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ALIASES(5)                             File Formats Manual                             ALIASES(5)

       aliases - Postfix local alias database format


       The  aliases(5)  table provides a system-wide mechanism to redirect mail for local recipi‐
       ents. The redirections are processed by the Postfix local(8) delivery agent.

       Normally, the aliases(5) table is specified as a text file that serves  as  input  to  the
       postalias(1)  command.  The  result, an indexed file in dbm or db format, is used for fast
       lookup by the mail system. Execute the command newaliases in order to rebuild the  indexed
       file after changing the Postfix alias database.

       When  the table is provided via other means such as NIS, LDAP or SQL, the same lookups are
       done as for ordinary indexed files.

       Alternatively, the table can be provided as a regular-expression map  where  patterns  are
       given  as  regular expressions. In this case, the lookups are done in a slightly different
       way as described below under "REGULAR EXPRESSION TABLES".

       Users can control delivery of their own mail by setting up .forward files  in  their  home
       directory.   Lines  in per-user .forward files have the same syntax as the right-hand side
       of aliases(5) entries.

       The format of the alias database input file is as follows:

       ·      An alias definition has the form

                   name: value1, value2, ...

       ·      Empty lines and whitespace-only lines are ignored, as are lines  whose  first  non-
              whitespace character is a `#'.

       ·      A  logical line starts with non-whitespace text. A line that starts with whitespace
              continues a logical line.

       The name is a local address (no domain part).  Use double quotes when  the  name  contains
       any  special characters such as whitespace, `#', `:', or `@'. The name is folded to lower‐
       case, in order to make database lookups case insensitive.

       In addition, when an alias exists for owner-name, delivery  diagnostics  are  directed  to
       that  address,  instead  of  to  the originator of the message.  This is typically used to
       direct delivery errors to the maintainer of a mailing list, who is in a better position to
       deal with mailing list delivery problems than the originator of the undelivered mail.

       The value contains one or more of the following:

              Mail is forwarded to address, which is compatible with the RFC 822 standard.

              Mail  is  appended  to  /file/name.  See  local(8) for details of delivery to file.
              Delivery is not limited to regular files.  For  example,  to  dispose  of  unwanted
              mail, deflect it to /dev/null.

              Mail  is  piped  into  command.  Commands  that contain special characters, such as
              whitespace, should be enclosed between double quotes. See local(8) for  details  of
              delivery to command.

              When  the  command  fails, a limited amount of command output is mailed back to the
              sender.  The file /usr/include/sysexits.h defines the expected exit  status  codes.
              For  example,  use  "|exit 67" to simulate a "user unknown" error, and "|exit 0" to
              implement an expensive black hole.

              Mail is sent to the destinations listed in the  named  file.   Lines  in  :include:
              files have the same syntax as the right-hand side of alias entries.

              A  destination  can  be any destination that is described in this manual page. How‐
              ever, delivery to "|command" and /file/name is disallowed by  default.  To  enable,
              edit the allow_mail_to_commands and allow_mail_to_files configuration parameters.

       When alias database search fails, and the recipient localpart contains the optional recip‐
       ient delimiter (e.g., user+foo), the search is repeated for the unextended address  (e.g.,

       The  propagate_unmatched_extensions parameter controls whether an unmatched address exten‐
       sion (+foo) is propagated to the result of table lookup.

       The local(8) delivery agent always folds the search string to  lowercase  before  database

       This section describes how the table lookups change when the table is given in the form of
       regular expressions. For a description of regular expression lookup table syntax, see reg‐
       exp_table(5) or pcre_table(5). NOTE: these formats do not use ":" at the end of a pattern.

       Each  regular  expression  is  applied  to the entire search string. Thus, a search string
       user+foo is not broken up into user and foo.

       Regular expressions are applied in the order as specified in the table,  until  a  regular
       expression is found that matches the search string.

       Lookup  results  are the same as with indexed file lookups.  For security reasons there is
       no support for $1, $2 etc. substring interpolation.

       The local(8) delivery agent disallows  regular  expression  substitution  of  $1  etc.  in
       alias_maps, because that would open a security hole.

       The  local(8)  delivery  agent will silently ignore requests to use the proxymap(8) server
       within alias_maps. Instead it will open the table directly.  Before Postfix  version  2.2,
       the local(8) delivery agent will terminate with a fatal error.

       The  following main.cf parameters are especially relevant.  The text below provides only a
       parameter summary. See postconf(5) for more details including examples.

              List of alias databases that are updated by the newaliases(1) command.

              List of alias databases queried by the local(8) delivery agent.

              Restrict the usage of mail delivery to external command.

              Restrict the usage of mail delivery to external file.

              When delivering to an alias that has an owner- companion alias,  set  the  envelope
              sender  address  to  the  right-hand  side of the owner alias, instead using of the
              left-hand side address.

              A list of address rewriting or forwarding  mechanisms  that  propagate  an  address
              extension  from the original address to the result. Specify zero or more of canoni‐
              cal, virtual, alias, forward, include, or generic.

              Give special treatment to owner-listname and listname-request addresses.

              Delimiter that separates recipients from address extensions.

       Available in Postfix version 2.3 and later:

              Update the local(8) delivery  agent's  Delivered-To:  address  (see  prepend_deliv‐
              ered_header) only once, at the start of a delivery; do not update the Delivered-To:
              address while expanding aliases or .forward files.

       RFC 822 (ARPA Internet Text Messages)

       local(8), local delivery agent
       newaliases(1), create/update alias database
       postalias(1), create/update alias database
       postconf(5), configuration parameters

       Use "postconf readme_directory" or "postconf html_directory" to locate this information.
       DATABASE_README, Postfix lookup table overview

       The Secure Mailer license must be distributed with this software.

       Wietse Venema
       IBM T.J. Watson Research
       P.O. Box 704
       Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, USA


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