Anatomy of Postfix

Developed with security and speed in mind, Postfix has become a popular alternative to Sendmail. The Book of Postfix published by No Starch Press is a complete guide to Postfix whether used by the home user, as a mailrelay or virus scanning gateway, or as a company mailserver. Practical examples show how to deal with daily challenges like protecting mail users from SPAM and viruses, managing multi

About the Authors:

Ralf Hildebrandt and Patrick Koetter are active and well-known figures in the Postfix community. Hildebrandt is a systems engineer for T-NetPro, a German telecommunications company, and Koetter runs his own company consulting and developing corporate communication for customers in Europe and Africa. Both have spoken about Postfix at industry conferences and contribute regularly to a number of open source mailing lists.

No Starch Press has more information on the book here: authors maintain an errata and download page for the book, which you might want to check out at:

         The book of Postfix: state-of-the-art message transport
         by Ralf Hildebrandt & Patrick Koetter
         Copyright 2005, 464 pages
         ISBN 1-59327-001-1
         No Starch Press (



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Anonymous's picture

the f**k out people. you're not learning anything by having a go at each other.

Postfix is easier to install

V. Prague's picture

You say that Postfix is a useful alternative to Sendmail, but it is actually better.
Just a week ago, I was unable to set up Sendmail properly on the 64 bit Mandrake - it just refused to send mail. I asked a very experienced friend to do this, only to hear that Sentmail apparently does not respect some DNS related settings. He installed Postfix and it works perfectly. I do not wish to hear about Sendmail again.

This is THE Postfix book to have

Scott Kitterman's picture

I found the Book of Postfix invaluable to me when I was getting started with Postfix. If you want to learn Postfix, this book is the place to start.

This is THE Postfix book to have - hardly

Anonymous's picture

Postfix specialists might disagree with you. I certainly do.

2nd edition?

Chris's picture

The book has an extraordinary amount of errata -- so much that I have to keep the errata page open whenever I read the book. Are there plans for a second (proof-read) edition?

A second edition is in the

Anonymous's picture

A second edition is in the works. Unfortunately we need to backport the text from RTF to our native XML format first :(

Why bother?

Anonymous's picture

Basically, you're promoting your book, much of which I have read. The article itself is simply a brain dump for you to jack up your ego and say, "look what I know". Only a postfix administrator or developer would understand this article, so it teaches little - like your book.

Readers might need a warning: No Starch Press did a poor job of editing the book (if they did any editing at all): No copy editing, no technical editing, etc. and most of it reads like a German with little understanding of native English - "now, I will tell you how you must do this....First you must ...then you must, etc."

Additionally, the main Chapter about building a company server is broken. You won't build a functional server following their instructions.

So, consider this with caution.

Considering this is the only

Anonymous's picture

Considering this is the only article online I've found that explains clearly the process that postfix uses to process mail, and how all the pieces fit together, I hardly see it as just an ego braindump.

The entire postfix documentation is written so that only a postfix administrator or developer would understand it.

Considering that every organisation is going to do mail a little differently, standard how-to guides very rarely can be followed completely. This is why it's so important to actually understand the system. If I can understand the system, each configuration value is just a manpage away.

Why bother....

Keith Daniels's picture

Uh.... I assume you have written something better? If so I would like to hear about it...

As far as the promotion goes, the authors had nothing to do with it, if that is who you are accusing of promoting it.

RE: "Only a postfix administrator or developer would understand this book"...... duh, who else but someone who was, or wanted to be, an administrator or developer WOULD read it?

If formal American style English is your prime criteria for the excellence of a book and not having that makes it not worthy of reading -- then your basic orientation must be academic liberal arts instead of technical. Either that or you have a personal issue with the authors or their nationality and are just trying to put them, the book and their nationality down because of prejudice or personal dislike.

RE: the Chapter about building a company server -- did you check their web site for corrections they might have posted for that page? Did you actually try to build that server setup or is that just your opinion from reading it?

All the new OSs and windowing systems are oriented towards content consumption instead of content production.

--Steve Daniels 2013

Yea, yea, yea.

Anonymous's picture

Yea, yea, yea.

If only an experienced postfix admin could read it, why bother?

In other words, if you're interested in learning postfix, how about a book that guides someone with less knowledge to become more able. That seems to be the purpose of a book like this.

As far as American English - how about just English instead of the horrible language used. Try this from page 313: "Once we got this going, we will make the system more complex." then, "You should have profound understand of LDAP schema and OpenLDAP before you start to implement the company mail server we describe in this chapter".

This book is crammed full of this kind of grand work.

Take your sophomoric diatribe to Slashdot, freak.

yea, yea, yea

Keith Daniels's picture

What's the matter? Your little company having trouble using Postfix with their "Controled Email" and you are blaming it on some poor non native English speakers who wrote a book?

All the new OSs and windowing systems are oriented towards content consumption instead of content production.

--Steve Daniels 2013

yea, yea, yea

Anonymous's picture

DANG! I read two other books before this, both of those helped very little and go me nowhere. I had no previous experience other than HOWTO's I found on line, which weren't many. After I read this book, I can honestly say that I had a successful Postfix email server running and operating SPAM FREE.

These cats don't know what they are talking about! It's a good book and Postfix is definitely easier and faster to learn than bloated sendmail.