How to debug Postfix


1.) If things are acting strangely here is a simple and quick first step that could save you a lot of time.


/usr/sbin/postfix check

* validates the Postfix mail system configuration and will

* warn about bad directory/file ownership or permissions, and

* create missing directories.

2.) In debug mode Postfix will spew out more info than you might ever want so look at /var/log/mail.log to verify that you need more informationfirst. If more information is needed then restart the postfix daemon in “verbose” mode with the “-v” option. To do this you would stop the daemon first: /etc/init.d/postfix stop

then start by hand with the “-v” option and put on the reading glasses to view /var/log/mail.log:

/usr/sbin/postfix -v start

3.) Another cool Postfix debug feature is accessible through 2 configuration parameters: (in

debug_peer_level = 2
debug_peer_list = some.domain

The “debug_peer_level” parameter specifies the increment in verbose logging level when an SMTP client or server host name or address matches a pattern in the “debug_peer_list” parameter.

The “debug_peer_list” parameter specifies an optional list of domain or network patterns, /file/name patterns or type:name tables. When an SMTP client or server host name or address matches a pattern, increase the verbose logging level by the amount specified in the “debug_peer_level” parameter.

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