Is Postfix the same thing as Sendmail?

Solution 1:

Postfix and sendmail are different implementations of Mail Transfer Agents which are using Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) for email transport over the Internet.

Postfix first released in 1998 intended to be an alternative to the widely used Sendmail MTA which was used widely since 1982.

Here are the summaries of all 4 popular mail agents:

Postfix Summary Sendmail Summary

Exim Summary qmail Summary

And their comparison table:

MTA Suitability table

Source: shearer

For full comparison, check: MTA Comparison at

Solution 2:

Sendmail is a different (and much older) program from Postfix. However for every mail server to succeed in the Unix environment, a sendmail binary (with some of the expected command line options) must be provided.

EDIT: See for example the manual page for the sendmail program provided by Postfix

Solution 3:

Sendmail and Postfix are indeed both Mail Transfer Agents (MTAs).

Postfix is quite a bit easier for a new admin to set up, and has some nice features that integrate well with the mail store end of the process (Cyrus POP/IMAP, Dovecot, etc.).

If you're not actually going to be accepting email incoming into that box and it's getting forwarded to another system, something lighter such as Exim may be a better choice.