Minimal qmail in a Docker container forked from:
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This is an alpine 3.4 based minimal qmail server (only 9~ MB) that only contains qmail-send and qmail-smtp services which is usefull for transactional emails like welcome messages, password resets etc.

big-dns and qmail-channel patches are already applied and domainkey/dkim support is enabled by default for all outbound emails. For dkim/domainkey support details see the DKIM/Domainkey Support section.

Also there is a default configuration to throttle outbound delivery to 3 major email service providers. (Gmail, Yahoo and MS). With default settings qmail will open 10 concurrent connections per provider and 50 for all the other domains. Controlling the pace of the outbound emails to big vendors is important thing because fast delivery leads to ban issues especially new installed SMTP servers with a fresh IP. So you can set the throttle values as small as possible at first to avoid blacklisting and then increase them slowly week by week to gain good reputation. To change the throttling settings see the related section below.

How To

To create a container from this image simply run:

docker run -d --name CONTAINER_NAME -p 25:25 -t secopstech/mini-qmail

This will run a container with default qmail settings and expose 25/tcp to host.


You need to customize qmail installations for your environment. For example you may want to change hostname and grant relay access to your sender IPs.

Change Hostname

In the base image, qmail’s servername is mx01.domain.local by default which you want to change it with your FQDN. To do this, just trigger qmail-configurator with your FQDN like below:

docker exec -i CONTAINER_NAME qmail-configurator set-fqdn

This will configure the hostname as spesified value and restart the services. Valid values for “set-fqdn” option is: hostname - domain - FQDN. Note that, using a valid FQDN (with proper DNS A and PTR records) is a better choise.

Relay Client

To grant relay access for an IP or IP range, you can trigger qmail-configurator with relay paramater:

# Grant access to an IP address or a subnet.
docker exec -i CONTAINER_NAME qmail-configurator add-relay
docker exec -i CONTAINER_NAME qmail-configurator add-relay 1.2.3.

# Or you can remove relay for an IP or a subnet.
docker exec -i CONTAINER_NAME qmail-configurator del-relay
docker exec -i CONTAINER_NAME qmail-configurator del-relay 1.2.3.

# To show the relayclients:
docker exec -i CONTAINER_NAME qmail-configurator show-relay

With this setup, qmail will accept outbound email requests from and

Throttle Settings

By default outbound emails to google, yahoo and microsoft domains is limited to 10 for each domain.

To change these values you can use throttle parameter like:

# Set concurrent limit to 30 for Yoogle domains (,
docker exec -i CONTAINER_NAME qmail-configurator throttle google 30

# Set concurrent limit to 25 for Yahoo domains (, etc.)
docker exec -i CONTAINER_NAME qmail-configurator throttle yahoo 20

# Set concurrent limit to 20 for Microsoft domains (hotmail, live, outlook etc.)
docker exec -i CONTAINER_NAME qmail-configurator throttle microsoft 20

throttle parameter only takes google|yahoo|microsoft values as domain and concurrent limit number should be between 1 and 100.

DKIM/Domainkey Support

When you run a container from this image, it will setup a default DKIM keypair to sign every outgoing emails. To grab the pubkey information which will be needed to create a TXT record for your sender domain(s) check the /tmp/DKIM_TXT_RECORD_INFO.txt file:

docker exec -i CONTAINER_NAME cat /tmp/DKIM_TXT_RECORD_INFO.txt