Book of Postfix

Book of Postfix
State-of-the-Art Message Transport
Ralf Hildebrandt and Patrick Koetter
March 2005, 496 pp.

Developed with security and speed in mind, Postfix has become a popular alternative to Sendmail. The Book of Postfix 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 multiple domains, and offering roaming access.

Visit the book's companion site for downloads, updates, and more.

Author Bio 

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.

Table of contents 

Chapter 1: Preparing Your Host and Environment
Chapter 2: Mailserver for a Single Domain
Chapter 3: Dial-up Solution
Chapter 4: Understanding Restrictions
Chapter 5: Restrictions
Chapter 6: Understanding Checks
Chapter 7: Checks
Chapter 8: Understanding Filters
Chapter 9: Filters
Chapter 10: Mailrelay
Chapter 11: A Smart Mailrelay
Chapter 12: Filters
Chapter 13: Mailserver for Many Domains
Chapter 14: Company Mailserver
Chapter 15: Scanning for Viruses
Chapter 16: Authentication of Mobile Users
Chapter 17: Understanding Transport Layer Security
Chapter 18: Transport Layer Security
Chapter 19: Performance Tuning
Chapter 20: Installation
Chapter 21: Troubleshooting Postfix
Chapter 22: Postfix Anatomy
Chapter 23: Little Helpers
Chapter 24: RFCs
Chapter 25: Configuration Parameters


Reader review: "For a tech book I've found it quite easy to read and am quite impressed with the practical examples it gives as the book moves you through."
O'Reilly Catalog, January 10, 2008 (Read more)

"I found this book very easy to read and understand and I think the material covered targets not only those new to email servers, but also seasoned postmaster veterans."
Albuquerque Ruby Group (Read more)

Book excerpt posted
Linux Journal, November 21, 2006 (Read more)

"Presents an exceptionally good manual and reference."
PC Update, April 2006 (Read more)

"Ranks among the best technical tutorial books I've encountered."
OSNews, February 9, 2006 (Read More)

Article entited, "Readers, experts square off on the best Linux books" mentions book: "A great guide for both new and experienced administrators on how to install, configure and troubleshoot Postfix. It is especially useful for administrators who are new to Postfix and want to hit the ground running."
SearchOpenSource, October 26, 2005 (Full review)

"The authors are Postfix experts who pack their book with documentation, answers to common questions, plenty of examples, and tips on everything from filtering spam to authenticating users."
Midwest Book Review, Internet Book Watch, September 2005 (Full review)

Image of book on magazine cover; review not yet available online
Linux Journal, September 2005 (View here)

The Book of Postfix is "a spectacular resource for all manner of Postfix administrators. Whether it's for your job, your business, or your hobby, managing Postfix-based email server is best done with the aid of this book.", August 10, 2005 (Full review)

Also posted on, August 10, 2005 (Full review)

“Provided just the right amount of introductory material… loaded with
information and examples that will help you quickly and easily implement
a Postfix mail system.”
Linux Magazine, August 2005 (Full review)

“The book is truly well-written, starting from the ground up, yet it
doesn’t talk to you as though you were just hit in the head with a
hammer. Additionally, it’s got a great beginning section that does an
excellent job explaining the general mechanics of how e-mail works.”
InfoWorld, Summer Reading List for the Geek Crowd, July 14, 2005 (Full review)

Danny Yee’s review posted: "There's no cruft... it's a fairly chunky book, but none of it is padding."
Slashdot, June 29, 2005 (Full review)

“I find it hard to say anything bad about the book, because it does
cover a lot of material to a very high standard, whilst also remaining
very readable.”
Debian Administration, June 27, 2005 (Full review)

Q&A with Hildebrandt and Koetter on website maintained by Linux Planet
Writer’s Perspective, Jun 19, 2005 (Full review)

“A wonderful introduction… It is a book on the beginner/intermediate
level that doesn’t assume you’re a dummy. It’s readable (it’s extremely
readable, for a technical book) but isn’t cutesy.”
Linux Librarian, June 11, 2005 (Full review)

“An essential reference for anyone determined to build or maintain a
reliable and secure mailserver with this well-known software application.”
Midwest Book Review, June 2005 (Full review)

"A good alternative to the sometimes opaque guides you can find online. Perhaps the best compliment we can pay this book is to advise that if you are setting up a Postfix server, the book will save you time and help you configure a secure and fast mailserver."
Netsurfer Digest, May 31, 2005 (Full review)

The Book of Postfix is "quite thorough and easy to read."
Computerworld (Australia), featured in "Product Watch" section, May 25, 2005

Authors Ralf Hildebrandt and Patrick Koetter: "Postfix is fast out of the box, but like other packages, you can usually tune it to work even faster."
LinuxToday, "Postfix Performance Fine-Tuning," May 22, 2005 (Read article)

Chapter 19 ("Performance Tuning") posted
--Newsforge, May 19, 2005 (Read more)

"What makes the book also very appealing is the simple fact that it is VERY compact, considering the many tips and tricks which would take you normally years to get to that experienced level.", April 5, 2005 (Full review)

“I knew from previous comments, that it would be good. I wasn't prepared
for just how good it is. There's stuff in here for everyone.”
Neohapsis, March 30, 2005 (Full review)

“How good is it? Very… definitely recommended to any Postfix administrator.”, March 27, 2005 (Full review)

"Too many technology books take either a highly technical approach or a no-frills, step-by-step approach, but The Book of Postfix bridges the gap between the two."
IT Observer, Jan. 18, 2005 (Read more)


Visit the book's companion site for errata and updates.