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Postfix Documentation
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Tuning the number of Postfix processes

The default_process_limit configuration parameter gives direct control over how many daemon processes Postfix will run. As of Postfix 2.0 the default limit is 100 smtp client processes, 100 smtp server processes, and so on. This may overwhelm systems with little memory, as well as networks with low bandwidth.

You can change the global process limit by specifying a non-default default_process_limit in the main.cf file. For example, to run up to 10 smtp client processes, 10 smtp server processes, and so on:

/etc/postfix/main.cf:
    
default_process_limit = 10

You need to execute "postfix reload" to make the change effective. The limits are enforced by the Postfix master(8) daemon which does not automatically read main.cf when it changes.

You can override the process limit for specific Postfix daemons by editing the master.cf file. For example, if you do not wish to receive 100 SMTP messages at the same time, but do not want to change the process limits for local mail deliveries, you could specify:

/etc/postfix/master.cf:
    # ====================================================================
    # service type  private unpriv  chroot  wakeup  maxproc command + args
    #               (yes)   (yes)   (yes)   (never) (100)
    # ====================================================================
    . . .
    smtp      inet  n       -       -       -       10      smtpd
    . . .
Postfix Documentation
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