Postfix mail forwarding

Postfix is the most commonly used MTA program that can deliver, receive, or route emails. So, if you want to forward emails with your server and domain then using the postfix program, you can set up email forwarding configurations on the domain like [email protected] This article will guide you about how to set up a postfix mail forwarding method on the CentOS server. For all other distributions like Ubuntu and Debian, almost all the steps are the same.

You need to perform the following simple steps to set up the email forwarding postfix server on your system:

Open the terminal window by clicking on the Activities and select terminal from the left sidebar in CentOS 8.

Install Postfix

First, ensure that postfix is installed on your system or not.using the following command you can check the installation of postfix:

$ rpm -qa | grep postfix

The following output should display on your system.

Otherwise, you will install postfix using the following command:

$ sudo dnf install postfix

Once the installation of postfix is complete, now using the following command, you can check the postfix service status:

$ sudo service postfix status

The following output should display on your system.

As you can see in the above screenshot, postfix services are active on this system. Now, we can further verify with the help of netstat command that postfix services are running on port 25. Type the following command to do this:

$ sudo netstat -ltnp | grep 25

The following output will be displayed on your system:

In the above output, the last column represents the PID of the processing. Here, this shows a postfix.

Configuration for postfix email forwarding

Now, start the configuration of postfix for forwarding emails. It is a simple task. First, we need to find the postfix configuration directory path by using the postconf command.

$ postconf | grep config_directory

The following output will show on the terminal:

Now, we have an idea that all postfix configuration files located in the directory /etc/postfix, so move inside the directory and edit the ‘’ configuration file.

Open the file in your favorite text editor or which is installed on your system. Here, we are using a vim editor to modify the configuration files.

$ vi /etc/postfix/

The following window you will see in the terminal:

Now, you need to add the following lines at the end of the ‘’ file.

virtual_alias_domains =
virtual_alias_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/virtual

Here, line one virtual_alias_domains is used to list the domains, for which postfix accepts the emails. More than one domain can be added which are separated by a space.

The second line virtual_alias_maps indicates the path to the file, specify the mapping for forwards domains.

Open the /etc/postfix/virtual file and add the forward emails along with the destination.

$ vi /etc/postfix/virtual

Let’s assume we want to forward emails from one to another email :

[email protected] to [email protected]

In the above emails, the first email is showing at which postfix will receive emails. The second email is showing where the postfix will forward the email. The mail can be forwarded to multiple email destinations. After entering these emails, save and close the file. Now, update the postfix table using the following command:

$ postmap /etc/postfix/virtual

Reload the postfix

After doing some necessary changes in the postfix configuration files, reload or restart the postfix configurations by using the following command:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/postfix reload
# or
$ sudo service postfix reload

Test now

Once the configurations are complete, try to forward emails on other domains.


In this article, we have learned how to configure the postfix mail forwarding on the Linux system. Moreover, we also learned how to edit the postfix configuration files. Test the configurations. You will notice email arrive on the forwarded destination within a minute. I hope this article will be interesting for you.

About the author

Karim Buzdar

Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. He blogs at LinuxWays.