1

I am trying to better understand the Linux's online manual. I thought I understood it, but then came across this. Why is postfix under User Commands (1) and not System Administration tools and Daemons (8)?

[Michael@devserver postfix]$ man man
MANUAL SECTIONS
       The standard sections of the manual include:
       1      User Commands
              ...
       8      System Administration tools and Daemons

.

[Michael@devserver postfix]$ man postfix
POSTFIX(1)

NAME
       postfix - Postfix control program

SYNOPSIS
       postfix [-Dv] [-c config_dir] command

DESCRIPTION
       This command is reserved for the superuser. To submit mail, use the Postfix sendmail(1) command.

       The postfix(1) command controls the operation of the Postfix mail system: start or stop the master(8) daemon, do a health check, and other maintenance.
  • I suspect it started out with some user-facing functionality, and now moving it to a different man page section is a lot of hassle for very little benefit. – tripleee May 13 '17 at 13:11
  • @tripleee Thanks. Good to know that I am not along, and if it was created today, should have been (8). – user1032531 May 13 '17 at 13:13
3

The Postfix mail system includes a host of commands and daemons, not just the postfix command.

It appears that the authors of Postfix has decided that user-accessible commands should be in section 1, no matter if they are for system administration purposes or not:

  • postalias(1), create/update/query alias database
  • postcat(1), examine Postfix queue file
  • postconf(1), Postfix configuration utility
  • postfix(1), Postfix control program
  • postfix-tls(1), Postfix TLS management
  • postkick(1), trigger Postfix daemon
  • postlock(1), Postfix-compatible locking
  • postlog(1), Postfix-compatible logging
  • postmap(1), Postfix lookup table manager
  • postmulti(1), Postfix multi-instance manager
  • postqueue(1), Postfix mail queue control
  • postsuper(1), Postfix housekeeping
  • mailq(1), Sendmail compatibility interface
  • newaliases(1), Sendmail compatibility interface
  • sendmail(1), Sendmail compatibility interface

In section 8, you'll find only daemons, i.e. things you're not supposed to run manually:

  • anvil(8), Postfix connection/rate limiting
  • bounce(8), defer(8), trace(8), Delivery status reports
  • cleanup(8), canonicalize and enqueue message
  • discard(8), Postfix discard delivery agent
  • dnsblog(8), DNS black/whitelist logger
  • error(8), Postfix error delivery agent
  • (etc. etc.)

There are also manuals in section 5 ("file formats").

Their rationale for this is

Each Postfix manual page is numbered after a section of the UNIX manual: examples are mailq(1) or access(5). Unfortunately, there is no single universal method to organize manual pages; each UNIX flavor appears to be different.

See all Postfix manuals for further information.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.