nullmailer - Sending failed: Could not exec program

Gene Heskett gheskett at
Sat Jun 21 19:24:38 UTC 2014

On Saturday 21 June 2014 12:38:13 Graham Watkins did opine
And Gene did reply:
> On 21/06/14 16:47, Gene Heskett wrote:
> > On Saturday 21 June 2014 11:33:01 Graham Watkins did opine
> > And Gene did reply:
> > 
> > 
> > That is an outside address. Does your dns resolver know who
> > is?
> Haven't the foggiest. How would I check?
Start with a ping  If it doesn't resolve to the local 
address of the machine, that will need fixed, either by making an entry in 
the bind (or whatever) config, or an entry in the /etc/hosts file,. which 
BTW can be copied to every machine on your local network, that way every 
body knows who the rest of the locals are.
> > If your local network is host file based, then it even works between
> > machines. I can send an email from lathe.coyote.den to
> > coyote.coyote.den with gene at coyote.coyote.den as the address.  That
> > assumes the resolver is set for host,dns for search order.
> Again, what would I need to be looking at? Nothing like this was
> mentioned in the nullmail info I have been reading on the net - which
> was a lot vaguer than I would have liked.
I have never looked at nullmail, so cannot comment.  To me, it sounds like 
the answer to a question I've never asked.

> >> that hasn't arrived either.
> > 
> > And you must delete it from the queue before sending another test msg
> > after changing whatever you need to change. A stuck msg hangs the
> > whole queue.
> OK done that.
> >> sudo nullmailer-send
> >> Rescanning queue.
> >> Starting delivery, 1 message(s) in queue.
> >> Starting delivery: protocol: --port=25 host: file:
> >> 1403364453.2933
> >> Sending failed: Could not exec program
> >> Delivery complete, 1 message(s) remain.

From the above, it does sound as if it found its config file ok.

Next would be to check permissions on the executable, the owner should at 
least have a x in that perms triplet.  Or if you are not the owner of the 
executable then its for you to fix it so you are in that files "group" or 
change the perms so anyone can exec it, but that, for security reasons is 
NOT something I'd recommend.
> Which username - my machine user name (graham-desktop) or my mail id
> ?

I've no clue where you get the, but in any event for local 
mail, you need to use your username on that machine.
> This seems like deep stuff for a humble desktop user.
> As to a point you raise in your other mail,  I don't have sendmail
> installed (though maybe installing nullmail removed it).

That is a possibility.  There is a log file that apt-get keeps in the  
/var (cache/apt?) directory that you could look at with "less 
/path/to/filename" and which should contain that info.
> I'm still inclined to think that the fault lies in the configuration of
> my /etc/nullmailer/remotes file.  I think I'm overlooking something
> obvious but it probably needs someone with first-hand experience of
> nullmail to tell me if that's the case. Anyway, thanks for taking an
> interest.

NP.  Like you, I keep hoping someone familiar with nullmail might pipe up 
here, but...

> Cheers,
> Graham

Cheers, Gene Heskett
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Genes Web page <>
US V Castleman, SCOTUS, Mar 2014 is grounds for Impeaching SCOTUS

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