man transport (Formats) - transport - Postfix transport table format


transport - Postfix transport table format


postmap /etc/postfix/transport

postmap -q "string" /etc/postfix/transport

postmap -q - /etc/postfix/transport <inputfile


The optional transport(5) table specifies a mapping from email addresses to message delivery transports and/or relay hosts. The mapping is used by the trivial-rewrite(8) daemon.

This mapping overrides the default routing that is built into Postfix:

A list of domains that is by default delivered via $local_transport. This also includes domains that match $inet_interfaces or $proxy_interfaces.
A list of domains that is by default delivered via $virtual_transport.
A list of domains that is by default delivered via $relay_transport.
any other destination
Mail for any other destination is by default delivered via $default_transport.

Normally, the transport(5) table is specified as a text file that serves as input to the postmap(1) command. The result, an indexed file in dbm or db format, is used for fast searching by the mail system. Execute the command "postmap /etc/postfix/transport" in order to rebuild the indexed file after changing the transport table.

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, or lookups can be directed to TCP-based server. In that case, the lookups are done in a slightly different way as described below under "REGULAR EXPRESSION TABLES" and "TCP-BASED TABLES".


The input format for the postmap(1) command is as follows:

pattern result
When pattern matches the recipient address or domain, use the corresponding result.
blank lines and comments
Empty lines and whitespace-only lines are ignored, as are lines whose first non-whitespace character is a `#'.
multi-line text
A logical line starts with non-whitespace text. A line that starts with whitespace continues a logical line.

The pattern specifies an email address, a domain name, or a domain name hierarchy, as described in section "TABLE LOOKUP".

The result is of the form transport:nexthop and specifies how or where to deliver mail. This is described in section "RESULT FORMAT".


With lookups from indexed files such as DB or DBM, or from networked tables such as NIS, LDAP or SQL, patterns are tried in the order as listed below:

user+extension@domain transport:nexthop
Deliver mail for user+extension@domain through transport to nexthop.
user@domain transport:nexthop
Deliver mail for user@domain through transport to nexthop.
domain transport:nexthop
Deliver mail for domain through transport to nexthop.
.domain transport:nexthop
Deliver mail for any subdomain of domain through transport to nexthop. This applies only when the string transport_maps is not listed in the parent_domain_matches_subdomains configuration setting. Otherwise, a domain name matches itself and its subdomains.

Note 1: the special pattern * represents any address (i.e. it functions as the wild-card pattern).

Note 2: the null recipient address is looked up as $empty_address_recipient@$myhostname (default: mailer-daemon@hostname).

Note 3: user@domain or user+extension@domain lookup is available in Postfix 2.0 and later.


The lookup result is of the form transport:nexthop. The transport field specifies a mail delivery transport such as smtp or local. The nexthop field specifies where and how to deliver mail.

The transport field specifies the name of a mail delivery transport (the first name of a mail delivery service entry in the Postfix file).

The interpretation of the nexthop field is transport dependent. In the case of SMTP, specify a service on a non-default port as host:service, and disable MX (mail exchanger) DNS lookups with [host] or [host]:port. The [] form is required when you specify an IP address instead of a hostname.

A null transport and null nexthop result means "do not change": use the delivery transport and nexthop information that would be used when the entire transport table did not exist.

A non-null transport field with a null nexthop field resets the nexthop information to the recipient domain.

A null transport field with non-null nexthop field does not modify the transport information.


In order to deliver internal mail directly, while using a mail relay for all other mail, specify a null entry for internal destinations (do not change the delivery transport or the nexthop information) and specify a wildcard for all other destinations.

my.domain : .my.domain : *

In order to send mail for and its subdomains via the uucp transport to the UUCP host named example: uucp:example uucp:example

When no nexthop host name is specified, the destination domain name is used instead. For example, the following directs mail for via the slow transport to a mail exchanger for The slow transport could be configured to run at most one delivery process at a time: slow:

When no transport is specified, Postfix uses the transport that matches the address domain class (see DESCRIPTION above). The following sends all mail for and its subdomains to host :[] :[]

In the above example, the [] suppress MX lookups. This prevents mail routing loops when your machine is primary MX host for

In the case of delivery via SMTP, one may specify hostname:service instead of just a host: smtp:bar.example:2025

This directs mail for to host bar.example port 2025. Instead of a numerical port a symbolic name may be used. Specify [] around the hostname if MX lookups must be disabled.

The error mailer can be used to bounce mail: error:mail for * is not deliverable

This causes all mail for to be bounced.


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 regexp_table(5) or pcre_table(5).

Each pattern is a regular expression that is applied to the entire address being looked up. Thus, some.domain.hierarchy is not looked up via its parent domains, nor is user+foo@domain looked up as user@domain.

Patterns are applied in the order as specified in the table, until a pattern is found that matches the search string.

Results are the same as with indexed file lookups, with the additional feature that parenthesized substrings from the pattern can be interpolated as $1, $2 and so on.


This section describes how the table lookups change when lookups are directed to a TCP-based server. For a description of the TCP client/server lookup protocol, see tcp_table(5). This feature is not available up to and including Postfix version 2.2.

Each lookup operation uses the entire recipient address once. Thus, some.domain.hierarchy is not looked up via its parent domains, nor is user+foo@domain looked up as user@domain.

Results are the same as with indexed file lookups.


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

The address that is looked up instead of the null sender address.
List of Postfix features that use domain.tld patterns to match sub.domain.tld (as opposed to requiring .domain.tld patterns).
List of transport lookup tables.


trivial-rewrite(8), rewrite and resolve addresses
postconf(5), configuration parameters
postmap(1), Postfix lookup table manager


Use "postconf readme_directory" or "postconf html_directory" to locate this information.

DATABASE_README, Postfix lookup table overview
FILTER_README, external content filter


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