Postfix help needed

D. R. Evans doc.evans at
Thu Nov 29 21:11:39 UTC 2007

Stew Schneider said the following at 11/28/2007 08:19 PM :
> I'd like to have cron jobs notify me at my gmail account when they run.
> Googling around I installed mailx and postfix. The postfix installation
> established as:
>> # See /usr/share/postfix/ for a commented, more complete 
>> version
>> # Debian specific:  Specifying a file name will cause the first
>> # line of that file to be used as the name.  The Debian default
>> # is /etc/mailname.
>> #myorigin = /etc/mailname
>> smtpd_banner = $myhostname ESMTP $mail_name (Ubuntu)
>> biff = no
>> # appending .domain is the MUA's job.
>> append_dot_mydomain = no
>> # Uncomment the next line to generate "delayed mail" warnings
>> #delay_warning_time = 4h
>> # TLS parameters
>> smtpd_tls_cert_file=/etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem
>> smtpd_tls_key_file=/etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key
>> smtpd_use_tls=yes
>> smtpd_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${queue_directory}/smtpd_scache
>> smtp_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${queue_directory}/smtp_scache
>> # See /usr/share/doc/postfix/TLS_README.gz in the postfix-doc package for
>> # information on enabling SSL in the smtp client.
>> myhostname = stewart
>> alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases
>> alias_database = hash:/etc/aliases
>> mydestination = stewart at localhost, stewart, localhost.localdomain, 
>> localhost
>> relayhost =
>> mynetworks =
>> mailbox_size_limit = 0
>> recipient_delimiter = +
>> inet_interfaces = loopback-only
> The machine is not part of a domain -- it's just an elderly Gateway
> sitting on a shaky desk before an elderly fat man. hostname is stewart.
> I don't get no stinkin' email, and the more I Google, the confuseder I get.
> Can someone untangle me?

You have stumbled on what is, to my mind, the most arcanely configured
program in the history of UNIX. (Well, sendmail takes that honour, but
postfix is the modern equivalent.)

I don't understand why there isn't some GUI-based configuration program for
postfix (maybe there is and I've just never found it), because the number
of possibilities and inter-related options in postfix cries out for a GUI
to make sense of everything.

I have a couple of machines here using postfix, but neither set up is
exactly the same as you want, so I won't start by posting my configuration
files, which would just confuse things (at this point, I simply copy
working configurations when I install postfix on a new machine, because I
don't remember enough about how I first got things to work several years ago).


Question #1: are you sure that postfix is running? (ps auxw | grep postfix)
Question #2: what do you get when you examine the mail queue (mailq)
Question #3: what kinds of things do you see in the mail log (the various
/var/log/mail* files)

That should give us something to work with -- or at least to guess where to


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