Enabling mail program

Paul Johnson pauljohn32 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 3 02:21:10 UTC 2009

On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 10:55 AM, Michael Satterwhite<michael at weblore.com> wrote:
> I installed mailutils to enable command line email for scripts on my system.
> As a test, I ran
> mail -s "Test Message" michael at weblore.com < /dev/null
> It seemed to run without error, but I never received the test message.
> Obviously, I need to do something else to get the mail program working.
> Would someone be so kind as to let me in on the magic that I'm missing?
> Thanks in advance
> ---Michael
I've just been through this problem on Ubuntu 9.04. I was running
sendmail over and over again, and messages just disappeared.  I
learned that sendmail is a symbolic link to exim4.

$ ls -la /usr/sbin/sendmail
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 5 2009-05-01 13:48 /usr/sbin/sendmail -> exim4

By default, exim4 is configured to allow you to only send mail within
the local host. It will not send mail to other hosts.  You have to
reconfigure it.

I did not bother to learn the reasons for this frustrating setup, and
I don't understand all the jargon that comes up when you try to fix
it.  But if you run this:

dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config

It will walk you through some config changes and if you guess luckily,
you will fix it.

It may be that your "mail" command is pointing at sendmail, or that
whatever program you are using is retarded in the same way that exim4
is blocked.

Other uses could be right that port25 is blocked by a firewall, but
that's easy to fix on your system if it is your firewall.  Other
people who suspect your system will ignore blank mails are wrong. I've
sent myself tons of empty mail.

Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas

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