Postfix access policy dæmon for checking Unix filesystem quotas
Python Shell
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Quotapolicy: Postfix SMTP access policy for Unix disk quotas

This program is a policy dæmon to make Postfix reject emails if:

  • The recipient is an Unix user, and
  • Their filesystem quota is full.

I use it with Linux ext4 diskquota over NFS, but it should work with whatever implementation understood by the command quota(1). The quota check is run right during the SMTP transaction, so that Postfix won't have to run further processing, test for spam, call maildrop/procmail, etc. (It will also prevent a misconfigured procmail from silently storing messages at /var/mail or elsewhere.) The sender receives a short failure message saying that the recipient can't receive messages right now.

The program uses Postfix access policy delegation; for more info, see .


  • Python 2.x
  • If your python is < 2.7: python-argparse (available via apt-get or pip)
  • python-daemon (available via apt-get or pip)
  • quota (the binary)
  • sudo


I recommend this dæmon to be run under its own user, for security reasons. Quotapolicy must create a socket file, and a pid file; it creates both of them in a directory we’ll call its homedir.

  • If your postfix is chrooted, the quotapolicy homedir must be inside the chroot. If the chroot is at /var/spool/postfix , then /var/spool/postfix/quotapolicy is as good as any.

  • If you don't chroot postfix, then the standards-compliant place would be /var/run/quotapolicy .

The quotapolicy user needs the following privileges:

  • Read/write/execute permissions on the homedir.

  • Ability to run sudo /usr/bin/quota without a password (you can customize the path to quota(1)).

Once you have decided on a homedir, proceed with the installation. The default homedir is /var/spool/postfix/quotapolicy.

  1. Get the sources:

    $ git clone git://
    $ cd quotapolicy
  2. Create user quotapolicy however you like. For convenience, the Makefile includes a creation command with adduser, so if you want, you can just use

    $ sudo make createuser

    If your homedir isn't the default, call it like

    $ sudo make homedir=/some/other/dir createuser
  3. Install the program:

    $ sudo make install

    Again, use make homedir= if your homedir isn't the default.

  4. Setup the dæmon to run at system startup, before Postfix. Startup scripts are provided for Debian (/etc/init.d/quotapolicy), so you can just

    $ sudo make install_debian
    # then edit /etc/default/quotapolicy if you want to change options

    See quotapolicy --help for options.

  5. Add to /etc/sudoers (using visudo(8)):

    quotapolicy myhost=NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/quota

    Make sure it works without passwords:

    myuser$ sudo -u quotapolicy sudo /usr/bin/quota someuser
  6. Add the quotapolicy socket to your smtpd_recipient_restrictions in Postfix Chrooted postfix example:

    smtpd_recipient_restrictions =
      check_policy_service unix:quotapolicy/quotapolicy.socket
      [other restrictions...]

    Non-chrooted example:

    smtpd_recipient_restrictions =
      check_policy_service unix:/var/run/quotapolicy/quotapolicy.socket
      [other restrictions...]
  7. Start the dæmon and restart postfix.

Bugs, suggestions, comments