Qmail-Remove – better than qmHandle

Today in a Plesk server, email was not working. Plesk uses qmail mail server. It is found 567154 emails in mail que.

[root@mail bin]# /var/qmail/bin/qmail-qstat
messages in queue: 567154
messages in queue but not yet preprocessed: 3
[root@mail bin]#

So i installed qmHandle, but for some reason, it won’t work. It give some error when trying to delete the emails. May be due to large number of emails in Que.

So i installed Qmail-Remove available at


Installation was easy

[root@mail root]# tar -zxvf qmail-remove-0.94.tar.gz
[root@mail root]# cd qmail-remove-0.94
[root@mail qmail-remove-0.94]# make
gcc -O2 -Wall -o qmail-remove qmail-remove.c
[root@mail qmail-remove-0.94]# make install
strip qmail-remove
cp qmail-remove /usr/local/sbin
[root@mail qmail-remove-0.94]# mkdir /var/qmail/queue/yanked
[root@mail qmail-remove-0.94]#

After install, you can run Qmail Remove with command

[root@mail bin]# qmail-remove
qmail-remove [options]
  -e            use extended POSIX regular expressions
  -h, -?        this help message
  -i            search case insensitively [default: case sensitive]
  -n     limit our search to the first  bytes of each file
  -p   specify the pattern to search for
  -q  specify the base qmail queue dir [default: /var/qmail/queue]
  -r            actually remove files, without this we'll only print them
  -s     specify your conf-split value if non-standard [default: 23]
  -v            increase verbosity (can be used more than once)
  -y   directory to put files yanked from the queue [default: /yanked]
  -X      modify timestamp on matching files, to make qmail expire mail
                  is the number of seconds we want to move the file into the past.
                 specifying a value of 0 causes this to default to (604800)
  -x  modify timestamp on matching files, to make qmail expire mail
                  is a date/time string in the format of output of the "date" program.
                 see manpage for strptime(2) for details of this format
[root@mail bin]#

To delete mails from Que,

qmail-remove -r -p STRING-HERE

STRING-HERE should be replaced with string that is in SPAM emails.

# qmail-remove -r -p dedicated.abac.net
324001: yes
moved mess/0/324001 to yanked/324001.mess
moved remote/0/324001 to yanked/324001.remote
moved info/0/324001 to yanked/324001.info
324024: yes
moved mess/0/324024 to yanked/324024.mess
moved remote/0/324024 to yanked/324024.remote
moved info/0/324024 to yanked/324024.info

This will remove all emails in que with “dedicated.abac.net” in it and place it in a folder.


Posted in Mail Server