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Is there any way to tell postfix to send ALL bounces to ONE mailbox?

Right now bounces are sent to the Sender, but I would like to collect them all at one central place for further analyzing etc.

I read about bounces and address rewriting, but found nothing to clearly state if this is possible or not -- to be exact: I don't want an additional bounce, I only want one bounce to be send to a centralized mailbox, NOT to the sender.

Thanks a lot for your help :-)

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Why do you want to do this? What is your goal with this? – cstamas Nov 23 '10 at 23:54
I'm building an web-application where you send out e-mails and get async feedback how many mails could not be delivered etc. This works perfectly fine if I use a dedicated mailbox for this, which only the application uses (the bounces are processed in real time over imap idle). But if I want to use a different e-mail address as the sender, I still want to be able to analyze the bounces without the "real" sender to receive the bounces as well. For example, you're sending out a mailing from your own address (over our web app and mail server) and get the whole summarized feedback in the web app. – Seyyedi Nov 24 '10 at 1:32
up vote 0 down vote accepted

This isn't a Postfix question, and it isn't answered by anything to do with Postfix. This is a whatever-your-WWW-application-is question. You haven't grasped the distinction in Internet mail between envelope and headers. You can adjust the envelope sender mailbox, which determines where NDR messages are sent to, without touching the From:, Sender:, and other headers at all.

You do this by configuring your WWW application. It has settings to control how it is submitting mail messages to the mail transfer system in the first place, including what envelope sender and envelope recipient mailboxes to use. So adjust them. Only you know what they are.

This is exactly what mailing list softwares do, in order to ensure that NDR messages go to the mailing list management software (which can do things like auto-unsubscribe unreachable mailboxes) and not to the mailing list participants. ezmlm-IDX does this, for example.

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thanks a lot, that put me in the right direction! in the beginning i was unsure if this would be seen by the mail clients as well - but now the distinction between envelope and headers is much clearer. thank you very much :-) – Seyyedi Jun 23 '11 at 12:39

In your your should modify notify_classes. Its default is:

notify_classes = resource, software

Your should add bounce. Bounce will still be sent to the sender too.

Postmaster will receive the bounces. For further info and settings see: postconf#notify_classes


There are several things you can play with:

  • From: this will appear as the sender address
  • Return-path: the error messages will be sent here
  • Reply-to: if someone sends a reply from his mail client it will be sent here
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that would produce only an additional bounce -- but it's important for this scenario that the sender does not get a bounce at all – Seyyedi Nov 23 '10 at 23:48
I think (not sure) that is not supported for a reason. One should never do that in production environment. When testing however one can completely disable outgoing mails if needed. – cstamas Nov 23 '10 at 23:53
That would be to bad :-( If you want to use valid sender addresses, for example in a newsletter app, but some of them would be used as private mailboxes as well, it would be much easier to send all the bounces to one central mailbox and analyze from there on. Why exactly shouldn't that be possible in production environment? – Seyyedi Nov 24 '10 at 0:01

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