postmaster mail

Scott Adkins adkinss at
Wed Jan 21 16:30:54 EST 2004

--On Wednesday, January 21, 2004 12:52 PM -0800 Pat Lashley 
<patl at> wrote:

> --On Wednesday, January 21, 2004 14:22:33 -0600 Robert Covell
> <rcovell at> wrote:
>> I too would be interested in the question about "abnormal amount of
>> emails to postmaster".  We get about 15K a day of these and just
>> recently started to pipe them into /dev/null.  It is more of a burden to
>> delete them manually.  Anyone else have high postmaster email counts?
> I'll bet you're both using Sendmail and have Mailer-Daemon aliased
> to postmaster.  If so, change the Mailer-Daemon alias to /dev/null
> That should eliminate the various bounce messages without stopping
> anything that is actually addressed to postmaster.
> (One of the things I like about Exim is that it doesn't use Mailer-
> Daemon; and the default handling of undeliverable bounce messages
> is much more sane.)
> -Pat

Actually, the aliases for postmaster and mailer-daemon are as follows:

  postmaster: root+postmaster
  mailer-daemon: root+mailer-daemon

The problem is that the mail isn't going *to* Mailer-Daemon, it is
coming *from* Mailer-Daemon *to* postmaster.  So, setting the alias to
mailer-daemon isn't going to matter here.

The relevant configuration is as follows:

  # who (if anyone) should get extra copies of error messages
  #O PostmasterCopy=Postmaster

  # where do errors that occur when sending errors get sent?
  #O DoubleBounceAddress=postmaster

I find it a bit confusing, as PostmasterCopy is commented out, which
according to the docs means that it is undefined and thus does not send
copies of error messages to the postmaster.  The DoubleBounceAddress
option is also commented out, which means that errors generated from
already bounced e-mails will be sent to postmaster by default.  This
may be the culprit for our large amount of mail, and we can uncomment
it and set it to nothing (i.e. remove 'postmaster') in order to not
have e-mail sent to postmaster.

The big question I am asking is what other people are doing.  Are they
turning it off (via configuration options or forwarding to /dev/null) or
are they employing some filtering to throw away the bad in order to see
the good?  From what I am seeing in the messages, it isn't the easist
thing in the world to come up with a good sieve filter to do it for me.

By the way, wouldn't it be better to disable the sending of those e-mails
instead of forwarding to /dev/null.  I am guessing that this would save on
both CPU and IO if these e-mails weren't being generated to begin with.
We receive easily over 500K messages a day, and it pains me to think that
25K of these are messages that we are throwing away, whether it be dumping
them to /dev/null or manually deleting them.

      Scott W. Adkins      
   UNIX Systems Engineer                  mailto:adkinss at
        ICQ 7626282                 Work (740)593-9478 Fax (740)593-1944
     PGP Public Key available at
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