My goal is to pipe mail with Postfix into a drush command. I made a simple bash script that redirects stdin to the drush command, and I configured Postfix to pipe mail to the script. But executing drush from the script does not work, as it cannot connect to the database. I assume there is some environment/bootstrapping missing but I cannot figure out what.

Bash script, postfix-filter.sh:


# Enter Drush environment
cd `dirname $0`

# Redirect stdin to Drush command, log any ouput
/usr/local/bin/drush my-command <&0 &> my_command.log

Running the script from terminal works fine:

$ ./postfix-filter.sh < test.eml

But when triggered by Postfix receiving a mail, the following is printed to the log file:

The drush command 'inmail-process' could not be found.  Run `drush       [error]
cache-clear drush` to clear the commandfile cache if you have
installed new extensions.
Drush was not able to start (bootstrap) the Drupal database.             [error]
Hint: This may occur when Drush is trying to: 
 * bootstrap a site that has not been installed or does not have a
configured database. In this case you can select another site with a
working database setup by specifying the URI to use with the --uri
parameter on the command line. See `drush topic docs-aliases` for 
 * connect the database through a socket. The socket file may be
wrong or the php-cli may have no access to it in a jailed shell. See 
http://drupal.org/node/1428638 for details.

Drush was attempting to connect to: 
 Drupal version        :  8.0.0-dev                              
 Site URI              :  http://default                         
 Database driver       :  mysql                                  
 Database hostname     :                              
 Database port         :                                         
 Database username     :  root                                   
 Database name         :  drupal                                 
 PHP executable        :  /usr/bin/php                           
 PHP configuration     :  /etc/php.ini                           
 PHP OS                :  Darwin                                 
 Drush version         :  7.0-dev                                
 Drush temp            :  /tmp                                   
 Drush configuration   :                                         
 Drush alias files     :  /Users/mdi/.drush/aliases.drushrc.php    
 Drupal root           :  /usr/local/var/www/d8/www              
 Site path             :  sites/default                          
 Active config path    :  sites/default/files/config_FTG0_Sy-OJ0Mco 
 Staging config path   :  sites/default/files/config_FTG0_Sy-OJ0Mco 

As you can see from the output, I have already tried setting the database host to, as suggested by various discussions I found.

Any ideas on what is missing?

  • 1
    Comment, as I'm only guessing at this stage. "The drush command 'inmail-process' could not be found." is because you are executing the drush command from a directory where it can't find an appropriate drupal install. The nice way to solve that is to set up a drush alias. The "quick hack" way would be to cd into the right sites/ dir before running drush, so it can find the settings.php file.
    – Letharion
    Nov 5, 2014 at 8:24
  • @Letharion, yeah, that's the first line in the script ;)
    – Arla
    Nov 5, 2014 at 8:40
  • 1
    I can see there's a cd in there, but I don't know what that does since your shell script isn't invoked with -x :) So I still think that's the issue. What do you get if you do "drush sql-connect" in the same script? Dont post the output verbatim, as it will include sensitive info.
    – Letharion
    Nov 5, 2014 at 8:44
  • Sorry, I misread your first comment. Thanks though!
    – Arla
    Nov 5, 2014 at 9:34

1 Answer 1


Adding the following line to the beginning of the script fixed it:


I assume Drush uses the $PATH in turn to call other commands.

  • Interesting, I don't see why that could cause a drush command not to be found. Fail possibly if it relies on other commands, but fail?
    – Letharion
    Nov 5, 2014 at 9:38
  • Possibly relevant: this is on Mac OS X.
    – Arla
    Nov 5, 2014 at 10:26
  • Yeah, "PHP OS: Darwin" gave that away, but I still don't see how that would cause this.
    – Letharion
    Nov 5, 2014 at 10:29

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