Let us hear from you

If you haven’t already, sign up now for a free Netdata account!

We’d love to hear from you – if you have any questions, complaints or feedback please reach out to us on Discord or Github.

Happy Troubleshooting!