O.K, finally the book arrived after waiting what I believe must have been nearly a year by now.
In the above mentioned book Patrick Koetter and Ralf Hildebrandt are walking you through the basic setup options and everyday scenarios a typical administrator will come across.
I have been setting up postfix not the first time. I understand that Patrick
and Ralf are doing an outstanding job taking the reader by the hand. I dont
want to push it, but they almost make it look like configuring postfix is a walk on a spring sundays shiny, sunny afternoon.
The book basically pays for itself within a couple of days, especially
taking into account the research time you would need to carefully find out the many details which are hidden in the book. This book gives you the best "Bang for the buck". Short precise descriptions, lots of tips and tricks all the way along and tutorials for far more scenarios than I could have imagined.
When I did the setup for a postfix server the first time without the book (80
user accounts + multiple domains + anti virus + anti spam + pop-before-smtp +
sasl + etc.) it took me not less than a month and a whole lot of headaches and long overtimes.
Those issues are gone. If I would have had the book at that time,
that alone could have saved me at least 2 weeks.
"The book of postfix" is an excellent wholesight INTRODUCTION for mail server
administrators. The book contains more scenarios than the average joe sysadmin can imagine. ALL are thoroughly described.
After the first 50 pages (Chapter 1-5) you will be able to setup a basic
single domain mail server (network based or dial up version), and on top of
that, have a clear understanding what each of the 20+ processes of postfix are
doing. That alone is a sensation itself, knowing the complexity of the topic
mail server !!
The Chapters 6-12 are focused completely on contents control. After a short
intro to the message components (Envelope, Header, Body and
Attachments) in Chapter 6 Patrick and Ralf have assigning not less than 2
separate chapters (each) for Restrictions, Checks and Filters.
The first chapter always describes the complex theory behind it and the second
chapter follows up with practical samples. Its like you have your own
personal instructor right next to you.
Ralf and Patrick walk you through the necessary tasks all the way. They
spotted the most typical mistakes and severe points to watch out for and
mention them in a short note.
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.
The descriptions are kept short and straight to the point. Every single page
contains so many thoroughly researched details. In fact the book is so cram packed with information, that I remember that at some point I ended up having marked most of the page. ;-)
This book is easily worth 5 times the price, considering the time saving
factor it will give you at your daily work.
What I havent mentioned yet is that the book also includes many setup
scenarios for advanced users (Chapters13 -22) like Mail gateways, Multi DNS
setups, SMTP authentication, Security, Chroot, Tuning and a very big chapter
which summarises the setup procedure for a complete mail system (including
SASL Courier maildrop + Lmtp , LDAP etc. )
The appendix completes the book with installation instructions,
Troubleshooting checklists, a Glossary and finally with a
very detailed 16 page index !!
at the end which contains any keyword I could possibly think of.
The cream would have been if they would have included something that I would
like to call a detachable "Installation & troubleshotting cheat sheet".
So far this is the best mail server book which I came across. I wouldnt be to
surprised if it is nominated as the "Best book in 2005" or if your favourite
bookstore doesnt have it anymore as the waiting list is probably a long one.
For now and the near future I make sure its close to wherever I am to make the
most use of it.
If I remember correctly, I ordered the book more than 1 year ago. Let me tell
you that it was worth to wait for it, all the way.
Thanks to Ralf and Patrick for a first class mail server administration book.
I instantly hope that Patrick and Ralf will find the time to write a second
book for advanced user scenarios.
Summary for Book of Postfix :
"The Book of Postfix" from Patrick Koetter and Ralf Hildebrandt could easily
be named "Book of 101+ Postfix Tutorials". The carefully prepared "lessons"
serve perfectly to study and understand any of the 20+ single postfix processes itself, as well as the over all system functions of Postfix.
Sooo, to sum it all up in one sentence, this book is for those
- who have only one life,
- or those whose wife is complaining that you never have enough time for her
- or those whose boss or manager shouts, that (again) you are to slow setting up the mail server
- besides the fact that you have the pressure to make sure
that the server is secure, reliable and 100% correctly setup.
If any of the above points apply to you than you will find that this book is your best friend for a long time to come.