Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to edit the message that gets sent by qmail via the postmaster account everytime a mail can't be delivered.

Here's the original message:

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

Sorry, I couldn't find any host named (#5.1.2)

--- Below this line is a copy of the message.

The reason for doing this is because my clients are portuguese so there is no point in sending them this message in english. And I would also like to re-phrase it a bit.

I can't seem to find anything about it on the configurations.

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

With stock qmail, it is only possible to change that message in the source code.

share|improve this answer
Thats what I was afraid of. I can't afford to recompile qmail on a production server, I guess I'll leave that for when I setup a new one. Thanks for your reply. – Igor Azevedo Jun 14 '12 at 20:54
Note that there is a patch to qmail that allows to place the bounce message in a file. Adding that patch still requires recompiling, though. :-( – Oliver Jun 14 '12 at 21:01
You can compile qmail on your dev box and only replace qmail-send in production. – Satish Jul 7 '14 at 18:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.