Migrating from Qmail to Postfix

© Copyright John Leach <john@johnleach.co.uk>
Last updated: Sat 24 May 2006

Qmail is a highly secure, highly reliable and highly performing mail transfer agent. Still, there are often reasons to use alternatives, such as Postfix. Moving from Qmail to Postfix can be easy and painless or long and complicated, depending on how deep you plunged into Qmail.

I recently moved to Postfix from over 6 years of Qmail use, which definitely counts as a deep plunge.

I'm documenting my progress here as I go along.

Supporting dot-qmail files with virtual domains

The most effective way to continue to support the use of .qmail files is to install a mini-qmail base, but include the qmail-local binary too. Configure the mini-qmail base to queue mail directly to Postfix via the qmqp protocol. Qmail in this form maintains no queue of it's own and doesn't need any daemons running.


full mini-qmail base only necessary if forwarding used (&there@example.com)

.forward in each users home piping to qmail-deliver script

qmail-deliver script runs the qmail-local binary with correct args (and turns piped input into a file pipe)

postfix virtual file uses regexp to build correct address extention - needs postfix config too

mini qmail docs

Ezmlm support

Ezmlm (easy mailing list manager) relies heavily on the Qmail way but works fine if you have dot-qmail support working as described above.


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