I have setup postfix and dovecot. Postfix is set to accept connections from my webserver to send out system generated mail. These are being sent out successfully. Sent out emails to some non-existent addresses and expected the sender address (news@bookingwire.co.uk) to receive the bounce notifications when I connect to the mailbox using the following PHP snippet.

$imap_host = '{mail.bookingwire.co.uk:995/pop3/ssl/novalidate-cert}INBOX';
$imap_uname = 'news';
$imap_pwd = '';
$imap_stream = imap_open($imap_host, $imap_uname, $imap_pwd);

But the mailbox is empty. I checked the /var/log/maillog and I see that the qmgr is removing the bounce notification and not delivering them to the sender.

Mar  8 13:23:08 mail postfix/smtp[5464]: 21F5A828CC: to=<kbalajijan1@gmail.com>, relay=gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com[]:25, delay=0.59, delays=0.05/0/0.13/0.4, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 2.0.0 OK 1394284990 v2si2168033eel.37 - gsmtp)
Mar  8 13:23:10 mail postfix/smtp[5465]: 21F5A828CC: to=<balaji.kfake@sastratechnologies.in>, relay=mail.sastratechnologies.in[]:25, delay=2.1, delays=0.05/0/1.3/0.8, dsn=5.1.1, status=**bounced** (host mail.sastratechnologies.in[] said: 550 5.1.1 User unknown: balaji.kfake@sastratechnologies.in (in reply to RCPT TO command))
Mar  8 13:23:10 mail postfix/smtp[5465]: 21F5A828CC: to=<balaji.k@sastratechnologies.in>, relay=mail.sastratechnologies.in[]:25, delay=2.5, delays=0.05/0/1.3/1.2, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 OK id=1WMHDb-0001Hq-T2)
Mar  8 13:23:11 mail postfix/smtp[5466]: 21F5A828CC: to=<kbalajijan1@yahoo.com>, relay=mta6.am0.yahoodns.net[]:25, delay=3, delays=0.05/0/0.54/2.4, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 ok dirdel)
Mar  8 13:23:11 mail postfix/cleanup[5463]: 23781828D4: message-id=<20140308132311.23781828D4@mail.bookingwire.co.uk>
Mar  8 13:23:11 mail postfix/qmgr[5402]: 23781828D4: from=<>, size=2989, nrcpt=1 (queue active)
Mar  8 13:23:11 mail postfix/bounce[5467]: 21F5A828CC: sender non-delivery notification: 23781828D4
Mar  8 13:23:11 mail postfix/qmgr[5402]: 21F5A828CC: removed
Mar  8 13:23:11 mail postfix/local[5468]: 23781828D4: to=<root@bookingwire.co.uk>, orig_to=<news@bookingwire.co.uk>, relay=local, delay=0, delays=0/0/0/0, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (delivered to maildir)
Mar  8 13:23:11 mail postfix/qmgr[5402]: 23781828D4: removed

Should I setup anything else to have postfix bounce messages to the senders mailbox.

  • Created a postmaster account to check if bounces are being delivered to the postmaster account. – sridhar pandurangiah Mar 8 '14 at 14:50

Your log clearly shows that the bounce message, intended for news, was delivered to root instead.

Check for a mail alias which may be redirecting mail for news to root. You'll find such a redirection in /etc/aliases by default.

  • Spot On. I'd like to add some information that would help others. My mail id news@bookingwire.co.uk is a bad choice because news is a reserved word in most os' and is used to identify the NMTP user, so all messages that were meant for news@bookingwire.co.uk are end up in the root folder because the configuration in the alias file is news: root (this alias is intended for the news server) – sridhar pandurangiah Mar 8 '14 at 15:59
  • Correction : NNTP not NMTP – sridhar pandurangiah Mar 8 '14 at 16:12

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