words of wisdom from a systems engineer

Remove sensitive information from email headers with postfix

I’m in the process of moving back to a postfix/dovecot setup for hosting my own mail and I wanted a way to remove the more sensitive email headers that are normally generated when I send mail. My goal is to hide the originating IP address of my mail as well as my mail client type and version.

To get started, make a small file with regular expressions in /etc/postfix/header_checks:

/^Received:.*with ESMTPSA/              IGNORE
/^X-Originating-IP:/    IGNORE
/^X-Mailer:/            IGNORE
/^Mime-Version:/        IGNORE

The “ESMTPSA” match works for me because I only send email via port 465. I don’t allow SASL authentication via port 25. You may need to adjust the regular expression if you accept SASL authentication via smtp.

Now, add the following two lines to your /etc/postfix/

mime_header_checks = regexp:/etc/postfix/header_checks
header_checks = regexp:/etc/postfix/header_checks

Rebuild the hash table and reload the postfix configuration:

postmap /etc/postfix/header_checks
postfix reload

Now, send a test email. View the headers and you should see the original received header (with your client IP address) removed, along with details about your mail client.