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Fedora Core 2 Dovecot pop3 Server - Cannot retrieve mail at XP client using Outlook Express 6

Posted on 2004-11-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I have sendmail set up properly since I can recieve mail from the internet.  When I try to get the email from a Windows XP client, I get the following message.

Your server has unexpectedly terminated the connection. Possible causes for this include server problems, network problems, or a long period of inactivity. Account: 'bti-web', Server: '', Protocol: POP3, Port: 110, Secure(SSL): No, Error Number: 0x800CCC0F

I would like help troubleshooting this issue.  Where do I look to on the Fedora Server to see why the Server "terminated the connection". I have googled this and found lots of comments like Dovecot is easy to set up but inadequate instructions explaining what parameters are required for pop3.  

If anyone has a Dovecot.conf file that works for retrieving mail using pop3 protocol that would help also. This my dovecot.conf

base_dir = /var/run/dovecot/
protocols = pop3
pop3_listen = *:110
ssl_disable = yes
disable_plaintext_auth = no
login_dir = /var/run/dovecot/login
first_valid_uid = 500
last_valid_uid = 500
default_mail_env = maildir:/var/mail/%1u/%u/Maildir

I have been trying to get mail with user account UID 500

I was able to get imap to work but not pop3.

My Fedore core 2 was fully updated today.
Question by:mokelly1
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 12572348

> Error Number: 0x800CCC0F
This error code is from Microsoft:
--- possible reasons ----
• Incorrect account settings
• Misconfiguration of personal firewall software
• Antivirus software
• A bad modem
• Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) size
• Outlook Express has been removed from the computer or the installation is damaged
• Your user profile in Outlook is damaged
• An e-mail item on your POP3 server is damaged

LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 12572358

   By the way, could you do
# telnet 110
and see what is the result.

   If you got "Unable to connect to remote host", then your POP3 daemon is not running.

   If you got though, then try
USER <username>
PASS <password>

  You can check the following URL for more details:



Author Comment

ID: 12584235
I suppose I am getting through when I telnet.  I see a blank line with a blinking cursor.  I type USER mkelly then enter.  I get a new line and type PASS and my password. Letters typed do not appear on the screen.  I get a new blank line.  I type LIST then enter and get a new blank line.  I type STAT and I get a windows dos prompt.

Since I was able to get mail using imap, I am assuming that my account information is correct.  I have the firewall disabled on my XP machine and port 110 is listening for pop3 service according to nmap on the linux machine.

I have no anti virus software on my linux box and I have disabled auto protect on Nortons on the XP box and tried to retrieve mail using POP3 with no success.  We have a 10/100 network connection from all workstations trying to retrieve mail, to the linux mail server so there are no modem issues.  I assume that a MTU only comes into play when the mail server is on the internet.  Since I am able to retrieve imap mail with Outlook Express, and POP3 mail from other mail servers, that my profile and Outlook software are OK, and the e-mail item on my POP3 server is OK as well.  

At this point the most important answer I am looking for is 'Where do I look on the Fedora Server to see why the Server "terminated the connection"'.   I may be able to figure out how to configure Dovecot if I can find out why email retrieval is being denied.

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Accepted Solution

makhan earned 500 total points
ID: 12591528
Could you post the last few lines of your maillog from the server directory

pls. follow the steps below.

go to xp machine
open outlook express and say send and receive.

then once you get the error message pls. capture that and put in a text file.

Next go to the linux server and just give

tail -20 /var/log/maillog > mymail.log

transfer this file to your pc or capture the output using log options in your telnet client which ever you feel easier.

post the messages here.

Hope we will be able to resolve the issue with the information contained in these files.


Expert Comment

ID: 12591566
Another possiblity from what you have already posted.
The dovecot config file.

default_mail_env = maildir:/var/mail/%1u/%u/Maildir

the directory shoudl be /var/spool/mail......
rather thatn /var/mail

this is by default linux standards pls. check ur installation.


Author Comment

ID: 12670602
My mail log has the following:

Nov 24 16:48:23 bti-web dovecot: Dovecot starting up
Nov 24 16:49:39 bti-web pop3-login: Disconnected: Inactivity [::ffff:]

I have mail stored in both /var/mail and /var/spool/mail.

My dovecot.conf is now:

base_dir = /var/run/dovecot/
protocols = pop3
pop3_listen = [::]
login_dir = /var/run/dovecot-login
login = pop3
login_executable = /usr/libexec/dovecot/pop3-login
default_mail_env = mbox:~/mail/:INBOX=/var/mail/%u
mail_extra_groups = mail
client_workarounds = outlook-pop3-no-nuls:
client_workarounds = outlook-idle:
mbox_locks = fcntl
pop3_executable = /usr/libexec/dovecot/pop3
pop3_modules = /usr/lib/dovecot/pop3

I am now able to start Dovecot and I am getting different message:

Your server has unexpectedly terminated the connection. Possible causes for this include server problems, network problems, or a long period of inactivity. Account: 'bti-web', Server: 'bti-web', Protocol: POP3, Port: 110, Secure(SSL): No, Error Number: 0x800CCC0F

Any idea where I might look on the Linux server for more information?

Thanks for your help.  
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

wesly_chen earned 500 total points
ID: 12670650
> I have mail stored in both /var/mail and /var/spool/mail
> default_mail_env = mbox:~/mail/:INBOX=/var/mail/%u

Like makhan said, by default, Linux (or sendmail) stores the email in /var/spool/mail.
So you might want to change to /var/spool/mail in the dovecot.conf


Author Comment

ID: 12709795
Here is the dovecot.conf that worked:

protocols = pop3 pop3s
pop3_listen = [::]
login_user = dovecot
login = pop3
login_executable = /usr/libexec/dovecot/pop3-login
mail_extra_groups =mail
default_mail_env = mbox:~/mail/:INBOX=/var/mail/%u
mbox_locks = fcntl
pop3_executable = /usr/libexec/dovecot/pop3
auth = default
auth_mechanisms = plain
auth_userdb = passwd /etc/passwd
auth_passdb = pam
auth_executable = /usr/libexec/dovecot/dovecot-auth
auth_user = dovecot

I did not have the authenticating lines before.  Once I figured out that it was not authenticating I was able to play with Dovecot and get it to work.

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