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Old 07-19-2008, 07:24 AM   #1
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Sendmail v.8.14.3 not able to start in MTA mode

I have compiled sendmail from source code - v. 8.14.3. I have installed binaries by ./Build install script (just like described in README).

This is how i start sendmail in MSP mode:

peres:~# /usr/sbin/sendmail -L sm-msp-queue -Ac -q30m

This works ok and i see a process in the process table, confirmed by 'ps aux |grep sendmail' command. I can submit an email to the queue as well. No problem here ..

Problems come with MTA mode. I start sendmail with following command:

peres:~# /usr/sbin/sendmail -L sm-mta -bd -q1h -O LogLevel=14

just after this command i execute this:

peres:~# ps aux |grep sendmail
smmsp 15015 0.0 0.2 4580 1264 ? Ss 12:02 0:00 sendmail: Queue runner@00:30:00 for /var/spool/clientmqueue
root 15384 0.0 0.1 1956 628 pts/1 R+ 13:30 0:00 grep sendmail

I don't see MTA in the process table

In the /var/log/mail.log, I see the one and only line after daemon was started (no errors indicated):

Jul 19 13:27:43 peres sm-mta 16 [] sm-mta[15361]: starting daemon (8.14.3): SMTP+queueing@01:00:00


peres:~# netstat -an |grep :25

I see, that sendmail is even not listening on port 25.

peres:~# uname -a
Linux 2.6.18-5-k7 #1 SMP Wed Oct 3 00:47:27 UTC 2007 i686 GNU/Linux

peres:~# ls -l /etc/mail
total 204
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 107 1466 2008-07-18 15:07 aliases
-rw-r----- 1 root 107 12288 2008-07-19 11:58 aliases.db
-r--r--r-- 1 bin bin 5657 2008-07-19 11:14 helpfile
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 107 17 2008-07-19 11:19 local-host-names
-r--r--r-- 1 root bin 41596 2008-07-19 11:19
-r--r--r-- 1 root bin 41596 2008-07-19 11:03
-rw------- 1 root bin 0 2008-07-19 11:14 statistics
-r--r--r-- 1 root bin 41440 2008-07-19 11:19
-r--r--r-- 1 root bin 41440 2008-07-19 11:03

peres:~# ls -l /var/spool/
total 32
drwxrwx--- 2 smmsp smmsp 4096 2008-07-19 13:17 clientmqueue
drwxr-xr-x 5 root root 4096 2007-01-11 22:14 cron
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 2007-04-09 15:22 cups
drwxrwsr-x 4 lp lp 4096 2007-04-30 11:04 lpd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 7 2007-01-11 22:12 mail -> ../mail
drwx------ 2 root root 4096 2008-07-18 14:02 mqueue
drwxrws--- 2 107 107 4096 2008-05-11 21:00 mqueue-client
drwxr-xr-x 4 mail root 4096 2008-07-18 05:41 nullmailer
drwxrwxrwt 2 root root 4096 2007-03-24 11:47 samba

Any ideas, what am I doing wrong here?
Old 07-20-2008, 04:51 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2007
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To try to answer your question: I'm not sure but you probably need to make some changes to to tell it to listen on port 25.

This doesn't answer your question directly but it may help none-the-less:

In my experience Sendmail is possibly the most difficult to administer piece of software I have ever come across. If you're new to Linux, or even if you're not, then I would wholeheartedly recommend using postfix as your MTA. It is a lot easier to set up properly (and securely), much easier to understand the configurations, and is just as reliable and feature rich as sendmail. You may save yourself a lot of headaches by ditching sendmail right now
Old 07-21-2008, 01:07 AM   #3
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3 things here ..

Thx a lot for your attention!

I've narrowed the problem a bit yesterday evening. It's related to BerkeleyDB. I have wiped out this peace of software (just as a test) and recompiled sendmail from scratch. Now it works, it's listening on 25 as well. I will install BerkeleyDB again more carefully this time and I'll see, how it works.

Originally Posted by BlueC View Post
I would wholeheartedly recommend using postfix as your MTA.
Actually you are the second person recommending this. This is my 1'st mailserver setup attempt and I was in the impression, that sendmail is the leader (which seems not to be true anymore). Because 2 people recommended this, I will consider your suggestion for sure! Anyway, I am also a bit stiffheaded and I don't want to give up so early. I would be very happy to learn sendmail first, so I can also compare those 2 softs.

Again, thx for your time. I really appreciate it!



mail, sendmail

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