How To Automatically Add A Disclaimer To Outgoing Emails With alterMIME (Postfix On Debian Squeeze)

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Author: Falko Timme
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Last edited 12/17/2012

This tutorial shows how to install and use alterMIME. alterMIME is a tool that can automatically add a disclaimer to emails. In this article I will explain how to install it as a Postfix filter on Debian Squeeze.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

 

1 Preliminary Note

I'm assuming that Postfix is already installed and fully functional - I will not explain how to set up Postfix and configure email accounts in this tutorial.

 

2 Installing alterMIME

alterMIME can be installed as follows:

apt-get install altermime

Next we create the user filter with the home directory /var/spool/filter filter - alterMIME will be run as that user:

useradd -r -c "Postfix Filters" -d /var/spool/filter filter
mkdir /var/spool/filter
chown filter:filter /var/spool/filter
chmod 750 /var/spool/filter

Afterwards we create the script /etc/postfix/disclaimer which executes alterMIME. Debian's alterMIME package comes with a sample script that we can simply copy to /etc/postfix/disclaimer:

cp /usr/share/doc/altermime/examples/postfix_filter.sh /etc/postfix/disclaimer
chgrp filter /etc/postfix/disclaimer
chmod 750 /etc/postfix/disclaimer

Now the problem with this script is that it doesn't distinguish between incoming and outgoing emails - it simply adds a disclaimer to all mails. Typically you want disclaimers only for outgoing emails, and even then not for all sender addresses. Therefore I've modified the /etc/postfix/disclaimer script a little bit - we'll come to that in a minute.

Right now, we create the file /etc/postfix/disclaimer_addresses which holds all sender email addresses (one per line) for which alterMIME should add a disclaimer:

vi /etc/postfix/disclaimer_addresses

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Now we open /etc/postfix/disclaimer and modify it as follows (I have marked the parts that I've changed):

vi /etc/postfix/disclaimer

#!/bin/sh
# Localize these.
INSPECT_DIR=/var/spool/filter
SENDMAIL=/usr/sbin/sendmail

####### Changed From Original Script #######
DISCLAIMER_ADDRESSES=/etc/postfix/disclaimer_addresses
####### Changed From Original Script END #######

# Exit codes from <sysexits.h>
EX_TEMPFAIL=75
EX_UNAVAILABLE=69

# Clean up when done or when aborting.
trap "rm -f in.$$" 0 1 2 3 15

# Start processing.
cd $INSPECT_DIR || { echo $INSPECT_DIR does not exist; exit
$EX_TEMPFAIL; }

cat >in.$$ || { echo Cannot save mail to file; exit $EX_TEMPFAIL; }

####### Changed From Original Script #######
# obtain From address
from_address=`grep -m 1 "From:" in.$$ | cut -d "<" -f 2 | cut -d ">" -f 1`

if [ `grep -wi ^${from_address}$ ${DISCLAIMER_ADDRESSES}` ]; then
  /usr/bin/altermime --input=in.$$ \
                   --disclaimer=/etc/postfix/disclaimer.txt \
                   --disclaimer-html=/etc/postfix/disclaimer.txt \
                   --xheader="X-Copyrighted-Material: Please visit http://www.company.com/privacy.htm" || \
                    { echo Message content rejected; exit $EX_UNAVAILABLE; }
fi
####### Changed From Original Script END #######

$SENDMAIL "$@" <in.$$

exit $?

Next we need the text file /etc/postfix/disclaimer.txt which holds our disclaimer text. Debian's alterMIME package comes with a sample text that we can use for now (of course, you can modify it if you like):

cp /usr/share/doc/altermime/examples/disclaimer.txt /etc/postfix/disclaimer.txt

Finally we have to tell Postfix that it should use the /etc/postfix/disclaimer script to add disclaimers to outgoing emails. Open /etc/postfix/master.cf and add -o content_filter=dfilt: to the smtp line:

vi /etc/postfix/master.cf

#
# Postfix master process configuration file.  For details on the format
# of the file, see the master(5) manual page (command: "man 5 master").
#
# Do not forget to execute "postfix reload" after editing this file.
#
# ==========================================================================
# service type  private unpriv  chroot  wakeup  maxproc command + args
#               (yes)   (yes)   (yes)   (never) (100)
# ==========================================================================
smtp      inet  n       -       -       -       -       smtpd
   -o content_filter=dfilt:
[...]

At the end of the same file, add the following two lines:

[...]
dfilt     unix    -       n       n       -       -       pipe
    flags=Rq user=filter argv=/etc/postfix/disclaimer -f ${sender} -- ${recipient}

Restart Postfix afterwards:

/etc/init.d/postfix restart

That's it! Now a disclaimer should be added to outgoing emails sent from the addresses listed in /etc/postfix/disclaimer_addresses.

 

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From: mbsouth at: 2013-02-05 20:09:01

Would be of interest to know how to do this per domain and with a database that the domain admins could handle the disclaimer.

From: diego soto at: 2013-05-22 21:06:35

 Correction:

 
from_address=`grep -m 1 "^From: " in.$$ | cut -d "<" -f 2 | cut -d ">" -f 1`
 
now it works good