Worm with Glasses

Coding • DevOps • Personal

May 15, 2006

Relaying Mail through Sympatico Using Postfix

Customers of Sympatico’s high-speed Internet service receive instructions on how to set up their email; however, these settings are aimed at people using Outlook, Netscape, or Eudora. What I needed were instructions on how to configure my local SMTP server, Postfix, with Sympatico. Of course, that information is not available. This document details how I figured out the settings required to make smtphm.sympatico.ca happy.


You need a version of Postfix built with TLS and SASL support enabled. If your distribution doesn’t come with it pre-built follow the instructions at:

On my Debian unstable system I simply did:

apt-get install postfix libsasl2-modules


I’m assuming that your Postfix configuration directory it /etc/postfix. Adjust appropriately to accommodate your system.

To use SASL we need a password file containing our user name and password for the server we are connecting to. Per Sympatico’s instructions the server is smtphm.sympatico.ca.

cd /etc/postfix
mkdir sasl && cd sasl
echo "[smtphm.sympatico.ca] USERNAME@symaptico.ca:PASSWORD" > passwd
postmap hash:passwd

The above creates the password file and the hash-based database file that Postfix uses. Of course replace USERNAME with your [% symaptico %] user name, and PASSWORD with your password (the email password, not the b1 password to access the Internet.)

Make sure in your main.cf you have configured your relayhost as: relayhost = [smtphm.sympatico.ca]

Finally, add the following lines to your main.cf file:

# Enable TLS/SASL for the smtphm.sympatico.ca server
smtp_use_tls = yes
smtp_tls_note_starttls_offer = yes
tls_random_source = dev:/dev/urandom

smtp_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtp_sasl_password_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/sasl/passwd
smtp_sasl_security_options = 

Restart Postfix and send a test message. If all went well you should see the successful sending of the message in the Postfix log file.

Good luck!