September 2005


I’ve been trying to get Postfix with IMAP folders working on my Mac mini for some time now. I even got to the point where I was willing to spend money on the Postfix Enabler just to get it working. But yesterday I found out why this isn’t going to work for me, it’s all about user authentication and management. It seems that Postfix and UW IMAP (the IMAP implementation from the Univesity of Washington) are build with Apple’s idea of user management. Which means that each user of my mail server must be created as an actual user on the Mac mini and can not be authorized or managed by a seperate administration.

I found this out while having a talk with Bernard Teo from on if the postfix enabler supported virtual domains. Bernard was and is one of the fastest email responders I ever encountered when asking support on a piece of software, he responded within 5 minutes. He explained that, despite claims in several forums that it wouldn’t work, I could configure virtual domains with the Postfix enabler as long as each user on each domain had a seperate mailbox and that was not what I was looking for. I want mailboxes for as many users as it takes while having just one user enabled on my Mac. It’s going to be a web server for many small domains and I want to be able to handle the e-mail traffic for all those domains with a minimum of hassle like I have on my current Debian servers.

I now will start looking for the best place to get the source code for Postfix with installation and configuration help. I guess that now I’m going to compile it I will use all the other features I wanted to use from the beginning like MySQL support and for the Courier IMAP server , which in turn would mean that I can provide web based email services using SquirrelMail.

Wish me luck…


As a new owner of some really cool Apple hardware I’m bitten by the Apple virus many users have. We nervously watch all the news and rumour sites to see what is brewing at Job’s office. I found myself glued to the screen during the latest keynote, browsing 3 different news sites to see what was happening. I’ve order myself a Nano last week and just got a message that it is shipping. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands…

I just found a great article on Make: which describes how you can modify you Nano by altering the Firmware. Just get you HEX editor out and start changing. I haven’t tried it myself due to lack of iPod but will give it a go, as you can change names, pictures and even the font. In this manner you can really personalize your iPod without really damaging it. Which makes it easier to sell your iPod when a newer, bigger (memory not size), better one is released in a few months.


Bummer, I thought it was included in the default package, but somehow the configuration I used (copied from my Sun) didn’t work. I got an error message:

postfix/pickup[11145]: fatal: unsupported dictionary type: mysql

I started googling the error message and to find out how I could see which kind of lookup tables are support in the default package installed in OS X. The command I found and used was:

postconf -m

The result was that the following tables are supported:


Next I will start the configuration process again from scratch to see if I can get it all working via configuration files. I hope I can get the IMAP folders working, I thought that was supported.

I can off course get the sourcecode for Postfix and recompile the whole thing to get everything working as I wanted (with MySQL support for instance) but I really would like to use standard software and not go out and compile everything myself. If someone knows of a standard package I can install like the packages for Apache, MySQL and PHP please let me know !


I remember I had a hard time configuring Postfix on my Sun running Debian Linux, all those loose config files which don’t make a lot of sense from the beginning. On top of that I wanted IMAP folders (easier to use web based mail and use multiple computers to read mail), virtual domains and use MySQL for account administration. It took me quite some time but I got it done, with lots of espresso and some major googling on error messages and configuration.

There are a lot of HowTo’s and FAQ files to be found on the internet, each for a specific configuration and a specific operating system. Just have a look at’s document section to see some of the “official” ones. There are more just google for them.

I tried to collect some information on using and configuring Postfix on OS X but it is hard to come by. When asking around I got pointed to the Postfix Enabler which is a great solution if you’d want a simpel server with one domain, but as far as I could see it doesn’t work if you’d want to setup multiple domains.

Others suggested to install OS X server, it’s got the same basic software installed, but it comes with nice GUI based tools for configuring it all. A shame they can’t be downloaded somewhere. I’m not going to go the server route, not on my Mac mini, maybe later on a true Xserver.

I’m now even more determined to get it working on the Mac just the way I want it done. I’ve got most sites covering this bookmarked to keep googling to a minimum. I’m going to document as much as possible and put it on this site so others can benefit from my expirience doing this. I hope it will help others to get it running in a shorter time frame than I will.

Keep coming back for more info on the subject. I will publish any progress I make.


Mac OSX is known to be one of the most secure default installations of any OS. Many people rely on that reputation solely when they use their Mac. But when you are considering to run a Mac as a server, always connected to the internet and always on, you should think twice. Luckily I saw several sources this week talking about a new guide from Corsaire. They have released a guide on Securing Mac OS X Tiger (long pdf) which addresses the new security features introduced through Tiger and presents some security good practice guidelines. Now it is possible to lock the OS down further, in order to securely connect to the internet.


At first I thought that I just needed to install
on my new Mac mini to get the complete stack for building PHP/MySQL based websites as is this one. But somehow it didn’t just fit together as expected so I started to look around the internet for other sources which might solve my issues now and in the future.

I found 3 sources which were referenced by many others:

After looking around at all three websites the one I liked the most was Server Logistics. Basically I choose them because of the fact they run all their own servers with the package they provide as a download. You could install all the packages seperatly (MAMP has one package) which is helpfull if one item in the stack gets an update. Installing the packages from Server Logistics was as easy as downloading, clicking and installing. No configuration issues or other issues, they even came with Preferences Panels.

I’ve got it running for a couple of days now and it’s running smoothly ever since. I’m migrating all my sites to the Mac mini to see if I run into any problems. If that’s finished and everything keeps working then the next stop will be the firewall and mailserver.


When you are a user of GMail as I am, you would be interested in knowing you now have the GMail notifier application also available in a OS X (1.3.8 and up) version. Just read it on a news site. Haven’t tried it out yet, but will do this evening.

Yes, I know you can have the receicing your GMail mail using the pop3 interface but I didn’t want to do that and keep some mail flows seperate.

Update: Found the designer of the icons for this GMail tool: Kenichi Yoshida.


I’ve got my Mac now for more than a week and I’m delighted by the ease of use and the smooth transition from the PC world. My PC has been off for two days in a row now, which has been the longest period since years. I’ve found that most tasks can be done intuitivly but somehow you end up doing it the Microsoft way as you’ve always done, which will still work but it won’t be the most efficient way of doing things on the Mac.

As being new to the world of Apple one of the things you learn is following all the Apple news/rumour sites. One of them ( is starting a series of features on Tiger (10.4) Tips and Tricks. Which are helpfull in discovering those things that make life with a Mac even better.

Another site worth mentioning on for tips and tricks on Tiger (OSX 10.4) is which maintains a list of all tips and tricks they found usefull on Tiger.