Bounced mail reaches postfix but being removed by the queue manager

sridhar pandurangiah asked:

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 ( to receive the bounce notifications when I connect to the mailbox using the following PHP snippet.

$imap_host = '{}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=<>,[]: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=<>,[]:25, delay=2.1, delays=0.05/0/1.3/0.8, dsn=5.1.1, status=**bounced** (host[] said: 550 5.1.1 User unknown: (in reply to RCPT TO command))
Mar  8 13:23:10 mail postfix/smtp[5465]: 21F5A828CC: to=<>,[]: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=<>,[]: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=<>
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=<>, orig_to=<>, 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.

My answer:

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.

View the full question and answer on Server Fault.

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