I finally deconflicted xinetd from Dovecot.
I've been working this for months:
Reboot the machine:
Dovecot does not
Check the logs
Something is listening on dovecot's ports
The culprit is xinetd
How to prevent xinetd from listening on the desired ports?
ITOT you must INSTALL /etc/xinetd.d/imap
and then go into it and disable = yes
the services for which you do not want xinetd to listen. Is that backwards or what???
xinetd must have default listening conditions. If you don't explicitly tell it to ignore them then it grabs them and prevents anyone else from using them.
But at least now it is working.