I am using postfix-pcre on debian linux.

When I run postmap /etc/postfix/smtp_header_checks.pcre and postmap pcre:/etc/postfix/smtp_header_checks.pcre, I get the following error:

postmap: warning: smtp_header_checks.pcre, line 1: record is in "key: value" 
format; is this an alias file?

What is wrong? I have this in /etc/postfix/smtp_header_checks.pcre:

# Remove sender's IP address information
/^Received: .*/ IGNORE
/^X-Originating-IP:/ IGNORE

3 Answers 3


You don't need to run postmap on postfix's pcre files.


You cannot run postmap on PCRE, CIDR, REGEX, or TEXTMAP files.

  • Correction: you can run postmap on a pcre file; it even creates a .db after doing so. However running postmap on a pcre file results in the errors shown in the question. Aug 2, 2012 at 16:08
  • Since the context is "a working postfix installation", no, you cannot.
    – adaptr
    Aug 3, 2012 at 12:33
  • Help me understand what goes wrong if I did, because postfix was still working fine when I did it Aug 3, 2012 at 12:43

The space between the colon and period in line one causes the postmap warning message.

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