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CentOS Mail Server setup: Postfix, Dovecot, Virtual users, MySQL, SASL, Postfixadmin, TLS

This is a small guide, showing how to install postfix, dovecot and postfixadmin on a server running CentOS.

The components of an e-mail server are:
  • the delivery and reception service - Postfix, which handles mail delivery
  • the mail retrieval service, dovecot, which handles POP3 and/or IMAP mail retrieval
  • users database, storing usernames, passwords, mail location. In this guide, i'll use a mysql database for this task
  • the SMTP authentication mechanism, to make possible e-mail delivery for roaming users.
  • the management interface: Postfixadmin. This is a very popular frontend used to manage users and passwods for e-mail systems, written for postfix in PHP. It is accessible through a web browser.
  • The TLS layer, used to encrypt communications between the SMTP/POP3 client and the server. It may be used for secure message delivery between servers, if both servers support TLS.
Installation on a CentOS server should be done in the following order:
- mysql database
- dovecot
- development tools (may be installed ino a development-only machine, the tools are required to rebuild the postfix package)
- postfix. The default postfix package do not support virtual delivery agent and mysql, so it must be recompiled
- postfixadmin

Next: MySQL Database installation