postmaster mail

Scott Adkins adkinss at
Wed Jan 21 14:38:14 EST 2004

Okay, I thought I would pull from the wisdom from the group, but I hope it
isn't too far off topic.

We have been using an alias for the root account to get all root destined
mail to the /var/spool/mail/root mailbox, bypassing the Cyrus system.
However, our system has grown significantly over the years and now we get
on average 25,000 messages a day to the root account alone.  Basically,
we just fire up mailx and delete everything.  If there is anything useful
in that mailbox, it is doubtful we would have ever found it anyways.

So, today, I created the user.root mailbox and changed the alias so that
all the mail can go to it.  I also created a postmaster subfolder and
directory the postmaster alias to send its mail to root+postmaster.  It
all works... really works... :)

It is clear that 99.9% of all our mail is postmaster mail.  It looks like
it is mostly unknown user mails, over quota mails, connection refused or
deferred mails, etc.  I know that there may be some important postmaster
mail that we should keep... obviously, we have been deleting stuff for a
long time, but it would be nice to not delete blindly and actually keep
the important messages we should be dealing with.  Incidentally, in the
last 20 minutes, 300 messages came into the postmaster folder.

So, the question is, do we just turn off postmaster mail altogether (is
that actually doable?  maybe by setting PostmasterCopy to nothing?), or
do I somehow build an intelligent sieve script that throws away most the
stuff that we think are junk?

What have you guys done?  I am more interested in the larger email system,
ones receiving on the order of 500k+ messages a day.  Is it abnormal to
see such a large volume of postmaster mail like this?  Have any of you
developed a sieve script that would be useful to the Cyrus community as a

Enquiring minds want to know!

Thanks for any thoughts on the subject...
      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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