forward(5) — Linux manual page


FORWARD(5)               BSD File Formats Manual              FORWARD(5)

NAME         top

     forward — email forwarding information file

DESCRIPTION         top

     Users may put a .forward file in their home directory.  If this
     file exists, smtpd(8) forwards email to the destinations specified

     A .forward file contains a list of expansion values, as described
     in aliases(5).  Each expansion value should be on a line by itself.
     However, the .forward mechanism differs from the aliases mechanism
     in that it disallows file inclusion (:include:) and it performs
     expansion under the user ID of the .forward file owner.

     Permissions on the .forward file are very strict and expansion is
     rejected if the file is group or world-writable; if the home
     directory is group writeable; or if the file is not owned by the

     Users should avoid editing the .forward file directly, to prevent
     delivery failures from occurring if a message arrives while the
     file is not fully written.  The best option is to use a temporary
     file and use the mv(1) command to atomically overwrite the former
     .forward.  Alternatively, setting the sticky(8) bit on the home
     directory will cause the .forward lookup to return a temporary
     failure, causing mails to be deferred.

FILES         top

     ~/.forward     Email forwarding information.

EXAMPLES         top

     The following file forwards mail to “”, and pipes
     the same mail to “examplemda”.

           # empty lines are ignored

         # anything after # is ignored

SEE ALSO         top

     aliases(5), smtpd(8)

COLOPHON         top

     This page is part of the OpenSMTPD (a FREE implementation of the
     server-side SMTP protocol) project.  Information about the project
     can be found at  If you have a bug
     report for this manual page, see
     ⟨⟩.  This page was
     obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
     ⟨⟩ on 2023-06-23.  (At
     that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
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BSD                         February 13, 2021                        BSD

Pages that refer to this page: mailaddr(7)