Posts Tagged ‘smtp’

Install Sendmail mail server on Debian GNU / Linux

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Installing sendmail on Debian Linux is something not so common these days. As sendmail has been overshadowed by his competitors Exim and Postfix. By default Debian Linux comes with Exim (light) installed as Exim is tiny and perfectly suitable for dealing with small and mid-sized SMTP needs. The reason why sendmail has been moved out by its competitors over the last 15 years is sendmail configuration is one big hell and besides that sendmail has been well known for its many security remote exploit holes – making it a famous target for crackers. Well anyways in some cases sendmail is necessary to install especially if you have a client which wants to have it set up. In this short article I will show how very basic sendmail installation on Debian host is done.

 blackstar:~# apt-get install sendmail-bin sensible-mda

Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree      
Reading state information… Done

The following extra packages will be installed:
  sendmail-base sendmail-cf sensible-mda
Suggested packages:
  sendmail-doc logcheck resolvconf sasl2-bin
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  exim4 exim4-base exim4-config exim4-daemon-light sa-exim task-mail-server
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  sendmail-base sendmail-bin sendmail-cf
0 upgraded, 3 newly installed, 6 to remove and 26 not upgraded.
Need to get 1,626 kB of archives.
After this operation, 592 kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? Y
Get:1 http://ftp.bg.debian.org/debian/ wheezy/main sendmail-base all 8.14.4-2.1 [362 kB]
Get:2 http://ftp.bg.debian.org/debian/ wheezy/main sendmail-cf all 8.14.4-2.1 [300 kB]
Get:3 http://ftp.bg.debian.org/debian/ wheezy/main sendmail-bin i386 8.14.4-2.1 [964 kB]
Fetched 1,626 kB in 0s (3,057 kB/s)  
(Reading database … 199577 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing task-mail-server …
Selecting previously unselected package sendmail-base.
(Reading database … 199577 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking sendmail-base (from …/sendmail-base_8.14.4-2.1_all.deb) …
Selecting previously unselected package sendmail-cf.
Unpacking sendmail-cf (from …/sendmail-cf_8.14.4-2.1_all.deb) …
Processing triggers for man-db …
(Reading database … 199939 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing sa-exim …
[….] Reloading exim4 configuration files:invoke-rc.d: initscript exim4, action "reload" failed.
dpkg: exim4-config: dependency problems, but removing anyway as you requested:
 exim4-base depends on exim4-config (>= 4.30) | exim4-config-2; however:
  Package exim4-config is to be removed.
  Package exim4-config-2 is not installed.
  Package exim4-config which provides exim4-config-2 is to be removed.
 exim4-base depends on exim4-config (>= 4.30) | exim4-config-2; however:
  Package exim4-config is to be removed.
  Package exim4-config-2 is not installed.
  Package exim4-config which provides exim4-config-2 is to be removed.

Removing exim4-config …
dpkg: exim4-daemon-light: dependency problems, but removing anyway as you requested:
 exim4 depends on exim4-daemon-light | exim4-daemon-heavy | exim4-daemon-custom; however:
  Package exim4-daemon-light is to be removed.
  Package exim4-daemon-heavy is not installed.
  Package exim4-daemon-custom is not installed.
 bsd-mailx depends on default-mta | mail-transport-agent; however:
  Package default-mta is not installed.
  Package exim4-daemon-light which provides default-mta is to be removed.
  Package mail-transport-agent is not installed.
  Package exim4-daemon-light which provides mail-transport-agent is to be removed.
 bsd-mailx depends on default-mta | mail-transport-agent; however:
  Package default-mta is not installed.
  Package exim4-daemon-light which provides default-mta is to be removed.
  Package mail-transport-agent is not installed.
  Package exim4-daemon-light which provides mail-transport-agent is to be removed.

Removing exim4-daemon-light …
[ ok ] Stopping MTA:.
ALERT: exim paniclog /var/log/exim4/paniclog has non-zero size, mail system possibly broken
dpkg: exim4-base: dependency problems, but removing anyway as you requested:
 exim4 depends on exim4-base (>= 4.80).

Removing exim4-base …
Processing triggers for man-db …
Selecting previously unselected package sendmail-bin.
(Reading database … 199786 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking sendmail-bin (from …/sendmail-bin_8.14.4-2.1_i386.deb) …
Processing triggers for man-db …
Setting up sendmail-base (8.14.4-2.1) …
adduser: Warning: The home directory `/var/lib/sendmail' does not belong to the user you are currently creating.
Setting up sendmail-cf (8.14.4-2.1) …
Setting up sendmail-bin (8.14.4-2.1) …
update-rc.d: warning: default stop runlevel arguments (0 1 6) do not match sendmail Default-Stop values (1)
update-alternatives: using /usr/lib/sm.bin/sendmail to provide /usr/sbin/sendmail-mta (sendmail-mta) in auto mode
update-alternatives: using /usr/lib/sm.bin/sendmail to provide /usr/sbin/sendmail-msp (sendmail-msp) in auto mode
update-alternatives: warning: not replacing /usr/share/man/man8/sendmail.8.gz with a link

You are doing a new install, or have erased /etc/mail/sendmail.mc.
If you've accidentaly erased /etc/mail/sendmail.mc, check /var/backups.

I am creating a safe, default sendmail.mc for you and you can
run sendmailconfig later if you need to change the defaults.

[ ok ] Stopping Mail Transport Agent (MTA): sendmail.
Updating sendmail environment …
Validating configuration.
Writing configuration to /etc/mail/sendmail.conf.
Writing /etc/cron.d/sendmail.
Could not open /etc/mail/databases(No such file or directory), creating it.
Could not open /etc/mail/sendmail.mc(No such file or directory)
Reading configuration from /etc/mail/sendmail.conf.
Validating configuration.
Writing configuration to /etc/mail/sendmail.conf.
Writing /etc/cron.d/sendmail.
Turning off Host Status collection
Could not open /etc/mail/databases(No such file or directory), creating it.
Reading configuration from /etc/mail/sendmail.conf.
Validating configuration.
Creating /etc/mail/databases…

Checking filesystem, this may take some time – it will not hang!
  …   Done.
 
Checking for installed MDAs…
Adding link for newly extant program (mail.local)
Adding link for newly extant program (procmail)
sasl2-bin not installed, not configuring sendmail support.

To enable sendmail SASL2 support at a later date, invoke "/usr/share/sendmail/update_auth"

 
Creating/Updating SSL(for TLS) information
Creating /etc/mail/tls/starttls.m4…
Creating SSL certificates for sendmail.
Generating DSA parameters, 2048 bit long prime
This could take some time
…+………………..+.+..+..+++
..+.+………….+.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++*
Generating RSA private key, 2048 bit long modulus
………………..+++
…………………+++
e is 65537 (0x10001)

*** *** *** WARNING *** WARNING *** WARNING *** WARNING *** *** ***

Everything you need to support STARTTLS (encrypted mail transmission
and user authentication via certificates) is installed and configured
but is *NOT* being used.

To enable sendmail to use STARTTLS, you need to:
1) Add this line to /etc/mail/sendmail.mc and optionally
   to /etc/mail/submit.mc:
  include(`/etc/mail/tls/starttls.m4')dnl
2) Run sendmailconfig
3) Restart sendmail

 
Updating /etc/hosts.allow, adding "sendmail: all".

Please edit /etc/hosts.allow and check the rules location to
make sure your security measures have not been overridden –
it is common to move the sendmail:all line to the *end* of
the file, so your more selective rules take precedence.
Checking {sendmail,submit}.mc and related databases…
Reading configuration from /etc/mail/sendmail.conf.
Validating configuration.
Creating /etc/mail/databases…
Reading configuration from /etc/mail/sendmail.conf.
Validating configuration.
Creating /etc/mail/databases…
Reading configuration from /etc/mail/sendmail.conf.
Validating configuration.
Creating /etc/mail/Makefile…
Reading configuration from /etc/mail/sendmail.conf.
Validating configuration.
Writing configuration to /etc/mail/sendmail.conf.
Writing /etc/cron.d/sendmail.
Disabling HOST statistics file(/var/lib/sendmail/host_status).
Creating /etc/mail/sendmail.cf…
*** ERROR: FEATURE() should be before MAILER()
*** MAILER(`local') must appear after FEATURE(`always_add_domain')*** ERROR: FEATURE() should be before MAILER()
*** MAILER(`local') must appear after FEATURE(`allmasquerade')*** ERROR: FEATURE() should be before MAILER()
 
Creating /etc/mail/submit.cf…
Informational: confCR_FILE file empty: /etc/mail/relay-domains
Warning: confCT_FILE source file not found: /etc/mail/trusted-users
 it was created
Informational: confCT_FILE file empty: /etc/mail/trusted-users
Warning: confCW_FILE source file not found: /etc/mail/local-host-names
 it was created
Warning: access_db source file not found: /etc/mail/access
 it was created
Updating /etc/mail/access…
Linking /etc/aliases to /etc/mail/aliases
Updating /etc/mail/aliases…

WARNING: local host name (blackstar) is not qualified; see cf/README: WHO AM I?
/etc/mail/aliases: 13 aliases, longest 10 bytes, 145 bytes total
 
Warning: 3 database(s) sources
    were not found, (but were created)
    please investigate.
 
Warning: These messages were issued while creating sendmail.cf
    make sure they are benign before starting sendmail!
 
Errors in generating sendmail.cf
*** ERROR: FEATURE() should be before MAILER()
*** MAILER(`local') must appear after FEATURE(`always_add_domain')*** ERROR: FEATURE() should be before MAILER()
*** MAILER(`local') must appear after FEATURE(`allmasquerade')*** ERROR: FEATURE() should be before MAILER()
 
[ ok ] Starting Mail Transport Agent (MTA): sendmail.
(Reading database … 199837 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing exim4 …
 

Right after packages gets installed it is good idea to get rid of any remains of previous exim SMTP install, run;

blackstar:~# dpkg --purge exim4
blackstar:~# dpkg --purge exim4-base
blackstar:~# dpkg --purge exim4-config
blackstar:~# dpkg --purge exim4-daemon-light
blackstar:~# dpkg --purge sa-exim

blackstar:~# grep -i sendmail /etc/passwd
smmta:x:121:128:Mail Transfer Agent,,,:/var/lib/sendmail:/bin/false
smmsp:x:124:129:Mail Submission Program,,,:/var/lib/sendmail:/bin/false
blackstar:~# grep -i -E "smmta|smmsp" /etc/passwd
smmta:x:121:128:Mail Transfer Agent,,,:/var/lib/sendmail:/bin/false
smmsp:x:124:129:Mail Submission Program,,,:/var/lib/sendmail:/bin/false

Sendmail install does create two new users smmta and smmsp in /etc/passwd and /etc/group

As you see from earlier apt-get output sendmail is provided on Debian via 4 packs:

root@blackstar:~# dpkg -l |grep -i sendmail
ii  libmail-sendmail-perl                0.79.16-1                          all          Send email from a perl script
ii  sendmail-base                        8.14.4-2.1                         all          powerful, efficient, and scalable Mail Transport Agent
ii  sendmail-bin                         8.14.4-2.1                         i386         powerful, efficient, and scalable Mail Transport Agent
ii  sendmail-cf                          8.14.4-2.1                         all          powerful, efficient, and scalable Mail Transport Agent

libmail-sendmail-perl installs a perl module (class)  /usr/share/perl5/Mail/Sendmail.pm.

sendmail-bin contains main sendmail components binary files, cron bindings related to sendmail, some manual pages and creates structure necessary for sendmail to process email queue. sendmail-cf provides a multitude of sendmail configurations in macroses and few documentation files on the macros configuration. All sendmail configuration macros are stored in /usr/share/sendmail/* – there are pleny of .m4 configs so for people who never installed sendmail it is really confusing.

sendmail-base package contains some bindings on how to to log rotate sendmail log files, few more sendmail binaries who deal with sendmail architecture, few files whether sendmail is run via PPP or DHCP connection, some documentation and example files. Sendmail documentation is installed in /usr/share/doc/sendmail*,  unfortunately documentation there is scarce so for extended documentation it is good to check Sendmail's Official site

To check if sendmail is running you should have it visible  in the list of running processes;

root@blackstar:~# ps xa|grep sendmail|grep -v grep
  468 ?        Ss     0:00 sendmail: MTA: accepting connections        

Further on it should be accepting connections on localhost / 25, i.e.

root@blackstar:~# telnet localhost 25
Trying ::1...
Trying 127.0.0.1...
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 blackstar ESMTP Sendmail 8.14.4/8.14.4/Debian-2.1; Sat, 30 Mar 2013 19:09:47 +0200; (No UCE/UBE) logging access from: localhost(OK)-localhost [127.0.0.1] ^]
telnet> quit
 

 

Sendmail's configuration is being generated using a macro file using a macro processor via m4 command. There are few files, used as a basis for generation the final m4 most important of course is /etc/mail/sendmail.mc and sendmail.cf  –  /etc/mail/sendmail.cf, sendmail.mc after processed with the mambo-jambo with m4 generates the complex and about 15 times larger by size sendmail.cf.
All configs related to generating files instructing how sendmail will operate are stored in /etc/mail;

blackstar:~#  ls -1
access
access.db
address.resolve
aliases
aliases.db
databases
helpfile
local-host-names
m4
Makefile
peers
sasl
sendmail.cf
sendmail.cf.errors
sendmail.conf
sendmail.mc
service.switch
service.switch-nodns
smrsh
spamassassin
submit.cf
submit.mc
tls

sendmail.cf.errors
– contains errors during processing of macros config files.

 

root@blackstar:/etc/mail# cat sendmail.cf.errors
*** ERROR: FEATURE() should be before MAILER()
*** MAILER(`local') must appear after FEATURE(`always_add_domain')*** ERROR: FEATURE() should be before MAILER()
*** MAILER(`local') must appear after FEATURE(`allmasquerade')*** ERROR: FEATURE() should be before MAILER()

This errors, are not fatal as sendmail.cf is there and sendmail is from now on ready to send mails via localhost.

To check if sendmail delivers mails onwards, use mail cmd;
 

hipo@blackstar:~$ mail -s "testing" test@pc-freak.net
this is a simple test email
Do you get it?
.
Cc:

To see all is fine with mail delivery check out /var/log/mail.log

blackstar:~# tail -f /var/log/mail/log
Mar 30 21:23:05 blackstar sm-msp-queue[1495]: unable to qualify my own domain name (blackstar) -- using short name
Mar 30 21:23:09 blackstar sm-mta[1499]: STARTTLS=client, relay=mail.pc-freak.net., version=TLSv1/SSLv3, verify=FAIL, cipher=AES256-SHA, bits=256/256
Mar 30 21:23:11 blackstar sm-mta[1524]: r2UJN8x2001524: localhost [127.0.0.1] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MTA-v4
Mar 30 21:23:13 blackstar sm-mta[1499]: r2UJKwqR001412: to=<hipo@pc-freak.net>, ctladdr=<root@blackstar> (0/0), delay=00:02:15, xdelay=00:00:10, mailer=esmtp, pri=210313, relay=mail.pc-freak.net. [83.228.93.76], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (ok 1364671405 qp 7492)
Mar 30 21:24:28 blackstar sendmail[1532]: My unqualified host name (blackstar) unknown; sleeping for retry
Mar 30 21:27:16 blackstar sendmail[1633]: My unqualified host name (blackstar) unknown; sleeping for retry

As you see there is an error in mail.log
 

blackstar sendmail[1532]: My unqualified host name (blackstar) unknown; sleeping for retry


This is because blackstar is not assigned as a a host recognized to 127.0.0.1 in /etc/hosts. To solve it on my host I had to change /etc/hosts which looked like so:

blackstar:~# cat /etc/hosts
127.0.0.1    localhost
127.0.1.1    blackstar
# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters

to

blackstar:~# vim /etc/hosts

127.0.0.1    localhost localhost.localdomain blackstar
127.0.1.1    blackstar

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
 

 

Then restart sendmail to reread /etc/hosts
 

root@blackstar:/etc/mail# /etc/init.d/sendmail restart
[ ok ] Restarting Mail Transport Agent (MTA): sendmail.

 

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How to change hostname in Postfix SMTP on Debian Linux

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Edit /etc/postfix/main.cf and see for line;

myhostname =

Define;

myhostname = YOUR_SMTP_HOSTNAME.COM
 

Also make sure it YOUR_SMTP_HOSTNAME.COM is defined as first one (in case of multiple ones) to mydestination =

mydestination = YOUR_SMTP_HOSTNAME.COM server1-bla-bla.com

Finally restart Exim;

debian:~# /etc/init.d/postfix restart
Stopping Postfix Mail Transport Agent: postfix.
Starting Postfix Mail Transport Agent: postfix.
 

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How to change Exim mail server hostname on Debian Linux

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

If you have to configure Exim mail server to act as RELAY Forwarding SMTP through another mail server and nomatter, you set up in dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config command a hostname still connecting to localhost port 25 shows a hostname identical as configured hostname for server. You will have to explicitly instruct exim to desired hostname like so:

debian:~# cp -rpf /etc/exim4/exim4.conf.template /etc/exim4/exim4.conf

Then edit /etc/exim4/exim4.conf

Add somewhere in beginning of config file

primary_hostname = DESIRED_HOSTNAME.COM

To make exim load new settings, restart SMTP:

debian:~# /etc/init.d/exim4 restart

Stopping MTA for restart: exim4_listener.
Restarting MTA: exim4.
 

debian:~# telnet localhost 25
Trying 127.0.0.1...
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 DESIRED_HOSTNAME.COM ESMTP Exim 4.72 Tue, 19 Mar 2013 19:02:52 +0000
^]
telnet> quit
Connection closed.

 

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How to configure mail server forwarding on Postfix – Email forwarding from one Postfix SMTP to another

Friday, March 1st, 2013

I needed to configure mail forwarding from one Postfix mail server with a correct MX and PTR record to another one for a reason the second mail server has filtered port 25, because of ISP policy. As it is recommended in such situations, I've configured mail forwarding from postfix host1 to host2 to use (submission) port number 587 which general purpose is for exactly situations like this. Mail forwarding is done via a simple /etc/postfix/main.cf, /usr/local/etc/postfix/main.cf (depending where Postfix is installed).

Thus as my postfix configs are in /etc/postfix, I edited /etc/postfix/main.cf on forwarding Postfix mail server, where mail comes in (host1) and added line:

relayhost = [123.123.123.123]:587

Where 123.123.123.123 is IP address of host2

To load settings I had to do the usual postfix restart

postfix# /etc/rc.d/postfix restart

postfix/postfix-script: stopping the Postfix mail system
postfix/postfix-script: starting the Postfix mail system

On host2 – to which mail is forwarded, I had to add access for host1 to relay mail  in /etc/postfix/main.cf had to include:

mynetworks = 124.124.124.124

and 124.124.124.124 is IP of host1

One note to make is if mynetworks is not defined to host of host1 mail server, you will get in /var/log/maillog error:

Relay access denied (in reply to RCPT TO command))

Here is paste chunk from /var/log/maillog

Mar  1 08:57:01 host1 postfix/smtp[95236]: 88C8B11F911:
                    to=<amaderit.for.brother+caf_=amaderit2013FINAL=forward-host.org@gmail.com>, relay=24.129.36.212[24.129.36.212]:587, delay=0.54,
                    delays=0.01/0/0.44/0.09, dsn=5.7.1, status=bounced (host 24.129.36.212[24.129.36.212] said: 554 5.7.1
                    <amaderit.for.brother+caf_=amaderit2013FINAL=forward-host.org@gmail.com>: Relay access denied (in reply to RCPT TO command))

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How to change default port 25 to 995 or any other on Postfix mail server

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

If you need to change default mail delivery port of Postfix mail server from 25 to any other port lets say to 995. Here is how:

Edit /etc/postfix/master.cf  – a small note to make here is master.cf is located on same location on mostly all Linux distributions as well as FreeBSD.

Find line with:

smtp      inet  n       –       n       –       –       smtpd

Change smtp – which is actually a reference for port 25 to whatever port you need – i.e. 995 After change line should look like:

995      inet  n       –       n       –       –       smtpd

Save config file and restart postfix to load new settings:

# /etc/rc.d/postfix restart
postfix/postfix-script: stopping the Postfix mail system
postfix/postfix-script: starting the Postfix mail system

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Fixing QMAIL mail server SMTP auto-configure issues in Thunderbird and other mail IMAP / POP3 mobile clients

Friday, July 13th, 2012

One of the QMAIL mail servers, setup-uped on a Debian host has been creating some auto configuration issues. Every-time a new mail user tries to use the embedded Thunderbird client auto configuration, the auto config fails leaving the client unable to use his Mailbox through POP3 or IMAP protocols.

Since about 2 years Thunderbird and many other modern pop3 and imap mail desktop and mobile clients are by default using the auto configuration and hence it was unthinkable to manually change settings for new clients with the QMAIl install; Besides that most of the Office users are always confused, whether they have to manually change SMTP or POP3 host for a server.

Below is a screenshot displaying the warning during email auto-configuration:

Thunderbird new Mail account setup auto config warning SMTP not OKThe orange color in the button for the newly auto-detected smtp.mail-domain.com indicates, something is not right with the SMTP host.

Obviously, something was wrong with smtp.mail-domain.com, hence I checked where smtp.mail.domain.com resolves with host command. What I found was actually smtp.mail-domain.com Active ( A ) DNS records was pointing to an IP address, our company previously used for the mail server. At present time the correct mail server host name is mx.mail-domain.com and the QMAIL installation on mx.soccerfame.com is configured to be the actual SMTP server.

By default Thunderbird and many other POP3, IMAP mail clients, however automatically assume the default SMTP host for a mail server is to be configured under a host name smtp.mail-domain.com. This is really strange, especially when the primary MX record for mail-domain.com domain is pointing to mx.mail-domain.com, e.g.:

qmail:~# host -t MX mail-domain.com
soccerfame.com mail is handled by 10 mx.mail-domain.com.
soccerfame.com mail is handled by 20 mail.mail-domain.com.
soccerfame.com mail is handled by 30 mail-domain.com.

The whole warning was caused due to the fact mx.mail-domain.com was resolving to an IP like xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, whether smtp.mail-domain.com was resolving to yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy

Both xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx and yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy hosts were configured to have a different qmail SMTP host i.e.:

The server under IP xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx – (mx.mail-domain.com) was configured in /var/qmail/control/me to be mx.mail-domain.com and the other old one yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy – (mail.mail-domain.com) had (mail.mail-domain.com) in /var/qmail/control/me

As smtp.mail-domain.com was actually being still resolved to mail.mail-domain.com, the EMAILs were improperly trying to be sent with a configured DNS hostname of smtp.mail-domain.com, where the actual one on the server was mail.mail-domain

It took, me about an hour of pondering what is causing the oddities until I got the here explained issue. As the DNS recors for the domain the sample mail-domain.com were handled by Godaddy, to fix the mess, I logged in to Godaddy and;

a) deleted – DNS record for smtp.mail-domain.com.
b) Created new CNAME record for smtp.mail-domain.com to be a domain alias for mx.soccerfame.com

A few minutes, afterwards I tried configuring once again the same email account in Thunderbird and this time both imap.mail-domain.com and smtp.mail-domain.com turned green; indicating everything is configured fine.

To be 100% sure all is working fine I first fetched, all email via the IMAP protocol without hassles and onwards sent a test email to my Gmail account; thanksfully the sent email was delivered to Gmail indicating both Get Mail and Send Mail functions worked now fine.

Thunderbird icedove new mail account setup auto config Okay
 

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How to fix “sslserver: fatal: unable to load certificate” Qmail error on GNU / Linux

Friday, October 14th, 2011

After setupping a brand new Qmail installation following the QmailRocks Thibs Qmail Debian install guide , I’ve come across unexpected re-occuring error message in /var/log/qmail/qmail-smtpdssl/ , here is the message:

@400000004e9807b10d8bdb7c command-line: exec sslserver -e -vR -l my-mailserver-domain.com -c 30 -u 89 -g 89
-x /etc/tcp.smtp.cdb 0 465 rblsmtpd -r zen.spamhaus.org -r dnsbl.njabl.org -r dnsbl.sorbs.net -r bl.spamcop.net qmail-smtpd
my-mailserver-domain.com /home/vpopmail/bin/vchkpw /bin/true 2>&1
@400000004e9807b10dae2ca4 sslserver: fatal: unable to load certificate

I was completely puzzled initially by the error as the sertificate file /var/qmail/control/servercert.pem was an existing and properly self generated one. Besides that qmail daemontools init script /service/qmail-smtpd/run was loading the file just fine, where the same file failed to get loaded when sslserver command with the cert argument was invoked via /service/qmail-smtpdssl/run

It took me quite a while to thoroughfully investigate on what’s wrong with the new qmail install. Thanksfully after almost an hour of puzzling I found it out and I was feeling as a complete moron to find that the all issues was caused by incorrect permissions of the /var/qmail/control/servercert.pem file.
Here are the incorrect permissions the file possessed:

linux:~# ls -al /var/qmail/control/servercert.pem
-rw------- 1 qmaild qmail 2311 2011-10-12 13:21 /var/qmail/control/servercert.pem

To fix up the error I had to allow all users to have reading permissions over servercert.pem , e.g.:

linux:~# chmod a+r /var/qmail/control/servercert.pem

After adding all users readable bit on servercert.pem the file permissions are like so:

linux:~# ls -al /var/qmail/control/servercert.pem
-rw-r--r-- 1 qmaild qmail 2311 2011-10-12 13:21 /var/qmail/control/servercert.pem

Consequently I did a qmail restart to make sure the new readable servercert.pem will get loaded from the respective init script:

linux:~# qmailctl restart
* Stopping qmail-smtpdssl.
* Stopping qmail-smtpd.
* Sending qmail-send SIGTERM and restarting.
* Restarting qmail-smtpd.
* Restarting qmail-smtpdssl.

Now the annoying sslserver: fatal: unable to load certificate message is no more and all works fine, Hooray! 😉

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How to configure Exim to relay mail to remote SMTP server on Debian and Ubuntu

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

I’m required to do some mail relaying on a Debian Linux host which should use a remote mail server to relay its mails.
Until so far I’ve had not much experience with exim as I prefer using qmail, whever a mail server is needed. However since now only a relaying was necessery and exim is the default installed MTA on Debian, I’ve decided to use exim to take care of the SMTP mail relaying.
After a bit of reading it happened configuring exim to relay via remote SMTP server is more than easy!

All I had to do is run the command:

debian-relay:~# dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config

Next in the Ncruses interface to appear:

Debian Exim relay smtp config screenshot

I had to choose the option:

mail sent by smarthost; no local mail

Next a dialog appears asking for:
System mail name:
Therein it’s necessery to type in the hostname of the remote SMTP to be used for mail relay.
Next dialog asks for:
IP-addresses to listen on for incoming SMTP connections:
and I left it with 127.0.0.1 however if exim is supposed to be visible from external network one might decide to put in real IP address there.

Pressing OK leads to the next dialog:
 Other destinations for which mail is accepted: 
I decided to leave this blank as I don’t want to accept mail for any destinations.
Next pane reads:
Visible domain name for local users:
I’ve typed inside my smtp relay server e.g.:
smtp.myrelaymail.com

Further comes:
IP address or host name of the outgoing smarthost:
There once again I typed my mail relay host smtp.relaymail.com

The next config screen is:
Keep number of DNS-queries minimal (Dial-on-Demand)?
On any modern Linux host the default answer of No is fine.
Following prompt asked if I want to:
Split configuration into small files?
I’ve decided not to tamper with it and choosed No
Afterwards mail relaying works like a charm thx God 😉

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