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Old 08-20-2009, 12:47 PM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
Distribution: RHEL 5,6
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Setting Up Mail for delivery to server from client

Hi all,
I just don't get this email thing. I got a system with RHEL 5.3 Server with dovecot, sendmail, and thunderbird. I have found tons of stuff online about configuring a mail server, but little of it tells me how to get mail from a client to the server. I've tried to work with Postfix, Pine, Sendmail, Thunderbird, and the list goes on. I'm probably so confused now that I'm not even going to convey this properly, but let me try......

I got a system called wks90 which I decided would be my mail server. I installed dovecot, sendmail, and thunderbird. Then did some basic configuration via stuff I found online. Now the test, from the command line I use the simple "mail" command which succeeds. I bring up thunderbird and eureka!!! there is a message in /var/spool/mail/george.

Now here is where I get confused and things fall apart. I go to another system named wks50. I try some similar setup in sendmail trying to point it to wks90 as the server, I assumed dovecot was not needed, made and entry in /etc/aliases, and will use my thunderbird on wks90. So at the wks50 command line I mail -v to george@mydomain.priv. The message seems to work ok, but still goes to wks50's /var/spool/mail.

How in the name of sanity do I get the mail to go to /var/spool/mail on wks90? OR somewhere that is centrally located. I tried to mount /var/spool/mail to wks50, but then wks50's mail to root started queueing up and going nowhere.

I guess I got the whole concept of mail wrong somewhere in my thinking. I just want the mail from any client to wind up at one server (wks90) and in a central location on wks90 so that any client like wks50, wks60, and wks70, using thunderbird, can read the mail from that central location. To me this sounds like I need to mount that central location to each client, but how do I then deal with the queuing root mail? Or is sounds like a need something like that old "movemail" command to take it and move it.

I have another server that is the HOME server (server1). The physical location of all $HOMEs is here i.e. /home/george. Would this be a better mail server?

Ok enough ... this is getting to long.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 08-20-2009, 02:50 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: Val-des-Monts, Québec, Canada
Distribution: CentOS, RHEL, Fedora
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Check here:
Old 08-20-2009, 10:03 PM   #3
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Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Sydney
Distribution: Centos 7.7 (?), Centos 8.1
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For security purposes, sendmail installs only listening to (localhost). You have to amend the cfg file to allow it to listen on all interfaces .
A 1 line fix iirc, comment out the line that restricts it to and rebuild the cfg.

Ahh here we are:

in, amend to look like

dnl DAEMON_OPTIONS('Port=smtp,Addr=, Name=MTA') dnl

and restart sendmail.

netstat -tulpn|grep sendmail

to check

Last edited by chrism01; 08-20-2009 at 10:09 PM.
Old 08-21-2009, 10:44 AM   #4
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
Distribution: RHEL 5,6
Posts: 21

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Thanks wolfperkins and chrism01. I had seen that article before, but this time I printed it out to make reading easier. Your suggestions have worked. I can deliver email from a client (wks50) to the server.

Now I have to just watch and see what root's mail to /var/spool/mail/root will do. I don't want every system's root mail going to the mail server. I don't know if that is happening yet so that is my next test.

Can the mail delivery to normal users be redirected vi Can they go to /var/spool/mail/users/<usernames>? Is /var/spool/mail/ a good location once I move to my next step of getting IMAP or POP up so I can use an email client like Thunderbird?

I also don't have NIS running so I am currently updated each client with each user's name i.e. george: george@wks90.domain.priv for example. Updates to /etc/aliases is pretty easy with rsync or scp in a script, but a centralized aliases would be nice. Any ideas on that? For now I can't use NIS, LDAP, etc., due to a configuration freeze on the systems.
Old 08-21-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
Distribution: RHEL 5,6
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It looks like root mail is ok. Since I am defining

george: george@wks90.domain.priv

that is where that goes.

postmaster, adm, operater, and others are still just defined root so it stays local since it is without any FQDN on it.

Thanks to all your help. Funny how much clearer things are now. "The lights ARE on and someone IS actually home now."


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