Postfix woes

Paul Schmehl pauls at
Fri Oct 19 07:35:49 PDT 2007

--On Thursday, October 18, 2007 22:46:51 -0700 Rem P Roberti 
<rem at> wrote:

> I did what you all requested and submitted my Postfix problem to the
> Postfix list.  The resident guru went over my maillog and sent back his
> analysis which, in short, states that the problem has nothing to do with
> Postfix, and that I should seek help here to get to the bottom of it
> all.  That reply is listed below.   This is a rather strange business.
OK.  FIrst of all, don't top post.  It makes it very hard to follow a 

When you install FreeBSD, you are the master of your own domain.  That 
means you are completely responsible for everything running on your box.

When you install Postfix, it installs a startup script in 
/usr/local/etc/rc.d.  In order to start postfix, you must either add 
postfix_enable="YES" to /etc/rc.conf or start postfix manually.  If you 
want postfix to start on reboot automatically, you *must* use the entry in 

There are no cron jobs or scheduled tasks installed to restart, reload, 
stop or do anything else to postfix.  This means that you, or someone who 
has access to your box, has set this up.  If you don't recall doing 
anything, then you're going to have to start troubleshooting.

Places to look:

1) su to root and type "crontab -l" to see if there's a cron job designed 
to manipulate postfix, either directly or through a script.  If there is, 
eliminate it.  It's not needed.

2) Look in /etc/periodic to see if there's anything in there (although 
that's highly unlikely).

3) Examine the postfix startup script to  see if someone has altered it in 
some way so that it includes a timer that starts and restarts Postfix

3) Write a script that monitors processes and can detect when something is 
launched at the same time frame that postfix is going up and down

4) Get help from someone knowledgeable who has access to your box

5) Did you install a program (like sysutils/monitord) that checks for 
running processes and attempts to restart them if they're not running?

6) Is there anything in root's mail that would tip you off to the cause of 
the problem?

7) Run postfix in debug mode.  Maybe that will help isolate the cause.

Paul Schmehl (pauls at
Senior Information Security Analyst
The University of Texas at Dallas

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