• Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 4581
  • Last Modified:

Change Sender Name in Postfix?


We run a LAMP server running CentOS 5, Postfix 2.3.3, and PHP5.x   When our PHP scripts send out email with the PHP mail() function, users's receive the emails with a Sender of "Apache" in the From area of the email.

We would like to be able to change "Apache" to something else, and have the change be global so that all of our PHP scripts that use the mail() function (there are many of them) will have this same new Sender name.

Thank you in advance.

Karl Cox
3 Solutions

check out your php.ini file, in the section [mail function]. You probably have something like the following defined:

sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/sendmail -t -i

and pretty much all else commented out. So what happens is php's mail() function calls the sendmail binary (which is the mail injection command of postfix) and gives it the message. Because postfix doesn't trust local users, it discards the 'from' field and replaces it with the Linux userid of the calling process. In this case, it is 'Apache'.

What you need to do is make it use SMTP instead of the sendmail command. You will need to know the name of your SMTP server, which may be 'localhost' if your postfix is running as such. In the php.ini's [mail function] section, add:

SMTP = <your SMTP server hostname>
smtp_port = 25
sendmail_from = something@example.com

The first two options will make PHP talk to the SMTP server directly, which implicitely trusts the information given to it; the last option sets the default sender email address to use.

Hope this helps,
Use the headers to set the From Header and the -f to set the envelope address.


Example #2 Sending mail with extra headers.
The addition of basic headers, telling the MUA the From and Reply-To addresses:
$to      = 'nobody@example.com';
$subject = 'the subject';
$message = 'hello';
$headers = 'From: webmaster@example.com' . "\r\n" .
    'Reply-To: webmaster@example.com' . "\r\n" .
    'X-Mailer: PHP/' . phpversion();
mail($to, $subject, $message, $headers);
Example #3 Sending mail with an additional command line parameter.
The additional_parameters parameter can be used to pass an additional parameter to the program configured to use when sending mail using the sendmail_path.
mail('nobody@example.com', 'the subject', 'the message', null,

Open in new window

Maciej SsysadminCommented:
Do you want to change sender's email, or sender's "description"? (From: Sender's description <sender's@email>)
If you want to change email, you may do it directly in postfix:
Add to your main.cf:
canonical_maps = hash:/path/to/canonical_maps_file
Then, create /path/to/canonical_maps_file, and put there line:
current@address.to.change   new@address.you.want.to.have

Then run "postmap /path/to/canonical_maps_file" and "postfix reload".

If you want to change sender's description, you may want to change just this user's comment (assuming your user is named 'apache', you may do this with command: usermod -c "New description" apache).
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

Join & Write a Comment

Featured Post

Free Tool: Subnet Calculator

The subnet calculator helps you design networks by taking an IP address and network mask and returning information such as network, broadcast address, and host range.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now