Good day to you all,

today, I was setting up a postfix mail server. Everything works well: mails get forwarded from my server's mail address, me@server.com, to my personal email personal@external.com.

When testing with telnet, like this, I found that I could send mail only to me@server.com.

The problem

The thing is: My logs show me that I get connections from 'unknown'. Here is a part of my /var/log/maillog (default CentOS postfix log location. On other Linux systems possibly /var/log/mail.log):

Jun  2 22:58:31 vps postfix/smtpd[23587]: connect from unknown[A.B.C.D]
Jun  2 22:58:31 vps postfix/smtpd[23585]: connect from unknown[A.B.C.E]
Jun  2 22:58:43 vps postfix/smtpd[23592]: connect from unknown[A.B.F.G]
Jun  2 22:58:55 vps postfix/smtpd[23597]: connect from unknown[A.B.F.H]
Jun  2 22:58:58 vps postfix/smtpd[23587]: disconnect from unknown[A.B.C.D]

With my current ruleset, these unknown spambots should be completely unable to send their garbage on their way to the internet.

However, I would like to check if these unknowns actually got any mail sent from my server.

What I tried

I tried the mailq command to check queued mails. This list was empty. However, this does not exclude that there was traffic. Also, I checked my log with cat /var/log/maillog | grep 'sent'. Zero matches. I am uncertain whether this means no bot could send spam or that postfix does not log sent mails from unknown's.

The Question

How can one check outgoing mail traffic with postfix?

2 Answers 2


If any mail was sent, it would be in the log.


From your post, I suppose that ultimately you want to block unknown users sending email via your postfix server.

For that you need to tighten up your "smtpd restrictions" in your /etc/postfix/main.cf file

Here is a sample that you can use ...

smtpd_client_restrictions =

smtpd_sender_restrictions =

More info at:

https://www.linuxbabe.com/mail-server/block-email-spam-postfix http://www.postfix.org/SMTPD_ACCESS_README.html#lists

  • Thanks for your information! I would quite like it if no 'unknown' bots/people could connect. Currently, I have setup a config which contain your suggested client restrictions. However, unknowns can still establish connections. Maybe reject_unknown_reverse_client_hostname does the trick Jun 3, 2019 at 9:02
  • Share your main.cf pls if you still have issues ...
    – MarcoZen
    Jun 3, 2019 at 16:00

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