The previous article about M-x mailq has raised several mails asking me details about the Postfix setup I’m talking about. The problem we’re trying to solve is having a local MTA to send mails, so that any old-style Unix tool just works, instead of only the MUA you’ve spent time setting up.

Postfix makes it possible to do that quite easily, but it gets a little more involved if you have more than one relayhost that you want to use depending on your current From address. Think personal email against work email, or avoiding your ISP network when sending your private mails, hoping directly on a server you own or trust.

So how do you do just that? Let’s see the relevant parts of

relayhost =
relay_domains =,,
smtp_sender_dependent_authentication = yes
sender_dependent_relayhost_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/relaymap

The relaymap looks like this:

# comments
[email protected]
[email protected]
# that requires a local tunnel started with ssh, see ~/.ssh/config
[email protected]    []:10025

You need to use postmap on this file before to reload or restart your local instance of Postfix.

Also, you should want to crypt your communication to your preferred relay host, using TLS goes like this:

smtp_sasl_mechanism_filter = digest-md5
smtp_sasl_security_options = noanonymous
smtp_sasl_mechanism_filter = login, plain
smtp_sasl_type = cyrus

smtp_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${queue_directory}/smtp_scache
smtp_tls_loglevel = 2
smtp_use_tls = yes
smtp_tls_security_level = may

The password file will need to get parsed by postmap too, and would better be set with limited read access, and looks like this:        [email protected]:password   [email protected]:h4ckm3
[]:10025      [email protected]:guess

Hope this help you get started, at least that’s a document I would have enjoyed reading when I first started to setup my local relaying MTA.

Oh, and now that you have this, I hope you will enjoy my M-x mailq tool for occasions when you’re wondering why you’re not receiving an answer back yet, then start the ssh tunnel…