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SPAWN


Section: Maintenance Commands (8)
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NAME

spawn

Postfix external command spawner
 

SYNOPSIS


spawn [generic Postfix daemon options] command_attributes…
 

DESCRIPTION

The spawn(8) daemon provides the Postfix equivalent
of inetd.
It listens on a port as specified in the Postfix master.cf file
and spawns an external command whenever a connection is established.
The connection can be made over local IPC (such as UNIX-domain
sockets) or over non-local IPC (such as TCP sockets).
The command’s standard input, output and error streams are connected
directly to the communication endpoint.


This daemon expects to be run from the master(8) process
manager.
 

COMMAND ATTRIBUTE SYNTAX


The external command attributes are given in the master.cf
file at the end of a service definition. The syntax is as follows:


user=username (required)

user=username:groupname

The external command is executed with the rights of the
specified username. The software refuses to execute
commands with root privileges, or with the privileges of the
mail system owner. If groupname is specified, the
corresponding group ID is used instead of the group ID
of username.
argv=command… (required)

The command to be executed. This must be specified as the
last command attribute.
The command is executed directly, i.e. without interpretation of
shell meta characters by a shell command interpreter.

 

BUGS

In order to enforce standard Postfix process resource controls,
the spawn(8) daemon runs only one external command at a time.
As such, it presents a noticeable overhead by wasting precious
process resources. The spawn(8) daemon is expected to be
replaced by a more structural solution.
 

DIAGNOSTICS

The spawn(8) daemon reports abnormal child exits.
Problems are logged to syslogd(8).
 

SECURITY


This program needs root privilege in order to execute external
commands as the specified user. It is therefore security sensitive.
However the spawn(8) daemon does not talk to the external command
and thus is not vulnerable to data-driven attacks.
 

CONFIGURATION PARAMETERS


Changes to main.cf are picked up automatically as spawn(8)
processes run for only a limited amount of time. Use the command
"postfix reload" to speed up a change.


The text below provides only a parameter summary. See
postconf(5) for more details including examples.


In the text below, transport is the first field of the entry
in the master.cf file.
 

RESOURCE AND RATE CONTROL



transport_time_limit ($command_time_limit)

The amount of time the command is allowed to run before it is
terminated.


Postfix 2.4 and later support a suffix that specifies the
time unit: s (seconds), m (minutes), h (hours), d (days),
w (weeks). The default time unit is seconds.


 

MISCELLANEOUS



config_directory (see ‘postconf -d’ output)

The default location of the Postfix main.cf and master.cf
configuration files.
daemon_timeout (18000s)

How much time a Postfix daemon process may take to handle a
request before it is terminated by a built-in watchdog timer.
export_environment (see ‘postconf -d’ output)

The list of environment variables that a Postfix process will export
to non-Postfix processes.
ipc_timeout (3600s)

The time limit for sending or receiving information over an internal
communication channel.
mail_owner (postfix)

The UNIX system account that owns the Postfix queue and most Postfix
daemon processes.
max_idle (100s)

The maximum amount of time that an idle Postfix daemon process waits
for an incoming connection before terminating voluntarily.
max_use (100)

The maximal number of incoming connections that a Postfix daemon
process will service before terminating voluntarily.
process_id (read-only)

The process ID of a Postfix command or daemon process.
process_name (read-only)

The process name of a Postfix command or daemon process.
queue_directory (see ‘postconf -d’ output)

The location of the Postfix top-level queue directory.
syslog_facility (mail)

The syslog facility of Postfix logging.
syslog_name (see ‘postconf -d’ output)

The mail system name that is prepended to the process name in syslog
records, so that "smtpd" becomes, for example, "postfix/smtpd".

 

SEE ALSO


postconf(5), configuration parameters
master(8), process manager
syslogd(8), system logging
 

LICENSE


The Secure Mailer license must be distributed with this software.
 

AUTHOR(S)


Wietse Venema
IBM T.J. Watson Research
P.O. Box 704
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, USA




 

Index



NAME

SYNOPSIS

DESCRIPTION

COMMAND ATTRIBUTE SYNTAX

BUGS

DIAGNOSTICS

SECURITY

CONFIGURATION PARAMETERS

RESOURCE AND RATE CONTROL

MISCELLANEOUS

SEE ALSO

LICENSE

AUTHOR(S)



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