Postfix: User's real / full name with accented character

I'm just in the process of setting up Postfix on my Linode and, although the install seems to be working OK so far, I've run into a bit of a problem:

My real name has an accented character in it "í". Whenever I send an email through postfix on my Linode and receive it on my laptop, the sender comes through as My Full Name<[email protected]>, but with the accented character in my full name replaced with a "Ã". Now, I'm not sure where Postfix is getting my full name from to associate it with my email address, as I've not configured that anywhere. I'm assuming that ­Postfix is reading my full name from /etc/passwd which is the only place I can think of where it is configured on the server.

Assuming the above is true [which it seems to be as changes made in [i]/etc/passwd are reflected in what Postfix sends]: My full name is spelled correctly with the accented character in /etc/passwd so it seems something is 'slipping twixt cup and lip' between /etc/passwd and Postfix. I've tried replacing the accented character in my full name in /etc/passwd with the appropriate unicode entity but that didn't work, the from address on the sent email just included the unicode entity 'as is'. Backslashing didn't work either.

There isn't a problem with unicode support in Postfix itself per se as, when I send an email with accented chars in the title or body they come through OK. It's just the sender full name that's getting messed up.

Any ideas, anyone?

1 Reply

First thing is to check that Postfix (or whatever is adding the name) is properly encoding it. On the messages in question received on your laptop, view the message source and look at the From: line. It should start with something like =?ISO-8859-1? or =?UTF-8? - only 7-bit ASCII is permitted in mail headers, and RFC 2047 defines how to encode 8-bit characters. (For example, =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Andr=E9?= encodes the name André.)

If this is happening, then the most likely issue is a character set mismatch. Look at the character set being used to encode the header (it's immediately after the =?, or ISO-8859-1 in my example) and compare it to the locale being used in your terminal where you set your user's full name. In the case of a mismatch, then Postfix is probably using a different locale than the one where you set the name.

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