Thunderbird is silently failing to fetch messages for one of my mail servers. Looking in the server's dovecot logs I got the error message in the title, specifically:

imap-login: Info: Disconnected (no auth attempts in 0 secs): user=<>, rip=[IP redacted], lip=[IP redacted], TLS handshaking: SSL_accept() failed: error:14094415:SSL routines:ssl3_read_bytes:sslv3 alert certificate expired: SSL alert number 45, session=<Y/pyl7D8zuYXXew+>

I checked my certificates, which are LetsEncrypt certs I also use for the web server and, in a web browser, they showed as up to date.

1 Answer 1


Dovecot does not reload the certificates if it is not restarted. So when I restarted dovecot, it loaded the new versions of the certificates, and voila all was well. Notably, I had a dovecot reload in crontab, but I guess that extends only to configs and not to certs. I changed it to a restart for a hopefully more permanent fix.

  • I got this error for a server today. letsencrypt was renewed for at least a couple of weeks and today this happened. I find that strange that we have to restart dovecot, and my other servers do not have this problem
    – gstlouis
    Commented Apr 16 at 12:26
  • Actually, I reboot often so cannot confirm my comment. letsencrypt forum confirms we should reload dovecot community.letsencrypt.org/t/…. that sucks
    – gstlouis
    Commented Apr 16 at 12:33

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