I am trying to setup an email server with qmail and postfix as a MTAs.

I am using postfix to handle my outbound mail flow traffic.


I have set postfix maximal_queue_lifetime to 2d. If some mail gets rejected temporarily then postfix holds it for 2 days then generates bounce back.

So users get an NDR (Bounce back) after 2 days.

What I want:

Can anybody tell me whether there is any standard to set queue lifetime in MTAs?

  • It can certainly be done in sendmail, but I don't know postfix. I'm sure it can, by analogy, but I'm hoping some else knows how. – MadHatter Jan 12 '15 at 8:05
  • 1
    Your "problem" description doesn't describe a problem. And "What I want" doesn't really tell me what you want. – Flimzy Jan 12 '15 at 18:14

If you want to get standard in your MTA, then you can read all links in the RFCs. As postfix built upon this standard, then default value in postfix configuration should be standard.

In your case, maximal_queue_lifetime default value is 5d (5 days), you can check it yourself via run

postconf -d maximal_queue_lifetime

Above configuration derived from RFC 5231 section

Retries continue until the message is transmitted or the sender gives up; the give-up time generally needs to be at least 4-5 days. It MAY be appropriate to set a shorter maximum number of retries for non- delivery notifications and equivalent error messages than for standard messages. The parameters to the retry algorithm MUST be configurable.

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