Email clients in Ubuntu

Preston Hagar prestonh at
Tue Sep 1 17:36:47 UTC 2009

On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 2:21 PM, <robfleet at> wrote:
> Greetings all,
> I have developed a sudden strange problem that I can't seem to remedy so I thought I'd throw it out for comment...
> I have two desktop machines running Ubuntu (9.04) in my home.  My machine downstairs is presently awaiting a new motherboard from IBM, hopefully tomorrow, but it has both XT and Ubuntu on it in a dual boot configuration.  My machine upstairs is configured with only Ubuntu 9.04 (no Windows).  Sometime in the past several days, I cannot get any e-mail client to send mail (whether I use Evolution or Thunderbird).  It receives email fine and my machine downstairs (before IBM determined I needed a new motherboard) was able to send mail while in either Windows or while running Ubuntu.  We spent quite a bit of time on the phone with our ISP inquiring as to whether they had made any recent changes to their SMTP server(s) but they claim not.
> It is a complete mystery to me as to why my one machine can send mail but my other one cannot.  It does not appears to be client specific since the same symptom appears in Thunderbird as in Evolution.
> If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear 'em.
> Many thanks in advance.
> Rob

My guess would be that it has something to do with the client
configuration, although that isn't clear.  To clarify a few things:

Has the upstairs machine (the one with the problem) ever been able to
send email?

What exactly happens when you try to send?  An error message in the
client, the email you sent being returned as undeliverable or with an

If there is an error message, what is that error message?

Do you know the port number your smtp server uses? (usually 25 or 465,
but I have seen many different ones depending on your email provider)

Can you try opening a terminal and then doing the following:

telnet <smtp_server>  <port_number>

where <smtp_server> is replaced with your smtp server address and
<port_number> is replaced with the port number you should use.  For
example, if your email provider was yahoo, it might be something like:

telnet 465

and then post the output.

As a last idea, I know that some email providers have a limited number
of "SMTP Relays" where they limit the number of messages you can send
through their SMTP server per day/month (I know GoDaddy does this, for
example).  Do you know if your provider has such a limit and if maybe
you have it it (since your message was sent on the last day of the

Post by the replies and hopefully someone can help out.


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