Setting up a Mail Relay on CentOS 5

This will give you the capability to scan e-mails for spam, viruses and phishing using a variety of open source programs before they arrive to your e-mail server.

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* Install CentOS 5.1 barebones (customizing the install with nothing checked.)

* Update the system

yum update

* Install Additional packages

yum install ntp

yum install vixie-cron crontabs

* Download and install Webmin

cd /opt


yum install perl-Net-SSLeay

rpm -ivh webmin-1.430-1.noarch.rpm

* Disabled unneeded services

service iptables stop
service ip6tables stop
service netfs stop
chkconfig iptables off
chkconfig ip6tables off
chkconfig netfs off

* Install Postfix

yum install postfix

* Configure Postfix

myhostname =
mydomain = localhost
myorigin = $mydomain
inet_interfaces = all
mydestination = $myhostname, localhost.$mydomain, $mydomain
mynetwork_style = class

* Configure Postfix to forward email

relay_domains =

This tells Postfix which domains it should relay mail. All mail destined for this domain (and only this domain) will be forwarded to its remote SMTP server. You can put multiple domains here, just separate them with a comma or whitespace.

Add line to end of

transport_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/transport
mailbox_size_limit = 20480000
mailbox_size_limit = 20480000

This tells Postfix what method to use to resolve the destination address for relayed mail:

Add line to end of “/etc/postfix/transport” smtp:[]

This command specifically maps the domain “” to the IP address and tells Postfix to use SMTP as the transport. All mail destined for which is relayed through this Spam Gateway will be forwarded via SMTP to

Then run command:

postmap /etc/postfix/transport

This command builds the hash table/file which Posfix will use to forward mail. If you don’t do this, it wont work.

Finally add this line to

append_at_myorigin = no

These lines will make sure your Spam Gateway does not add any of its own header domain info to the mail as it passes thru.

* Test Again

Stop and start postfix to make sure all changes take.

service postfix stop
service postfix start

I know this is redundant, but you really should test your system again before installing MailScanner. Make sure that mail gets passed through the system without problem. If you do encounter a problem, it will be a lot easier to fix it now than after you’ve installed MailScanner, SpamAssassin and ClamAV.

At this point incoming e-mail should go through the Mail Relay and be forwarded to the internal E-mail server.

* Install DAG’s GPG key

rpm –import

* Verify the package you have downloaded

rpm -K rpmforge-release-0.3.6-1.el5.rf.*.rpm

Security warning: The rpmforge-release package imports GPG keys into your RPM database. As long as you have verified the package and trust Dag then it should be safe.

* Download and Install the package

rpm -ivh rpmforge-release-0.3.6-1.el5.rf.*.rpm

This will add a yum repository config file and import the appropriate GPG keys. At this point, you can set the priority of the RPMForge repository, and also of the CentOS repositories if you have not done so yet.

* Test with this command:

yum check-update

* Update the system

yum update

* Install perl modules and dependencies for MailScanner

yum install –enablerepo=rpmforge perl-Archive-Zip perl-Convert-BinHex perl-Convert-TNEF perl-DBD-SQLite perl-Filesys-Df perl-HTML-Parser

yum install –enablerepo=rpmforge perl-IO-stringy perl-MIME-tools perl-Net-CIDR perl-Sys-Hostname-Long perl-OLE-Storage_Lite

yum install tnef

* Download and Install MailScanner


tar -zxvf MailScanner-4.71.10-1.rpm.tar.gz

cd MailScanner-4.71.10-1

rpm -ivh mailscanner-4.71.10-1.noarch.rpm

chkconfig postfix off

service postfix stop

chkconfig MailScanner on

* Configure MailScanner Settings

Updates to postfix’s by adding this line:

header_checks = regexp:/etc/postfix/header_checks

In the file /etc/postfix/header_checks add this line:

/^Received:/ HOLD

Here are the edits to Mailscanner – place / update in /etc/MailScanner/MailScanner.conf

Run As User = postfix
Run As Group = postfix
Incoming Queue Dir = /var/spool/postfix/hold
Outgoing Queue Dir = /var/spool/postfix/incoming
MTA = postfix

Optional edits to MailScanner

Change %org-name%
Change %org-long-name%
Change %web-site%

Here’s some file permissions changes you’ll need to make:

chown postfix.postfix /var/spool/MailScanner/incoming
chown postfix.postfix /var/spool/MailScanner/quarantine

service MailScanner start

Its a good idea to test the server now. Send a message to the remote server and see if it goes through. It should, and then you can move to installing SpamAssassin.

* Install perl modules for SpamAssassin

yum install perl-Digest-SHA1 perl-Net-DNS perl-Archive-Tar perl-IO-Zlib

yum install –enablerepo=rpmforge perl-Encode-Detect perl-Mail-SPF perl-IP-Country perl-Mail-DKIM perl-Net-Ident

* Update the system

yum update

* Install and Configure SpamAssassin

yum install spamassassin

You don’t need to edit any of the SpamAssassin conf files because all of the configuration is done through MailScanner.

In /etc/MailScanner/MailScanner.conf we will make these changes:

Change this line:

Use SpamAssassin = no


Use SpamAssassin = yes

Update the SpamAssassin User State Dir setting:

SpamAssassin User State Dir = /var/spool/MailScanner/spamassassin

and then run commands:

mkdir /var/spool/MailScanner/spamassassin
chown postfix.postfix /var/spool/MailScanner/spamassassin

Restart MailScanner to make changes stick.

service MailScanner restart

* SELinux exception for Clamav

setsebool -P clamd_disable_trans=1 or disable SELinux while Clamav is installed.

* Install ClamAV

yum install clamav clamav-db –enablerepo=rpmforge

* Configure ClamAV and MailScanner Settings

In /etc/freshclam.conf make the following edits:

Add ‘#’ in front of the word ‘Example’

Do the same in /etc/freshclam.conf

Now you need to update ClamAV’s virus signature files

[[email protected]]# freshclam

ClamAV update process started at Fri Sep 19 12:45:42 2008
main.cld is up to date (version: 48, sigs: 399264, f-level: 35, builder: sven)
daily.cvd is up to date (version: 8287, sigs: 29596, f-level: 35, builder: arnaud)

Update MailScanner’s configuration file to use ClamAV

‘Virus Scanners = clamav’

In MailScanner.conf, check the setting of ‘Monitors for ClamAV Updates’ to ensure it matches the location of your ClamAV virus database files.

This should be “/var/clamav/*.cld /var/clamav/*.cvd”.

* Installing Postgrey

yum install postgrey

* Configuring Postgrey

Edit /etc/postfix/ and add the following to smtpd_recipient_restrictions.

check_policy_service unix:postgrey/socket

check_policy_service unix:postgrey/socket performs the greylisting while adding reject_unlisted_recipient before it enables Postfix to immediately reject unknown recipients instead of having clients go through the greylisting process before being informed that the recipient does not exist.

To disable greylisting for certain IP addresses or hostnames, add the IP address, hostname or regular expression to match hostnames into the file /etc/postfix/postgrey_whitelist_clients.local.

Hostnames are identified by performing a reverse DNS on the client’s IP address.

For sample entries, view the file /etc/postfix/postgrey_whitelist_clients.

* Update the system

Make one last final update to make sure your system is updated.

yum update


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