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POSTCAT(1) General Commands Manual POSTCAT(1)


postcat - show Postfix queue file contents


postcat [-bdehnoqv] [-c config_dir] [files...]


The postcat(1) command prints the contents of the named files in human-readable form. The files are expected to be in Postfix queue file format. If no files are specified on the command line, the program reads from standard input.

By default, postcat(1) shows the envelope and message content, as if the options -beh were specified. To view message content only, specify -bh (Postfix 2.7 and later).


Show body content. The -b option starts producing output at the first non-header line, and stops when the end of the message is reached.

This feature is available in Postfix 2.7 and later.

The configuration file is in the named directory instead of the default configuration directory.
Print the decimal type of each record.
Show message envelope content.

This feature is available in Postfix 2.7 and later.

Show message header content. The -h option produces output from the beginning of the message up to, but not including, the first non-header line.

This feature is available in Postfix 2.7 and later.

Print the queue file offset of each record.
Search the Postfix queue for the named files instead of taking the names literally.

This feature is available in Postfix 2.0 and later.

Print records in file order, don't follow pointer records.

This feature is available in Postfix 3.7 and later.

Skip to the specified queue file offset.

This feature is available in Postfix 3.7 and later.

Enable verbose logging for debugging purposes. Multiple -v options make the software increasingly verbose.


Problems are reported to the standard error stream.


Directory with Postfix configuration files.


The following parameters are especially relevant to this program.

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

The default location of the Postfix and configuration files.
The list of environment parameters that a privileged Postfix process will import from a non-Postfix parent process, or name=value environment overrides.
The location of the Postfix top-level queue directory.


/var/spool/postfix, Postfix queue directory


postconf(5), Postfix configuration


The Secure Mailer license must be distributed with this software.


Wietse Venema
IBM T.J. Watson Research
P.O. Box 704
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, USA
Wietse Venema
Google, Inc.
111 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10011, USA