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Postfix Documentation
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Running Postfix daemon processes chrooted

Postfix daemon processes can be configured (via the master.cf file) to run in a chroot jail. The processes run at a fixed low privilege and with file system access limited to the Postfix queue directories (/var/spool/postfix). This provides a significant barrier against intrusion. The barrier is not impenetrable (chroot limits file system access only), but every little bit helps.

With the exception of Postfix daemons that deliver mail locally and/or that execute non-Postfix commands, every Postfix daemon can run chrooted.

Sites with high security requirements should consider to chroot all daemons that talk to the network: the smtp(8) and smtpd(8) processes, and perhaps also the lmtp(8) client. The author's own porcupine.org mail server runs all daemons chrooted that can be chrooted.

The default /etc/postfix/master.cf file specifies that no Postfix daemon runs chrooted. In order to enable chroot operation, edit the file /etc/postfix/master.cf, and follow instructions in the file. When you're finished, execute "postfix reload" to make the change effective.

Note that a chrooted daemon resolves all filenames relative to the Postfix queue directory (/var/spool/postfix). For successful use of a chroot jail, most UNIX systems require you to bring in some files or device nodes. The examples/chroot-setup directory in the source code distribution has a collection of scripts that help you set up Postfix chroot environments on different operating systems.

Additionally, you almost certainly need to configure syslogd so that it listens on a socket inside the Postfix queue directory. Examples of syslogd command line options that achieve this for specific systems:

FreeBSD: syslogd -l /var/spool/postfix/var/run/log

Linux, OpenBSD: syslogd -a /var/spool/postfix/dev/log

Postfix Documentation
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