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I've just compiled and installed postfix and set domain names in

Unfortunately postfix does not start. Nothing new shows up in the list of processes when I issue /usr/sbin/postfix start

echo $? gives 0

Are there any log files or other clues I could use to figure out what goes wrong? Thanks.

Which processes should I look for in the ps output?


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

First, check to see that you're in a sane environment:

chkconfig --level 2345 postfix on

Next, find out what postfix seems to think the problem is:

service postfix restart ; tail -f /var/log/maillog

The startup failure will appear at the end of the log along with any clues as to why you're having an issue.

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checking maillog (on different path set up by the hosting provider) showed that port 25 is taken. Turns out xinetd was set to listen on the smtp port. – Evgeny Jul 29 '09 at 19:44

for starters look in /var/log/messages, it'll give you some clues on whats wrong and where to look, in most of the cases if you copy and paste error message into google you'll find either solution or some clues how to fix it

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thanks. unfortunately there are no relevant messages – Evgeny Jul 29 '09 at 1:13
then try to put postfix into debug mode and try to start it like that – alexus Jul 29 '09 at 16:10

Was there a specific reason you installed from source?

Why not just: yum install postfix

Then you will have a postfix init script.

chkconfig postfix on

service postfix start

If you need to switch from sendmail to postfix: yum install system-switch-mail

and then run:


to switch to postfix.

Hope this helps.


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i've tried the method you suggested before - same result. when I do start then stop the system tells me that postfix was not running. – Evgeny Jul 29 '09 at 1:22
Did you run system-switch-mail? Sendmail might be using some of the ports (e.g. 25). Run system-switch-mail. IIRC that will start postfix but you could issue a: service postfix restart to be sure. Cheers – HTTP500 Jul 29 '09 at 3:49

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