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Mail server problem

sending but not receivign email.

6:33 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 15, 2001
votes: 37

I set up a linux box to act as a mail server.

I created a virtual domain on the server mail.example.com and installed squirrel at that location. The install went fine and the app is performing as expected.

If I create a new message i can send it no problem, when th eemail arrives at it's location the return email address is normal me@example.com

when the mail is replied to, or a new mail is created the mail is never received at my server, but it doesnt bounce either.

I used dms to point mail.uxample.com to my ip using an mx record. I also used an a record for the actual subdomain mail.example.com

what else shoudl I be looking into?


7:01 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Does /var/log/maillog hold any clues?

I've often debugged mail problems by opening a "tail -f /var/log/maillog" and then sending email to watch what happens in real time.

Another option is to see what response your server gives to your incoming mail for yourself by opening a telnet session to your SMTP server and typing the commands manually...

telnet mail.example.com 25

Then type:

HELO mail.example.org <return>
MAIL FROM: someone@example.org <return>
RCPT TO: you@example.com <return>

...at this point your mail server should respond that it is prepared to accept mail for you@yourdomain.com, otherwise it should give a reason why not (user unknown etc.).

11:52 pm on Aug 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Could you have port 25 (SMTP) blocked by a firewall?
3:57 am on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, two basic troubleshooting tips.

1. Do as was listed above, connect FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD to your mail server on port 25 and try and send yourself a message manually.

2. From a machine on the outside world, get to a command prompt and use:

set type=MX
example.com. (Use the domain after @ in the email address)
mail.example.com. (lookup any domain name redirects you get)

and see if it returns the right IP address.

If #2 fails, it's a DNS problem. If #1 fails with a timeout, it's likely a firewall issue, if #1 fails with connection refused, it's your server's mail accepting software's listening configuration. If #1 fails with a valid connection, but a refusal to deliver, your mail software may not be configured correctly to accept mail for that domain.


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