Delete from mailq where subject matches

Solution 1:

With a typical postfix installation the email will be in /var/spool/postfix. There are several queues. You want to stop postfix so that you can safely use postsuper to remove the emails. This short script will remove all the emails that match a particular string. In our case we needed to find thousands of emails that all had the same subject line.

In this case, the emails were all deferred, because our remailing service had rejected them due to our being over the limit.

cd /var/spool/postfix/deferred
grep -r -i -l "This was the subject line" ./ | cut -d/ -f3 | postsuper -d -

Some key notes on this:

  • grep -l returned the filename for matches, which is the queueid of the matched message
  • the messages were all in different subdirs so the cut was to strip the path off the front. Make sure you test your return path to insure you're just getting the queue name
  • postsuper -d - tells postsuper to delete messages it got from stdin.

Hope this helps people who find this and are looking for more specific instructions.

Solution 2:

Postfix does not have a utility like exigrep, so you will need to grep the queue files for the subject and then pipe the queue id to postsuper to delete them