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I don't want postfix to retry failed emails. How can I configure it not to do so?

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closed as not a real question by Canadian Luke, soandos, Diogo, BBlake, ChrisF Oct 31 '12 at 12:24

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It looks like defer_service_name in Postfix's main configuration file will do what you want. Its default value is defer, and I can't easily find a list of valid settings, but I would hazard a guess that setting it to bounce will do what you are after.

Note that this will only affect mails that are rejected with a 4xx status (transient failure) by the remote server. Mails that are rejected with a 5xx status (permanent failure) are never retried by Postfix; since the remote server has already said that it will not accept the message as-is, there is no point in retrying delivery.

Also note that assuming it works the way I expect, this will break some things, including greylisting (which is fairly commonly used currently), and make your mail server significantly less resilient to intermittent errors as well as highly likely non-standards-conformant (4xx errors are supposed to trigger a later redelivery attempt). Consider the implications carefully before you implement something like this.

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