I am seeing such an error when starting the postfix server, and also lots fo failures when watching the maillog. How can I solve this issue?

Jan 13 22:43:46 CentOS-72-64-minimal postfix/master[1651]: warning: process /usr/libexec/postfix/smtp pid 1297 exit status 1
Jan 13 22:43:46 CentOS-72-64-minimal postfix/master[1651]: warning: /usr/libexec/postfix/smtp: bad command startup -- throttling
Jan 13 22:43:47 CentOS-72-64-minimal postfix/qmgr[1653]: warning: private/smtp socket: malformed response
Jan 13 22:43:47 CentOS-72-64-minimal postfix/qmgr[1653]: warning: transport smtp failure -- see a previous warning/fatal/panic logfile record for the problem description

Here is the result of postconf -n

[root@host ~]# postconf -n
alias_database = hash:/etc/aliases
alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases
allow_percent_hack = no
broken_sasl_auth_clients = yes
command_directory = /usr/sbin
config_directory = /etc/postfix
daemon_directory = /usr/libexec/postfix
data_directory = /var/lib/postfix
debug_peer_level = 2
debugger_command = PATH=/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/X11R6/bin ddd $daemon_directory/$process_name $process_id & sleep 5
home_mailbox = Maildir/
html_directory = no
inet_interfaces = localhost
mail_owner = postfix
mailbox_command = /usr/bin/procmail-wrapper -o -a $DOMAIN -d $LOGNAME
mailbox_size_limit = 0
mailq_path = /usr/bin/mailq.postfix
manpage_directory = /usr/share/man
mydestination = $myhostname, localhost.$mydomain, localhost
newaliases_path = /usr/bin/newaliases.postfix
queue_directory = /var/spool/postfix
readme_directory = /usr/share/doc/postfix-2.10.1/README_FILES
sample_directory = /usr/share/doc/postfix-2.10.1/samples
sender_bcc_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/bcc
sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/sendmail.postfix
setgid_group = postdrop
smtp_generic_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/generic
smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_mynetworks permit_sasl_authenticated reject_unauth_destination
smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtpd_sasl_security_options = noanonymous
unknown_local_recipient_reject_code = 550
virtual_alias_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/virtual

PS Running

 postmap /etc/postfix/generic

seems to have solved the issue...


2 Answers 2


Assure the precursor file ( generic NOT generic.db ) exists

ls -la /etc/postfix/generic

when your error happens typically this file does not exist ... so create it :

touch /etc/postfix/generic

only then will this be of any use

 postmap /etc/postfix/generic

now you will have a populated file /etc/postfix/generic.db

  • 1
    I learned that I still had to do this in 2020. Even though, I am pointing to the regular text file, a .db file must be generated from the plain one. It is not written in the documentation. So, thank you!
    – petrosmm
    Oct 5, 2020 at 18:13
  • how long is postmap supposed to take?
    – Jake
    May 9, 2022 at 16:55

I found that in my case in my /var/log/mail.err i was seeing lots of this error:

postfix/trivial-rewrite[16343]: error: open database /etc/postfix/relay.db: No such file or directory

So I pretty much followed the lead from above:

  1. touch /etc/postfix/relay
  2. /usr/sbin/postmap /etc/postfix/relay
  3. /sbin/rcpostfix restart

and that did the trick.

  • That just creates an empty relay database - which certainly gets rid of the error message in your log file, but may not always be what you want! Jun 16, 2017 at 5:34

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