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Old 12-13-2004, 04:39 AM   #1
taylodge
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Question RH 9.0, sendmail 8.13.1, mail queue stalls...


I am running sendmail 8.13.1 on a RH9 box to manage email for a group of 5 users. works nicely 90% of the time. once or twice a week I will start getting messages like:

"sender notify: Warning: could not send message for past 30 minutes: 1 Time(s)"

when i log into the linux box and do a 'mailq' i can see messages waiting on the queue (there's only one). if i issue a 'sendmail -q' from the command line / 'ping' or 'host' my isp's mail server then the queue will empty and all messages will be processed.

i'm wondering do i have a config. error in sendmail?

T.
 
Old 12-13-2004, 07:22 AM   #2
trickykid
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"ping" or "host" your ISP's mail server? What's that all about, how exactly are you getting mail to this mail server? Thru fetchmail or something? Better details get better replies.
 
Old 12-13-2004, 07:50 AM   #3
taylodge
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My smtp server (sendmail) sees my ISP's smtp server as it's 'SMARTHOST' (external mail server). It takes all the mail from my mail clients (mostly outlook clients) and forwards to the ISP's server.

I don't use anything other than sendmail.

'ping' is just an observation. if I ping the ISP's mail server (not joking here) then the mailq clears. similar if I use the 'host' command to resolve the ISP's mail servers name, the mailq clears. I only noticed this as, once or twice, i wondered if the ISP's mail server had gone off the air (but it hadn't, it happily responds to pings, etc.)
 
Old 12-13-2004, 07:53 AM   #4
trickykid
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Sounds to me that your machine is losing its cache for host information for your ISP's actual IP, etc. You could probably setup a cron job and script to do the host command check on it every hour or so since that fixes the problem. It would probably also make you mailq not hang as well.
 
Old 12-13-2004, 08:02 AM   #5
Emerson
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Writing your ISP mail server to your hosts file may help, too.
 
Old 12-13-2004, 08:23 AM   #6
taylodge
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i considered cron'ing a job to 'ping' or 'host' all right - and still might do that. i'm kind of thinkin' of that as a last resort.

i hadn't thought of adding the ISP's mail server to the hosts file - will try that to see what happens (might take a few days to find out tho...).

i will also take a look at the NS config to see if i can see something suspect (using some flavor of BIND - can't remeber the exact version, prob whatever came with RH9). you're probably right that sendmail is fine and the NS may be the 'cause of the problem.

thanks for the input - much appreciated. i'll follow up with the outcome in a couple of days!

T.
 
Old 12-16-2004, 05:07 AM   #7
taylodge
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ok - two days have passed - i took the option of adding my ISP's mail server to the /etc/hosts file - and it made no difference. the mailq built up again today.

i had a look to see if named was running as a caching only nameserver on the mail machine - and named is not running at all. the box is resolving everything through another nameserver on our network (/etc/resolv.conf points to a WinNT primary dns, with no backup dns).

so i think i have two options at the moment:
a) cron a job to ping or host my ISP's mail server...
b) set up bind on the mailserver and get it to act as it's own nameserver (trusting bind more than the WinNT nameserver)

the problem with option a) is I don't like it.
the problem with option b) is - do i know for sure the nameserver is the problem?

opinions?
 
  


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