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Old 06-11-2007, 12:23 PM   #1
SteveT
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Email for dummies


Has anyone seen a good EMail for dummies?
I want to be able to understand the transport mechanism - ie:

* How does my mail client send the mail out...?
* Do I need sendmail running?
* Do I need to have an ISP? What accounts do I have to have on the Net etc

The reason is I have just used mail out of the box before (Ximian Evolution) and it has just 'worked'. Now I want to batch email (using mutt) reports automatically and I get failures when sending - so I want a general 'how it works' type guide rather than 'this is how you configure it' (if that makes sense).
 
Old 06-11-2007, 06:48 PM   #2
cyberfishee
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email

=)
there is a section on how email works
 
Old 06-11-2007, 09:05 PM   #3
maroonbaboon
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This is nice too:

http://communication.howstuffworks.com/email.htm
 
Old 06-11-2007, 10:16 PM   #4
dive
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You are correct that Mutt itself does not send out mail. You need an MTA to do this such as sendmail etc

http://wiki.mutt.org/?MuttGuide/Send

Last edited by dive; 06-11-2007 at 10:17 PM.
 
Old 06-12-2007, 01:43 PM   #5
SteveT
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Thanks...

Thanks all. All very helpful.

I've now run mail (as it has a verbose option) on both a working server and my laptop (that doesn't work).
All I know need to understand is why the working server passes the message from mail-to-sendmail-to-web and works and why my laptop passes the message from mail-to-web and doesn't!
The only thing I can think of, is that my mail/mutt both now have an MTA built in (both laptop/server are FC4, but my laptop was always yum updated with latest) - I read that this (ie a built in MTA) was a requested feature - so I'll hunt around that area to see what I can spot.

Thanks again.
 
Old 06-12-2007, 02:09 PM   #6
creolophus
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this site might be useful: www.linuxhomenetworking.com
 
Old 06-12-2007, 03:48 PM   #7
dive
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Try running netstat -p | grep smtp on both machines and see if anything is running on port 25.
 
Old 06-13-2007, 11:14 AM   #8
SteveT
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OK. I know what I've done - a good start point! Be good if I had a memory longer than a goldfishes though.

I used to use yahoo as my email provider, but changed recently and bought full mail services from my domain provider. To save any hassle, I also then took their AUth'd SMTP service. This was back in Feb.
I changed Evolution so that mail went out through the 'new' SMTP service and I pick up mail from the POP service. Fine.

Now at the same time I dabbled with the sendmail.cf and added in the ability to use my email providers smtp service. Looking at it now, this then had the effect of effectively by passing sendmail and 'relaying' the message to that service.
I set up the client-info as per the sendmail instructions, but it seems then that my problem is AUTH'ing the outbound mail with my EMail providers AUTH'd SMTP server. I went onto to do other stuff and forgot about the changes as 'Evolution' was working fine.

So the mail -v trace makes sense in as much as I can see why I'm bypassing sendmail per se. I just don't see at the moment why the AUTH validation is failing - the mail -v output (or sendmail -v) gives:

steve@anaddress.co.uk... Connecting to smtp.myEmailProvider.co.uk. via relay...
220 smtp.myEmailProvider.co.uk ESMTP Exim 4.63 Wed, 13 Jun 2007 16:02:55 +0100
>>> EHLO mydomain.co.uk
250-smtp.myEmailProvider.co.uk Hello mydomain.co.uk [ww.xx.yy.zz]
250-SIZE 104857600
250-PIPELINING
250-AUTH LOGIN CRAM-MD5 NTLM
250-STARTTLS
250 HELP
>>> STARTTLS
220 TLS go ahead
>>> EHLO mydomain.co.uk
250-smtp.myEmailProvider.co.uk Hello mydomain.co.uk [ww.xx.yy.zz]
250-SIZE 104857600
250-PIPELINING
250-AUTH LOGIN CRAM-MD5 NTLM
250 HELP
>>> MAIL From:<stevet@mydomain.co.uk> SIZE=242 AUTH=stevet@mydomain.co.uk
250 OK
>>> RCPT To:<steve@anaddress.co.uk>
>>> DATA
550 relay not permitted
/home/stevet/dead.letter... Saved message in /home/stevet/dead.letter
Closing connection to smtp.myEmailProvider.co.uk.

So, no relay allowed presumably as I'm not passing the auth check at my Email providers. Any ideas on how to check whether the sendmail auth changes are working ok? I've looked at sendmail -b? type commands and can't see how I can see if its passing the user/password onto the email provider.
 
Old 06-16-2007, 07:53 AM   #9
SteveT
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Thanks all for your pointers and help.

I think I now have it working correctly.

In my scenario I have 2 laptops and 2 servers - each independently running mail-out operations in 'batch' (mail/mutt) mode and all running Ximian Evolution for interactive mail (although only one laptop uses interactive mail in earnest). Interactive mail via Evolution is/has been working fine on all machines.

So for batch mail:

The laptops and one of the servers connect to one ISP and the other (live) server connects to a different ISP. All share the AUTH'd SMTP services of my external mail provider (the mail provider is not my ISP). My mail provider provides AUTH'd SMTP access for outbound mail.

I needed each machine to be able to send batch 'alert' (and cron) type mail to my EMail address, so I can pick up alerts anywhere where I can connect to the net (and via Evolution).

To achieve this I have:
1. set up each machine with a name such as 'liveServer.myName', 'backupServer.myName', '610.myName' etc in the /etc/hosts (ie a dummy pseudo name).

2. Set up masquerading within sendmail.mc so that all machines in the domain get changed to 'myName.co.uk' (ie my correct domain name)

3. Set up name changing via 'generics' so that both my and root login on each machine get changed to a name@myName.co.uk

4. Set up smtp auth login for my EMail provider via SMART HOST and authinfo.

Does that sound about right for what I'm trying to do? I did have a problem before adding the masquerading where mail sent to name@myName was sent 'internally', but mail to, say, a yahoo.co.uk address worked fine. The masquerading than allowed me to send outside even what could have been deemed 'internal' mail.
 
  


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