Skip to main content

The delay_dsn module allows delivery status notifications (DSNs) to be sent to the purported sender of a message, when that message has not yet been delivered.

By default, no delay DSNs are sent. When enabled, delay DSNs are sent based on an exponential back-off schedule. The schedule is independent of the schedule used for delivery attempts. Delay DSNs are sent as RFC 3464-compliant messages.

The sending of delay DSNs and the schedules can be configured in various scopes. If further customization is required, there are a number of hooks available. These hooks can be used to achieve: different types of schedules, such as every N hours instead of exponential back-off; customization of the message content; finer-grained control over who delay DSNs are sent to.

delay_dsn "delay_dsn1" { }

generate_delay_dsn = "true"

# don't generate delay dsns for mail from
domain "" {
  generate_delay_dsn = "false"

domain "" {
  # custom delay dsn schedule. send a delay dsn on 3 hours, then 9 hours
  # (6 hours after 3 hours), 21 hours (12 hours after 9 hours),
  # 45 hours (24 hours after 21 hours), then every 24 hours
  # (maximum interval).
  delay_dsn_retry_interval = 10800
  delay_dsn_max_retry_interval = 86400

Customized Delay DSN Messages

The following example shows how to build a customized delay DSN message using the send_notification hook from Sieve. Here is the configuration fragment to load the delay DSN module and to associate a Sieve script with the send_notification hook:

delay_dsn "delay_dsn1" {}

sieve "sieve1" {
  hook:delay_dsn_send_notification [
    script = "/path/to/send_notification.siv"
    async = "false"
    return = "1"

Here is the Sieve script which generates a simple custom message:

$from = envelope :all "to";
$to = envelope :all "from";

# Don't bounce to the null sender.
if ec_test :is $to "" {

generate_mail_raw $from $to text:
Subject: Your message has been delayed

Your message has been delayed.  We are still trying to deliver it.
You may receive further notifications until we can deliver it.
We will notify you if delivery fails.

delay_dsn Management Using Console Commands

The delay_dsn module can be controlled through the ec_console; the following command is available:


In version 3.0, non-singleton module commands are issued using Scope_Name:Instance_Name followed by the command. Use the module list command from the system console to determine the scope name or instance name of a module. If a module does not have an instance name it is a singleton.

As of version 3.0, all module-specific commands related to setting or getting module options have been removed. Use the following syntax to set or get module-specific options: config {set | eval | get} Scope_Name [Instance_Name] option [value] . Note that there is no ‘:’ between the Scope_Name and the Instance_Name and that the Instance_Name is not used with singleton modules. delay_dsn:delay_dsn1 show pending events

This command lists all pending events.

Was this page helpful?