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I have a first line / graveyard postfix servers structure, the first line servers send messages to the graveyard when it received a soft fail.

But sometimes I guess the queues are too busy and messages are locked in the incoming queue and cannot be sent but days after. I prefer to discard mails than sending very old ones.

Setting the maximal_queue_lifetime won't work because it needs to send the message at least once, and if the message is too old, I don't want it be be sent not even once.

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Your accept rate is very low. Please, try to accept some answers! –  Khaled Jan 2 '13 at 15:08

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But sometimes I guess the queues are too busy and messages are locked in the incoming queue and cannot be sent but days after

As documented, postfix picks one message in turn from the deferred queue and the incoming queue, as long as there is room in the active queue.

So if you see messages remaining in the incoming queue for days, this means your mail server cannot handle the traffic (the default active queue limit is 20000 messages).

This can be network-related or a server resource issue.

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