Remote MX delivery

Module that implements message delivery to remote MTAs discovered via DNS MX records. You probably want to use it with queue module for reliability.

If a message check marks a message as 'quarantined', remote module will refuse to deliver it.

Configuration directives

target.remote {
    debug no

hostname domain

Default: global directive value

Hostname to use client greeting (EHLO/HELO command). Some servers require it to be FQDN, SPF-capable servers check whether it corresponds to the server IP address, so it is better to set it to a domain that resolves to the server IP.

limits { ... }

Default: no limits

See 'limits' directive for SMTP endpoint. It works the same except for address domains used for per-source/per-destination are as observed when message exits the server.

local_ip ip-address

Default: empty

Choose the local IP to bind for outbound SMTP connections.

force_ipv4 boolean

Default: false

Force resolving outbound SMTP domains to IPv4 addresses. Some server providers do not offer a way to properly set reverse PTR domains for IPv6 addresses; this option makes maddy only connect to IPv4 addresses so that its public IPv4 address is used to connect to that server, and thus reverse PTR checks are made against its IPv4 address.

Warning: this may break sending outgoing mail to IPv6-only SMTP servers.

connect_timeout duration

Default: 5m

Timeout for TCP connection establishment.

RFC 5321 recommends 5 minutes for "initial greeting" that includes TCP handshake. maddy uses two separate timers - one for "dialing" (DNS A/AAAA lookup + TCP handshake) and another for "initial greeting". This directive configures the former. The latter is not configurable and is hardcoded to be 5 minutes.

command_timeout duration

Default: 5m

Timeout for any SMTP command (EHLO, MAIL, RCPT, DATA, etc).

If STARTTLS is used this timeout also applies to TLS handshake.

RFC 5321 recommends 5 minutes for MAIL/RCPT and 3 minutes for DATA.

submission_timeout duration

Default: 12m

Time to wait after the entire message is sent (after "final dot").

RFC 5321 recommends 10 minutes.

debug boolean

Default: global directive value

Enable verbose logging.

requiretls_override boolean

Default: true

Allow local security policy to be disabled using 'TLS-Required' header field in sent messages. Note that the field has no effect if transparent forwarding is used, message body should be processed before outbound delivery starts for it to take effect (e.g. message should be queued using 'queue' module).

relaxed_requiretls boolean

Default: true

This option disables strict conformance with REQUIRETLS specification and allows forwarding of messages 'tagged' with REQUIRETLS to MXes that are not advertising REQUIRETLS support. It is meant to allow REQUIRETLS use without the need to have support from all servers. It is based on the assumption that server referenced by MX record is likely the final destination and therefore there is only need to secure communication towards it and not beyond.

conn_reuse_limit integer

Default: 10

Amount of times the same SMTP connection can be used. Connections are never reused if the previous DATA command failed.

conn_max_idle_count integer

Default: 10

Max. amount of idle connections per recipient domains to keep in cache.

conn_max_idle_time integer

Default: 150 (2.5 min)

Amount of time the idle connection is still considered potentially usable.

Security policies

mx_auth { ... }

Default: no policies

'remote' module implements a number of of schemes and protocols necessary to ensure security of message delivery. Most of these schemes are concerned with authentication of recipient server and TLS enforcement.

To enable mechanism, specify its name in the mx_auth directive block:

mx_auth {

Additional configuration is possible if supported by the mechanism by specifying additional options as a block for the corresponding mechanism. E.g.

mtasts {
    cache ram

If the mx_auth directive is not specified, no mechanisms are enabled. Note that, however, this makes outbound SMTP vulnerable to a numerous downgrade attacks and hence not recommended.

It is possible to share the same set of policies for multiple 'remote' module instances by defining it at the top-level using mx_auth module and then referencing it using standard & syntax:

mx_auth outbound_policy {
    mtasts {
        cache ram

# ... somewhere else ...

deliver_to remote {
    mx_auth &outbound_policy

# ... somewhere else ...

deliver_to remote {
    mx_auth &outbound_policy
    tls_client { ... }


Checks MTA-STS policy of the recipient domain. Provides proper authentication and TLS enforcement for delivery, but partially vulnerable to persistent active attacks.

Sets MX level to "mtasts" if the used MX matches MTA-STS policy even if it is not set to "enforce" mode.

mtasts {
    cache fs
    fs_dir StateDirectory/mtasts_cache

cache fs | ram

Default: fs

Storage to use for MTA-STS cache. 'fs' is to use a filesystem directory, 'ram' to store the cache in memory.

It is recommended to use 'fs' since that will not discard the cache (and thus cause MTA-STS security to disappear) on server restart. However, using the RAM cache can make sense for high-load configurations with good uptime.

fs_dir directory

Default: StateDirectory/mtasts_cache

Filesystem directory to use for policies caching if 'cache' is set to 'fs'.


Checks whether MX records are signed. Sets MX level to "dnssec" is they are.

maddy does not validate DNSSEC signatures on its own. Instead it relies on the upstream resolver to do so by causing lookup to fail when verification fails and setting the AD flag for signed and verified zones. As a safety measure, if the resolver is not or ::1, the AD flag is ignored.

DNSSEC is currently not supported on Windows and other platforms that do not have the /etc/resolv.conf file in the standard format.

dnssec { }


Checks TLSA records for the recipient MX. Provides downgrade-resistant TLS enforcement.

Sets TLS level to "authenticated" if a valid and matching TLSA record uses DANE-EE or DANE-TA usage type.

See above for notes on DNSSEC. DNSSEC support is required for DANE to work.

dane { }

Local policy

Checks effective TLS and MX levels (as set by other policies) against local configuration.

local_policy {
    min_tls_level none
    min_mx_level none

Using local_policy off is equivalent to setting both directives to none.

min_tls_level none | encrypted | authenticated

Default: encrypted

Set the minimal TLS security level required for all outbound messages.

See Security levels page for details.

min_mx_level none | mtasts | dnssec

Default: none

Set the minimal MX security level required for all outbound messages.

See Security levels page for details.