mbtamuli's scratchpad To infinity and beyond

Configuring Postfix

2 min read.

I came across this really neat Docker image docker-postfix. It got me up and running with Postfix in a very short amount of time.

I’m just mentioning the extra steps I had to take to get the TLS certificates and the DKIM keys. As this is a post of configuring Postfix running as a Docker container, I’ll also run all the setup steps inside containers.

First let’s create a directory for all our files and pull all the images

mkdir -p ~/postfix
docker pull certbot/dns-cloudflare
docker pull ubuntu
docker pull catatnight/postfix

Now let’s generate the keys. You can use certbot which also has instructions on running with docker. In my case, I had the domain on Cloudflare, so I used the dns-cloudflare plugin which is available as an image dns-cloudflare.

mkdir -p ~/postfix/letsencrypt/etc
mkdir -p ~/postfix/letsencrypt/lib

# Add your email and token
cat <<EOF > ~/postfix/letsencrypt/cloudflare.ini
dns_cloudflare_email = [email protected]
dns_cloudflare_api_key = 0123456789abcdef0123456789abcdef01234567

# Add your email where you want to recieve emails from LetsEncypt and the
# domain for the mail
docker run -it --rm \
--name certbot \
-v "$HOME/postfix/letsencrypt/etc:/etc/letsencrypt" \
-v "$HOME/postfix/letsencrypt/lib:/var/lib/letsencrypt" \
-v "$HOME/postfix/letsencrypt/cloudflare.ini:/tmp/cloudflare.ini:ro" \
certbot/dns-cloudflare certonly \
--agree-tos \
--dns-cloudflare \
--dns-cloudflare-credentials /tmp/cloudflare.ini \
--dns-cloudflare-propagation-seconds 60 \
--manual-public-ip-logging-ok \
--no-eff-email \
--text \
--email [email protected] \
-d mail.example1.com

# Now we'll copy the generated certs to the proper location
mkdir -p "$HOME/postfix/certs"
cp /etc/letsencrypt/archive/mail.example.com/fullchain*.pem "$HOME/postfix/certs/mail.example.com.crt"
cp /etc/letsencrypt/archive/mail.example.com/privkey*.pem "$HOME/postfix/certs/mail.example.com.key"

Now we’ll generate the DKIM keys

docker run -it --rm \
--name dkim \
-v "$HOME/postfix/dkim-tools:/data" \
ubuntu \

# The following command will run inside the container
apt update && apt install opendkim-tools -y
cd /data
opendkim-genkey --selector=mail --domain=mail.example1.com

# Exit from the container

cp "$HOME/postfix/dkim-tools/mail.private" "$HOME/postfix/keys/"
cp "$HOME/postfix/dkim-tools/mail.txt" "$HOME/postfix/keys/"
cd "$HOME/postfix/keys/"
chown opendkim:opendkim mail.private

Now we have to add the DNS entry. If you take the look at the mail.txt, like

cat mail.txt
mail._domainkey IN      TXT     ( "v=DKIM1; k=rsa; "
          "p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQC2JynHFdaFJ+3esWnV3/ayG0rRAb8AxWa900ffYV22bpEYTO7WXAy5w1igWAEmtyzeRDlEngZAhw3GVQWsmSkydMTIvTNG9P1qXC+q23bxpq3yxxy8urqw42QusYV9n6HbU6dI6iNz0HJplQ95T6FFi7YAgzN8wuNCON0n9h9WSwIDAQAB" )  ; ----- DKIM key mail for mail.example.com

You will have to add the TXT entry in your domain’s DNS records.

For SPF record, you need to add the following as the value of a TXT entry for the domain. The key in our example will be mail.example.com. The IP will be replaced by the public IP address of the instance.

v=spf1 a include:_spf.google.com ip4: ~all

For multiple IP address, just repeat the ip4 block.

v=spf1 a include:_spf.google.com ip4: ip4: ~all

Lastly, we’ll run the postfix container itself and run it in daemon mode.

docker run -p 25:25 \
-e maildomain=mail.example.com -e smtp_user=user1:mySecretPassword \
-v "$HOME/postfix/keys:/etc/opendkim/domainkeys" \
-v "$HOME/postfix/certs:/etc/postfix/certs" \
--name postfix -d catatnight/postfix

We’ll now you just need to point whatever application you use to port 25, with the SMTP credentials user1:mySecretPassword. Enjoy emails that have a good score and won’t land up in spam!