Postfix (Sams White Book) Paperback – 30 May 2007
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Without requiring its administrators to understand the complexities that are characteristic of Sendmail, Postfix offers electronic mail services reliably and with considerable configurability. The program is pretty easy to set up and get going, so it's possible for Postfix, Richard Blum's commendable book about the mail server, to do a good job of explaining installation and have room left over for lots of advanced hints and tricks. This book will serve well on the bookshelf of anyone who's decided to base mail services on Postfix. It also makes a good read for those weighing, in advance of deployment, the relative merits of multiple Unix mail programs.
Most administrators will appreciate Blum's attention to detail--it's rare for him to mention a process or procedure and not also present a listing or example as an illustration of what he's talking about. Sections on the messages that go back and forth during Post Office Protocol (POP) and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) sessions are informative, and listings of configuration files clarify what you have to do to get the functionality you want. Some administrators may find a few sections to be written at a level too basic for someone installing Postfix, but at the end of the day most readers will agree that it's better to assume too little in a technical book than to assume too much. --David Wall
Topics covered: installing and configuring Postfix, adjusting it to deal with peculiar local circumstances and getting it to interact with other pieces of Unix software without sacrificing reliability or security. Particularly interesting sections have to do with migrating from Sendmail to Postfix, integrating OpenLDAP with Postfix, and tying Postfix to databases.
From the Back Cover
This book will offer broad coverage to instruct both the large ISP and the small business network administrator on how to install and configure a full featured Internet email system with a minimum amount of expense. This is possible using the Linux Operating System which supplies all of the necessary server software, the Postfix email software package, and Public Domain client email software on the client PC's. This book also includes educational information that can be used by network administrators in using Postfix to connect an office email server to an ISP. The Postfix email software package is in widely used on the Internet without any books documenting how to install, configure, and operate the email server. This book will provide all the information needed to run Postfix effectively and efficiently.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is clear enough to be able to dip in and configure the point that you require and yet detailed enough that you get a good insight as to how Postfix works.
Further chapters cover LDAP, WebMail, Integration with MySQL and MajorDomo.
The only way in which I could see the book improving is to include a chapter on the increasingly popular Mailman but I guess that Mailman will have it's own reference soon.
Well done to Richard Blum and the Postfix team.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I have long experience with Postfix and expected two things from this book:
a) Show me a holistic vision of Postfix to better understand how it works. Postfix docs are to terse and hard to integrate and interpretate. For example, while there is only one (main.cf) configuration file (with no subsections), there is no single doc that show all posible parameters and theirs meanings. Instead, each Postfix's component have their own documentation with their own parameter set explained. Postfix need very badly a table showing which parameters goes with which component, and this book doesn't provide one (and I expected one). The Postfix organization and operation is VERY logic after the fact, but it will be a lot easier if someone show you (and save you from making the same mistakes).
b) Explain how to do some real world tasks (for example, how to place differents recipient restrictions for inbound mail and for outbound mail).
This book adds nothing to Postfix's own docs; it's only a gentle introduction to the subject.
If you think this book will give you an easier read than the online documentaion, don't bother. I had the online documentation open and it follows it so closely that it seems the author was simply paraphrasing the documentation. The only areas that it goes into more detail are irrelevent issues, like setting up ISDN (isn't that out of the scope of this book?) and how to run strace!
Again, don't bother. I want my money back!
I was hoping to see more of Postfix then described in this book. Like for example what's "empty_address_recipient" do and what parameter can it take and so on. Or how to work content_filter with other filter scripts so I can implement any spam and virus filter and so on. It doesnt even talk about it!
The book only gave an introductory broadview, but that's about it. It's probably ok if that's all you need.
I took some time to check the pages between the padding, and found several errors, omissions or imprecise statements about how Postfix works.
All in all the book is quite superficial when it comes to how to actually USE the stuff described -- examples are missing like:
"If I get spammed like this, what can I do to prevent this?"
This somewhat limits the use of the book, since you have to find out that stuff yourself, by trial and error.
It's hard to say if the book is targeted at an admin (then he/she should know SMTP and DNS -- and be annoyed by the padding) or a newbie (thenhe/she gets some info, but might end up with a system that's uglier than it needs to be).