I have a problem with Mutt at the moment. I have a 4GL routine that creates some quite large output files and I want them to go in a single mail ideally. The total of these files is 21889119 (sum of zip files in Unix) and the message_size_limit in our Postfix config file is 25600000 so would expect these files to be sent. When I try to send them I get the following error :

postdrop: warning: uid=502: Illegal seek              
sendmail: fatal: progress(502): queue file error')

which upon searching in Google comes back as a size error but to my mind I am almost 4M under the limit!

Does Mutt add a lot of padding to the attachments or are there other switches to zip or Mutt that I should apply?


The binary attachments need to be encoded as ascii and that typically expands them with 20-25%.

You will have that expansion problem with any mailer, commandline or not. You can easily test that by using thunderbird and sending the file through Google (or your provider).

  • Thanks for the reply, you say 'You will have that expansion problem with any mailer' however if I use GMail I can attach all the files and email them in one go from my home account to my work one
    – NinjaWfc
    Oct 2 '14 at 8:27
  • @NinjaWfc Your GMail account probably doesn't use the same smtp server as your mutt invocation (I assume you are not talking about using the web interface to GMail that is something completely different). The former probably is limited by what Google sets as limit, which is probably larger than your local postfix. Or is you Gmail account set up to send via the local postfix?
    – Anthon
    Oct 2 '14 at 8:36
  • No as far as I know our GMail does not send via the local postfix, we set the postfix message limit to approx the same as the Gmail max attachment size, think I'm just going to have to change the code to send individual emails for each file unless there is a way to reduce the padding
    – NinjaWfc
    Oct 2 '14 at 9:34

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