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Old 12-08-2004, 03:53 AM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: SuSE personal 9.1
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How do I set up sendmail in Mandrake 10.0?

I've been running Linux for a few months now, and usually when I've had a problem I could read the man pages and online resources and get it. But with sendmail, no such luck.

All I want to do is send email from the command line. My impression is that I have to do it through another server (in my case, my SBC Yahoo DSL server), since emails I send straight from my box will usually get rejected as spam. If that's wrong, I'm happy to just send them through some server on my own machine -- whatever works.

I'm running Mandrake 10.0, I got sendmail 8.12.11 and sendmail-cf installed and have spent a lot of time messing with the file, following the instructions from multiple sites.

I put the server's SMTP address in brackets and did everything they said, I make sure to run the m4 command and restart sendmail every time I change, I've generated the authinfo.db file, and yet I still get the same error message every time.

WARNING: local host name (localhost) is not qualified; fix $j in config file
NOBODY@NOWHERE.COM... Connecting to [localhost] via relay...
220 localhost ESMTP Sendmail 8.12.11/8.12.11; Wed, 8 Dec 2004 01:32:34 -0800
>>> EHLO localhost
250-localhost Hello localhost [], pleased to meet you
>>> MAIL From:<root@localhost>
550 5.0.0 Access denied
root... Using cached ESMTP connection to [localhost] via relay...
>>> RSET
250 2.0.0 Reset state
>>> MAIL From:<>
550 5.0.0 Access denied
postmaster... Using cached ESMTP connection to [localhost] via relay...
>>> RSET
250 2.0.0 Reset state
>>> MAIL From:<>
550 5.0.0 Access denied
Closing connection to [localhost]
>>> QUIT
221 2.0.0 localhost closing connection
I can't make much sense of this, but it looks to me like the program somehow never reaches the external SMTP server. A friend suggested I might need to change my hostname or something, but I'm basically stumped.

If there's any other information that would be valuable I'll post it ASAP. Thanks in advance for any help.
Old 12-08-2004, 04:07 AM   #2
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, BeatrIX, OpenWRT
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It looks like you are using telnet to connect to the sendmail on the local machine. Am I correct?

You might want to check if you are allowing relaying, otherwise, you can only send mail to local users.

I'm not sure the angle brackets <> are allowed in the MAIL From: line. Additionally, I think you need a space after the colon.
Either way, you are best off doing these experiments with your providers mailserver (or any properly configured mailserver, for that matter), to verify that your test procedure actually works.

You can configure sendmail to use a smarthost. In that case, all e-mail sent from your server will be sent to your provider first, which will then forward it to the final destination. this allows you to send mail from you host without it being classified as spam by the recipient (that is: this will be less probable).

Using telnet to a local mailserver is not the easiest way of sending mail from the commandline. Personally I prefer something like
sendmail -t < email-message-including-headers.txt
Good luck!

Old 12-08-2004, 06:13 PM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2004
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Thanks for your reply, kees-jan.

And sorry, I should have been more specific. That big chunk of code I put in isn't me doing something manually. It is the automatic output when I enter:

mail -v
So, to answer your first question, I'm not (manually) telnetting over there, although I guess my machine is.

The brackets I was referring to are in the file, around the url of the smtp server in the SMART_HOST definition, like so:

define(`SMART_HOST', `[]')dnl
According to the sites I've read (can't link to them cause I'm new here), this prevents SBC from giving sendmail a bogus hostname The brackets are there to make sure I get past their countermeasures (MX spoofing?) and get into the real server.

The problem is, sendmail isn't even reaching any server as far as I can see. Could this be because I'm behind a router? Or do I have to mess with /etc/hosts, /etc/sysconfig/network, or /etc/mail/local-host-names? I know very little about servers or networking; I'm just kinda an amateur home user, so this is all kinda bewildering.


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