postfix2dlf(1) convert postfix logfiles to dlf format




postfix2dlf converts a postfix logfile to a Lire email Distilled Log Format file. It calls postfix2dlf_pre(1) and postfix2dlf_main(1) to do the real job. It expects the logfile on stdin, and prints the DLF to stdout. Diagnostics are printed to stderr. This script is called by lr_log2xml(1).


The postfix2dlf architecture is quite different from other email dlf convertors. This is because when parsing a postfix logfile, there is no sign indicating wether a message has been delivered to all addressees. (In a sendmail log, there is a rcpts= field, which can be used for this purpose.)

There are several workarounds to deal with such a log. 1: keep track of all queueid's along with their from- info during the entire logfile processing. This is too memory hungry. 2: do some 10-seconds heuristic: assume a message will never be longer in the queue than e.g. 10 seconds. Or, alternatively, assume no more than $LR_POSTFIX_MAX_QUEUE_SIZE messages will be in the queue concurrently. This is too errorprone. 3: Use sort(1) to sort the loglines on queueid. This is what we used to do. However, we don't know beforehand which field will store the queueid (logfiles processed by Sun Solaris syslog will have their queueid on another position, e.g.) Calculating this position would mean parsing the log twice.

We've choosen a variation of the third alternative: we store the information which we would've gotten by sort(1) in a db file. While building this db file, , which holds a map from queueids to nof-lines-with-this-id, we do as much preprocessing as we can. The preprocessed log is printed to a tmpfile. The structure of the preprocessed log is the same as the raw log: one raw logline gives one preprocessed line. The preprocessed log is converted to dlf by lr_postfix2dlf_main(1), using the information in the db file.

A nice sideeffect of this way of processing is: the log is processed in the original time-sorted order.


A logfile

 Dec 1 04:02:56 internetsrv postfix/pickup[20919]: 
  693A3578E: uid=0 from=<root>
 Dec 1 04:02:56 internetsrv postfix/cleanup[20921]: 
  693A3578E: message-id=<[email protected]>
 Dec 1 04:02:57 internetsrv postfix/qmgr[20164]: 693A3578E: 
  from=<[email protected]>, size=617 (queue active)
 Dec 1 04:02:57 internetsrv postfix/cleanup[20921]: 
  E325C578D: message-id=<[email protected]>
 Dec 1 04:02:58 internetsrv postfix/local[20924]: 
  693A3578E: to=<[email protected]>, relay=local, 
  delay=3, status=sent (forwarded as E325C578D)
 Dec 1 04:02:58 internetsrv postfix/qmgr[20164]: E325C578D: 
  from=<[email protected]>, size=769 (queue active)
 Dec 1 04:02:59 internetsrv postfix/smtp[20925]: E325C578D: 
  to=<[email protected]>,[], delay=2, status=sent 
  (250 Requested mail action Ok.)
 Dec 1 06:58:22 internetsrv postfix/smtpd[21142]: connect 
 Dec 1 06:58:23 internetsrv postfix/smtpd[21142]: 
 Dec 1 06:58:24 internetsrv postfix/cleanup[21143]: 
  42BFE578D: message-id=<[email protected]>
 Dec 1 06:58:24 internetsrv postfix/qmgr[20164]: 42BFE578D: 
  from=<[email protected]>, size=2473 (queue active)
 Dec 1 06:58:26 internetsrv postfix/smtp[21145]: 42BFE578D: 
  to=<[email protected]>,[], delay=3, status=sent 
  (250 Requested mail action Ok.)
 Dec 1 06:59:22 internetsrv postfix/smtpd[21142]: 
  disconnect from[]
 Dec 1 07:08:28 internetsrv postfix/smtpd[21160]: connect 
 Dec 1 07:08:28 internetsrv postfix/smtpd[21160]: 
 Dec 1 07:08:29 internetsrv postfix/cleanup[21161]: 
  C7B39578D: message-id=<[email protected]>
 Dec 1 07:08:29 internetsrv postfix/qmgr[20164]: C7B39578D: 
  from=<[email protected]>, size=2173 (queue active)
 Dec 1 07:08:32 internetsrv postfix/smtp[21163]: C7B39578D: 
  to=<[email protected]>,[], delay=4, status=sent 
  (250 Requested mail action Ok.)
 Dec 1 07:08:33 internetsrv postfix/smtpd[21160]: 
  disconnect from[]
 Dec 1 07:18:42 internetsrv postfix/smtpd[21166]: connect 

will get converted to

 1007175776 internetsrv 693A3578E <[email protected]>
  john.doe.2 localhost 617 3 0
  john.doe.2 localhost sent
 1007175779 internetsrv E325C578D <[email protected]>
  john.doe.2 localhost 769 2 0
  john.doe.3 sent
 1007186303 internetsrv 42BFE578D <[email protected]>
  john.doe.5 2473 3 0
  john.doe.6 sent
 1007186908 internetsrv C7B39578D <[email protected]>
  john.doe.8 2173 4 0
  john.doe.9 sent

postfix2dlf will be rarely used on its own, but is more likely called by lr_log2report:

 $ lr_log2report postfix < /var/log/mail.log > report

. If you'd really like to run this script standalone (e.g. for debugging) run it as

 $ LR_SERVICE=email LR_ID=`date +%s` /path/to/lire/convertors/postfix2dlf < /var/log/mail.log > mail.dlf

. Be sure to have /path/to/libexec/lire and /path/to/lire/convertors in your PATH, and be sure to have TMPDIR, LR_DBFILE and LR_DBDIR set. You could manually source /path/to/etc/lire/profile_lean and /path/to/etc/lire/defaults to achieve this.


Postfix logs look like this:

from local to remote

 postfix/pickup[81586]: 094BE204: uid=1001 from=<edwin>
 postfix/cleanup[81683]: 094BE204: 
  message-id=<[email protected]>
 postfix/qmgr[13460]: 094BE204: 
  from=<[email protected]>, size=1717 (queue active)
 postfix/smtp[81685]: 094BE204: to=<[email protected]>,[], delay=4, status=sent (250 
  Message received: 
  [email protected])

from local to local

 postfix/pickup[81849]: 473B9204: uid=1001 from=<edwin>
 postfix/cleanup[81916]: 473B9204: 
  message-id=<[email protected]>
 postfix/qmgr[13460]: 473B9204: 
  from=<[email protected]>, size=1997 (queue active)
 postfix/local[81918]: 473B9204: to=<[email protected]>, 
  relay=local, delay=0, status=sent 
  ("|exec /usr/local/bin/procmail -t")

from remote to local

 postfix/smtpd[82056]: A17131C5:[]
 postfix/cleanup[82057]: A17131C5: 
  message-id=<[email protected]>
 postfix/qmgr[13460]: A17131C5: 
  from=<[email protected]>, size=1692 (queue active)
 postfix/local[82059]: A17131C5: 
  to=<[email protected]>, relay=local, delay=1, 
  status=sent ("|/usr/local/majordomo/wrapper majordomo")

from remote to remote

 postfix/smtpd[58567]: connect from[]
 postfix/smtpd[58567]: 9A16E229:[]
 postfix/cleanup[58570]: 9A16E229: 
  message-id=<[email protected]>
 postfix/qmgr[236]: 9A16E229: 
  from=<[email protected]>, size=774 (queue active)
 postfix/smtpd[58567]: disconnect from[]
 postfix/smtp[58574]: 9A16E229: to=<[email protected]>,[], delay=15, status=sent (250 
  OAA23290 Message accepted for delivery)


We ran the postfix2dlf suite on a 24MB postfix logfile. Results were:

 postfix2dlf_pre info read 195257 lines; output 177027 DLF lines; 3 errors
 postfix2dlf_pre info memory stats: vsize=5900K rss=4508K majflt=430
 postfix2dlf_pre info elapsed time in seconds real=626 user=449.16 system=8.7
 postfix2dlf_main info read 177027 lines; output 61671 DLF lines; 0 errors
 postfix2dlf_main info memory stats: vsize=5976K rss=4656K majflt=427
 postfix2dlf_main info elapsed time in seconds real=245 user=152.05 system=4.15



postfix2dlf will be rarely used on its own, but is more likely called by lr_log2report:

 $ lr_run lr_log2report postfix < /var/log/maillog


This script needs a lot of space in TMPDIR: it creates a tmpfile which is about the same in size as the raw log it's being fed.

Occasionally, postfix reuses its queueids very fast. We can't cope with this.


Brad Knowles, for supplying patches. Emanuele ``luca'' for pointing out the lmtp delivery.


$Id:,v 1.40 2006/07/23 13:16:34 vanbaal Exp $


Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002 Stichting LogReport Foundation [email protected]

This program is part of Lire.

Lire is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program (see COPYING); if not, check with


Joost van Baal, embrionic version by Edwin Groothuis.