canonical - Postfix canonical table format
postmap -q "string" /etc/postfix/canonical
postmap -q - /etc/postfix/canonical <inputfile
The optional canonical(5) table specifies an address mapping for local and non-local
addresses. The mapping is used by the cleanup(8) daemon, before mail is stored into the
queue. The address mapping is recursive.
Normally, the canonical(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/canonical" to
rebuild an indexed file after changing the corresponding text file.
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 those
cases, the lookups are done in a slightly different way as described below under "REGULAR
EXPRESSION TABLES" or "TCP-BASED TABLES".
By default the canonical(5) mapping affects both message header addresses (i.e. addresses
that appear inside messages) and message envelope addresses (for example, the addresses
that are used in SMTP protocol commands). This is controlled with the canonical_classes
NOTE: Postfix versions 2.2 and later rewrite message headers from remote SMTP clients only
if the client matches the local_header_rewrite_clients parameter, or if the
remote_header_rewrite_domain configuration parameter specifies a non-empty value. To get
the behavior before Postfix 2.2, specify "local_header_rewrite_clients = static:all".
Typically, one would use the canonical(5) table to replace login names by Firstname.Last-
name, or to clean up addresses produced by legacy mail systems.
The canonical(5) mapping is not to be confused with virtual alias support or with local
aliasing. To change the destination but not the headers, use the virtual(5) or aliases(5)
The search string is folded to lowercase before database lookup. As of Postfix 2.3, the
search string is not case folded with database types such as regexp: or pcre: whose lookup
fields can match both upper and lower case.
The input format for the postmap(1) command is as follows:
When pattern matches a mail address, replace it by 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 `#'.
A logical line starts with non-whitespace text. A line that starts with whitespace
continues a logical line.
TABLE SEARCH ORDER
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:
Replace user@domain by address. This form has the highest precedence.
This is useful to clean up addresses produced by legacy mail systems. It can also
be used to produce Firstname.Lastname style addresses, but see below for a simpler
Replace user@site by address when site is equal to $myorigin, when site is listed
in $mydestination, or when it is listed in $inet_interfaces or $proxy_interfaces.
This form is useful for replacing login names by Firstname.Lastname.
Replace other addresses in domain by address. This form has the lowest precedence.
Note: @domain is a wild-card. When this form is applied to recipient addresses, the
Postfix SMTP server accepts mail for any recipient in domain, regardless of whether
that recipient exists. This may turn your mail system into a backscatter source:
Postfix first accepts mail for non-existent recipients and then tries to return
that mail as "undeliverable" to the often forged sender address.
RESULT ADDRESS REWRITING
The lookup result is subject to address rewriting:
o When the result has the form @otherdomain, the result becomes the same user in oth-
o When "append_at_myorigin=yes", append "@$myorigin" to addresses without "@domain".
o When "append_dot_mydomain=yes", append ".$mydomain" to addresses without ".domain".
When a mail address localpart contains the optional recipient delimiter (e.g.,
user+foo@domain), the lookup order becomes: user+foo@domain, user@domain, user+foo, user,
The propagate_unmatched_extensions parameter controls whether an unmatched address exten-
sion (+foo) is propagated to the result of table lookup.
REGULAR EXPRESSION TABLES
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).
Each pattern is a regular expression that is applied to the entire address being looked
up. Thus, user@domain mail addresses are not broken up into their user and @domain con-
stituent parts, nor is user+foo broken up into user and foo.
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 paren-
thesized 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_ta-
ble(5). This feature is not available up to and including Postfix version 2.4.
Each lookup operation uses the entire address once. Thus, user@domain mail addresses are
not broken up into their user and @domain constituent parts, nor is user+foo broken up
into user and foo.
Results are the same as with indexed file lookups.
The table format does not understand quoting conventions.
The following main.cf parameters are especially relevant. The text below provides only a
parameter summary. See postconf(5) for more details including examples.
What addresses are subject to canonical address mapping.
List of canonical mapping tables.
Address mapping lookup table for envelope and header recipient addresses.
Address mapping lookup table for envelope and header sender addresses.
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.
Other parameters of interest:
The network interface addresses that this system receives mail on. You need to
stop and start Postfix when this parameter changes.
Rewrite message header addresses in mail from these clients and update incomplete
addresses with the domain name in $myorigin or $mydomain; either don't rewrite mes-
sage headers from other clients at all, or rewrite message headers and update
incomplete addresses with the domain specified in the remote_header_rewrite_domain
Other interfaces that this machine receives mail on by way of a proxy agent or net-
work address translator.
List of address classes subject to masquerading: zero or more of envelope_sender,
envelope_recipient, header_sender, header_recipient.
List of domains that hide their subdomain structure.
List of user names that are not subject to address masquerading.
List of domains that this mail system considers local.
The domain that is appended to locally-posted mail.
Give special treatment to owner-xxx and xxx-request addresses.
Don't rewrite message headers from remote clients at all when this parameter is
empty; otherwise, rewrite message headers and append the specified domain name to
cleanup(8), canonicalize and enqueue mail
postmap(1), Postfix lookup table manager
postconf(5), configuration parameters
virtual(5), virtual aliasing
Use "postconf readme_directory" or "postconf html_directory" to locate this information.
DATABASE_README, Postfix lookup table overview
ADDRESS_REWRITING_README, address rewriting guide
The Secure Mailer license must be distributed with this software.
IBM T.J. Watson Research
P.O. Box 704
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, USA