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Postfix: The Definitive Guide is directed at those who are familiar with the Unix/Linux environment, but the author thoughtfully and carefully defines terms and acronyms as they are introduced. The book is organized such that terms and concepts with which the reader is already familiar can easily be skimmed or omitted, while those new to the reader can be considered carefully and at greater length.

I appreciated the clear statements of purpose at the beginning of each chapter, and then again in more detail with each section within the chapters. The reader can quickly determine whether or not the chapter is relevant to the immediate task at hand.

The author works carefully through the essential configuration files and suggests both why and how to make important changes. Because Postfix can run on a wide variety of Unix and Linux flavours and configurations, there are alternatives for almost every configuration change. This is challenging for the reader who is still has much to learn about Linux and must stop to determine which particular configuration suggestion is relevant. Considering how many different operating systems can accommodate Postfix, and how many different ways there are of configuring each of them, it is easy for the inexperienced server administrator to get confused by the OS-dependent factors and variables. Considering how vast this array of choices is, Dent achieves a reasonable compromise between being, on the one hand, highly OS-specific, and on the other hand, simply ignoring the potential differences and leaving it to the reader to determine which choice is relevant.

There were some minor syntax errors, such as "comprised of" ("comprised" properly should not be used with "of"). And I suppose that we must resign ourselves to the careless redundancy of "POP protocol" and "SMTP protocol" that seems to have become, along with "PIN Number", common usage.

I found the book very helpful in setting up a simple mail server and want to have it on the shelf for future reference.

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