POSTFIX-WRAPPER(5)                             POSTFIX-WRAPPER(5)

          postfix-wrapper - Postfix multi-instance API

          Support for managing multiple Postfix instances is available
          as  of  version  2.6.  Instances  share executable files and
          documentation,  but   have   their   own   directories   for
          configuration, queue and data files.

          This document describes how  the  familiar  "postfix  start"
          etc.  user  interface  can be used to manage one or multiple
          Postfix instances, and gives details of an API to coordinate
          activities    between   the   postfix(1)   command   and   a
          multi-instance manager program.

          With multi-instance support, the default Postfix instance is
          always   required.   This  instance  is  identified  by  the
          config_directory parameter's default value.

          Multi-instance support is backwards compatible: when you run
          only  one Postfix instance, commands such as "postfix start"
          will not change behavior at all.

          Even with multiple Postfix instances, you can keep using the
          same  postfix  commands in boot scripts, upgrade procedures,
          and other places. The commands do more work, but humans  are
          not forced to learn new tricks.

          For example, to start all Postfix instances, use:

               # postfix start

          Other  postfix(1)  commands  also  work  as  expected.   For
          example,  to  find  out  what  Postfix  instances exist in a
          multi-instance configuration, use:

               # postfix status

          This enumerates the status of all Postfix instances within a
          multi-instance configuration.

          To  manage  a  specific  Postfix   instance,   specify   its
          configuration directory on the postfix(1) command line:

               # postfix -c /path/to/config_directory command

          Alternatively, the postfix(1) command accepts the instance's
          configuration  directory  via  the  MAIL_CONFIG  environment

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          variable (the -c command-line option has higher precedence).

          Otherwise,  the  postfix(1)  command  will  operate  on  all
          Postfix instances.

          By   default,   the   postfix(1)   command    operates    in
          single-instance  mode.  In this mode the command invokes the
          postfix-script file directly  (currently  installed  in  the
          daemon  directory).   This  file  contains the commands that
          start  or  stop  one  Postfix  instance,  that  upgrade  the
          configuration of one Postfix instance, and so on.

          When the postfix(1) command operates in multi-instance  mode
          as  discussed  below,  the  command  needs to execute start,
          stop,  etc.   commands  for  each  Postfix  instance.   This
          multiplication  of  commands  is handled by a multi-instance
          manager program.

          Turning on postfix(1) multi-instance mode goes  as  follows:
          in  the  default Postfix instance's file, 1) specify
          the pathname of a multi-instance manager  program  with  the
          multi_instance_wrapper    parameter;    2)    populate   the
          multi_instance_directories parameter with the  configuration
          directory  pathnames  of  additional Postfix instances.  For

                   multi_instance_wrapper = $daemon_directory/postfix-wrapper
                   multi_instance_directories = /etc/postfix-test

          The  $daemon_directory/postfix-wrapper  file  implements   a
          simple   manager  and  contains  instructions  for  creating
          Postfix  instances  by  hand.   The   postmulti(1)   command
          provides  a  more extensive implementation including support
          for life-cycle management.

          The multi_instance_directories and other  parameters
          are listed below in the CONFIGURATION PARAMETERS section.

          In multi-instance mode, the postfix(1) command  invokes  the
          $multi_instance_wrapper     command     instead    of    the
          postfix-script file. This  multi-instance  manager  in  turn
          executes  the postfix(1) command in single-instance mode for
          each Postfix instance.

          To  illustrate  the   main   ideas   behind   multi-instance
          operation,  below  is  an  example  of  a  simple but useful
          multi-instance manager implementation:


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     POSTFIX-WRAPPER(5)                             POSTFIX-WRAPPER(5)

               : ${command_directory?"do not invoke this command directly"}

               instance_dirs=`$POSTCONF -h multi_instance_directories |
                               sed 's/,/ /'` || exit 1

               for dir in $config_directory $instance_dirs
                   case "$1" in
                       test "`$POSTCONF -c $dir -h multi_instance_enable`" \
                           = yes || continue;;
                       test "`$POSTCONF -c $dir -h multi_instance_enable`" \
                           = yes || {
                           $POSTFIX -c $dir check || err=$?
                   $POSTFIX -c $dir "$@" || err=$?

               exit $err

          Each  Postfix  instance  has  its  own  file   with
          parameters  that  control  how  the  multi-instance  manager
          operates on that instance.  This section discusses the  most
          important settings.

          The  setting  "multi_instance_enable  =  yes"   allows   the
          multi-instance   manager   to   start   (stop,   etc.)   the
          corresponding Postfix instance.  For  safety  reasons,  this
          setting is not the default.

          The default setting "multi_instance_enable = no"  is  useful
          for  manual  testing with "postfix -c /path/name start" etc.
          The multi-instance manager will not start such an  instance,
          and  it  will  skip  commands such as "stop" or "flush" that
          require a  running  Postfix  instance.   The  multi-instance
          manager    will    execute   commands   such   as   "check",
          "set-permissions" or "upgrade-configuration",  and  it  will
          replace "start" by "check" so that problems will be reported
          even when the instance is disabled.

          Some files are shared between  Postfix  instances,  such  as
          executables  and  manpages, and some files are per-instance,
          such as configuration files,  mail  queue  files,  and  data
          files.  See the NON-SHARED FILES section below for a list of

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          per-instance files.

          Before Postfix multi-instance support was  implemented,  the
          executables,  manpages, etc., have always been maintained as
          part of the default Postfix instance.

          With multi-instance support, we simply continue to do  this.
          Specifically,  a  Postfix  instance will not check or update
          shared files when that instance's config_directory value  is
          listed      with      the     default     file's
          multi_instance_directories parameter.

          The consequence of this approach is that the default Postfix
          instance  should  be  checked  and  updated before any other

          Only the multi-instance manager implements support  for  the
          multi_instance_enable     configuration    parameter.    The
          multi-instance manager will  start  only  Postfix  instances
          whose  file  has  "multi_instance_enable  = yes". A
          setting of "no" allows a Postfix instance to  be  tested  by

          The postfix(1) command operates on only one Postfix instance
          when  the  -c  option  is  specified, or when MAIL_CONFIG is
          present in the process environment.  This  is  necessary  to
          terminate recursion.

          Otherwise,  when  the  multi_instance_directories  parameter
          value  is  non-empty,  the  postfix(1)  command executes the
          command specified with the multi_instance_wrapper parameter,
          instead of executing the commands in postfix-script.

          The multi-instance manager skips commands such as "stop"  or
          "reload"  that  require  a running Postfix instance, when an
          instance does not have "multi_instance_enable = yes".   This
          avoids false error messages.

          The multi-instance manager replaces  a  "start"  command  by
          "check" when a Postfix instance's file does not have
          "multi_instance_enable =  yes".  This  substitution  ensures
          that  problems  will  be  reported even when the instance is

          No Postfix command or script will  update  or  check  shared
          files  when  its  config_directory  value  is  listed in the
          default's   multi_instance_directories   parameter
          value.   Therefore,  the  default instance should be checked
          and updated before any Postfix instances that depend on it.

          Set-gid  commands  such  as  postdrop(1)  and   postqueue(1)

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          effectively  append the multi_instance_directories parameter
          value to the legacy  alternate_config_directories  parameter
          value.  The  commands  use  this  information  to  determine
          whether a  -c  option  or  MAIL_CONFIG  environment  setting
          specifies a legitimate value.

          The legacy  alternate_config_directories  parameter  remains
          necessary for non-default Postfix instances that are running
          different versions of  Postfix,  or  that  are  not  managed
          together with the default Postfix instance.

               When present, this forces  the  postfix(1)  command  to
               operate  only  on  the specified Postfix instance. This
               environment variable is exported by the  postfix(1)  -c
               option,  so  that  postfix(1)  commands  in  descendant
               processes will work correctly.

          The text  below  provides  only  a  parameter  summary.  See
          postconf(5) for more details.

          multi_instance_directories (empty)
               An optional list of non-default  Postfix  configuration
               directories;  these  directories  belong  to additional
               Postfix instances that  share  the  Postfix  executable
               files   and  documentation  with  the  default  Postfix
               instance, and that are started, stopped, etc., together
               with the default Postfix instance.

          multi_instance_wrapper (empty)
               The pathname of a multi-instance manager  command  that
               the     postfix(1)    command    invokes    when    the
               multi_instance_directories    parameter    value     is

          multi_instance_name (empty)
               The optional instance name of this Postfix instance.

          multi_instance_group (empty)
               The  optional  instance  group  name  of  this  Postfix

          multi_instance_enable (no)
               Allow this Postfix instance  to  be  started,  stopped,
               etc., by a multi-instance manager.

          config_directory (see 'postconf -d' output)
               The  default  location  of  the  Postfix   and
      configuration files.

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          data_directory (see 'postconf -d' output)
               The directory with  Postfix-writable  data  files  (for
               example: caches, pseudo-random numbers).

          queue_directory (see 'postconf -d' output)
               The location of the Postfix top-level queue directory.

          postfix(1) Postfix control program
          postmulti(1) full-blown multi-instance manager
          $daemon_directory/postfix-wrapper simple multi-instance manager

          The Secure Mailer license  must  be  distributed  with  this

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

          Wietse Venema
          Google, Inc.
          111 8th Avenue
          New York, NY 10011, USA

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