Using Postfix for WordPress email notifications

Here are my notes on installing and configuring Postfix on an Ubuntu host for WordPress.

By default, my WordPress and Ubuntu installation wasn’t able to send out emails to do things like set up new users, notify me about new posts, reset forgotten passwords etc etc.  Getting Postfix working is not very difficult once you’ve figured out what settings to use in the file.

First, install Postfix:

apt-get install postfix

and copy over the example config file/template:

cp /usr/share/postfix/ /etc/postfix/

I then realised I’d already installed Sendmail on this box (doh!) so that needed killed and cleaned up:

ps -eaf | grep [s]endmail

kill -9 {the pid}

apt-get uninstall sendmail

Now I could start up postfix:

/usr/sbin/postfix start

I’d gone with the default options during the initial install, but it looks like they need a bit of a rethink…

dpkg-reconfigure postfix

then backup and tweak this file to suit:

vi /etc/postfix/

after which you may need to do “postfix reload”

Once that looked reasonably ok I wanted to test sending mail from the command line – there was no mailx/mail tool present but the mailutils package looked worth a try:

apt-get install mailutils

this gave me a “mail” command, so the next step was to test sending myself an internal mail

echo testinternal | mail -s “test mail sent to local user” don

then an external one

echo testexternal | mail -s “test mail sent to external”

and all worked well – WordPress can now send out new registration details and reset passwords etc.

If you have any issues these files are worth checking:

tail -1000f /var/log/mail.warn

tail -1000f /var/log/mail.err

vi /etc/postfix/

apt-get install telnet

telnet localhost 25


Hope this helps – if you have any feedback or updates please add a comment below 🙂




Serving WordPress as the default page

Here’s a note of what I needed to do in order to get WordPress serving as the default site on my domain – it was originally at and I wanted it to just be

A bit of a Google shows there are many ways to do this, but here’s how I did it:

vi /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/httpd.conf

then comment the current entry and add a new one pointing to the htdocs dir for WordPress:

#DocumentRoot “/opt/bitnami/apache2/htdocs”
DocumentRoot “/opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs”

Then restart Apache (/opt/bitnami/apache2/bin/apachectl restart or similar) after which you just need to go to the WordPress Admin General Settings page and change these values to point to the root of your site/domain:

WodPress address (URL)

Site address (URL)

And that should be that – you can now delete that backup you made at the start…



It’s may be a good idea to define your WP_HOME and WP_SITEURL in your wp-config.php file too, like so:

define(‘WP_HOME’, ‘’);
define(‘WP_SITEURL’, ‘’);

This avoids a database lookup to get these details, which should speed things up fractionally too 🙂



Quick directory listing for large file systems


Useful bit of Perl code – folk at work found this useful approach on the web somewhere – it’s much quicker than doing a recursive find apparently:


my @dirlist = ();

sub process_files


my $path = shift;

opendir (DIR, $path) or die “Unable to open $path: $!”;

my @files =

map { $path . ‘\’ . $_ }

grep { !/^.{1,2}$/ }

readdir (DIR);

closedir (DIR);

for (@files)


if (-d $_))


print $_.”n”;

push @dirlist, $_;

push @files, process_files ($_);





Pardon the indentation/formatting 😉