cannot send smtp email with exim

Peter Smerdon psmerdon at
Fri Feb 29 19:32:01 UTC 2008

"Alexandra Zaharia" <f0rg3r at> writes:

> Hi Peter,
> I use Postfix to some minimal extent - I only need it to run on my
> machine and either deliver mail locally, either I need to be able to
> connect to port 25 on my machine from another one in the subnet so for
> this limited use it's both suitable and fast for me. Anyway, the good
> thing with Postfix is that it's really, really well documented:
> -- extensive, I'd rather say
> So good luck with your setup! :-)

Thanks for the links, reading through them now..

> PS - The thing that I don't really understand regarding your setup is
> the fact that you say that you need to
> - be able to fetch your mail from your account at your ISPs domain (I
> suppose something like user at isp.mail)
> - be able to send e-mails as user at isp.mail to any destination (such as
> user at
> So why then do you need to run your *own* mail server? Isn't it
> possible to use an e-mail client such as KMail or Evolution etc. and
> just add an account, configuring the following:
> - the IMAP/POP3 server (and port) it needs to connect to in order to
> fetch your mail from imapserver.isp.mail:port or
> pop3server.isp.mail:port
> - the SMTP server (and port) it needs to connect to in order to send
> e-mail from user at isp.mail to user at (smtpserver.isp.mail:port)

Yes, perhaps this is a case of me posting without thinking things
through. I used to work in town all the time and occasionally on the
road. My desktop at home runs Debian unstable with exim4 as the default
MTA. I would let fetchmail place my mail onto the spool and read it with
Gnus (an emacs client). Sending mail was of course handled by exim.

I don't remember to be honest how I set up exim4 to authenticate but it

Then when I travel all I used to do was ssh into my home desktop and run
my email client inside gnu screen. This i swhat I am currently doing
however now my job takes me away from home much more so I thought why
not just duplicate the setup on my laptop, and when I travel, remove the
fetchmail command from my desktop's crontab and add a fetchmail crontab
to my laptop and then simply rsync the two machines when I get home.

The problem I am facing is that ubuntu is new to me and I am having
difficulty setting up an MTA.

As you suggested, I shall see if Gnus (my MUA) itself can do smtp, it
appears that it can. Because of the ssh I avoided graphical clients like
Evolution, and am quite happy with Gnus now so changing clients inst
really an option. 

So if you were to spend 5 weeks working and then 10 days at home, in a
repeating cycle, would you set up your desktop or laptop to be the
primary recipient? I don't like leaving the desktop running for 5 weeks
at a time just to receive emails but I can't think of a better solution.

Thanks for your patience, I hope that clarified somewhat my situation.


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