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Date:      Fri, 13 Apr 2012 18:48:19 -0700
From:      Ron <>
To:        Robert Bonomi <>
Subject:   Re: Postfix + Courier IMAP local email problems
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On 12.04.2012 13:54, Robert Bonomi wrote:
>> From  Thu Apr 12 15:09:43 2012
>> Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 13:01:10 -0700
>> From: Ron <>
>> To: <>
>> Subject: Postfix + Courier IMAP local email problems
>> I'm having a couple of issues with postfix and courier-imap on my 
>> new
>> machine and I'm trying to figure out what is different from my old
>> machine.  I've checked every config file I think of and they both 
>> seem
>> to be set up the same.
>> Here are the two issues:
>> If I send email from a local user (while SSH'd in using the command
>> line mail) to another local user (mail on the same
>> machine, but using the full email address, I get the following error 
>> and
>> the email bounced back:
>> 553 5.3.5 config error: mail loops back to me (MX
>> problem?)
>> 554 5.3.5 Local configuration error
> this is a 'well known' problem.
>> The only thing I can think of is that and
>> (the mx record) do not point to the same server (which they did on 
>> my
>> old machine).
> it's not that sample.  <grin>
>>                I have also tried everything I can think of in how 
>> users
>> are listed in postfix's virtual file and in /etc/aliases and server
>> entries in
> The problem is that the 'local' machine DOES NOT KNOW that it is 
> supposed
> to accept mail for the domain specified in the email addressz.
>   The server looks at the address, determines that it is *NOT* local,
> by whatever means 'postfix' uses to make that determination (it's the
> 'w' class in Sendmail), and goes off to query DNS for the MX for the
> 'remote' machine to send mail to.  DNS returns "this" (the one asking 
> for
> the 'remote' machine name) machine as the destination to deliver to.
> the local server =knows= that is incorrect, because it is not the 
> delivery
> point for that domain.  hence the error message, and 'return to 
> sender'
> as undeliverable.
> This _is_ a configuration error in (probably) the local mailserver, 
> or in
> the way the local hostname/domainname are set up..
>> The second issue is if (again, SSH'd in an using mail) I send email 
>> to
>> a local user without the (mail todd) then the email 
>> isn't
>> available via IMAP externally.  I can read it using the command line
>> mail, but not externally via IMAP.  These two mailboxs are 
>> completely
>> separate and have two different lists of waiting email.
> This is an 'inconsistency' in the way 'locally' generated mail is 
> being
> handled, and the way externally generated mail is being handled.
> *PROBABLY* because -one- mail server program is being started at boot
> time, and a _different_ program is being invoked when somebody sends
> locally from the command-line.
> Chasing this down can be a b*tch.  "Everything and it's cousins" has 
> the
> executable name 'sendmail' hard-coded into it for sending outgoing 
> mail.
> Sometimes the original 'sendmail' is replaced by a different 
> executable
> 'of the same name', that is really 'postfix', 'exim', 'qmail', or the
> dreaded 'something else'.  Sometimes 'sendmail' is a "switching" 
> program
> that determings -- by some arbitrary means (typically a configurtion 
> file,
> stored 'somewhere')-- _which_ of many alternatives to call.
> Now _if_ the mailer started at boot time is *explicitly* named as 
> something
> _other_ than "sendmail", and is -not- what you get when you invoke 
> the name
> 'sendmail', you have "obvious" potential for dissimilar behavior.  
> this
> is _probably_ what is going on in your case. "Local" command-line 
> mail
> is being delivered to an 'mbox' type mailbox, while 'remote' mail is
> being delivered to 'something different' -- I think recent versios of
> IMAP use a database-type struture rather than a simple 'mbox'.
>> Everything works fine if I send email from a remote client
>> (Thunderbird, and read the email with a remote client via
>> IMAP.  It's just the local email sending that seems to be broken.  
>> I'd
>> like to get one of these two problems fixed so root can email me 
>> daily
>> log files, which it can't do right now or I can't read via IMAP 
>> because
>> they are't going to the right mailbox.
>> Is there some simple I'm just messing up?
> "Yes."   <grin>
> The difficulty comes in identifying _which_ "simple thing" it is that 
> is
> messed up.

OK, I found the problem.  It was the hostname not being set correctly.  
What threw me was that it was correct in the rc.conf file, but I did not 
know you needed to reboot the machine to have it take effect.  It just 
never occurred to me to run 'hostname' and see since I was seeing it 
correctly in the rc.conf.

Thanks for the help.


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