configuring sendmail for your unix desktop

Mulberry, (or Thunderbird,or any other GUI email client) needs an SMTP (“outgoing”) mail server which it uses to send your emails. Normally this is set to what your ISP (or administrator) has told you to be. However, sometimes your outgoing email server maybe unavailable1 (which is furstrating, since most people expect email to be delivered instantly, or at least leave their system2 instantly). So why not run a mail queue on your own and let your desktop route your email through the outgoing email server when it becomes available again? Here is a small that should work with your desktop unix machine3:


define(`SMART_HOST', `[]')dnl
define(`confCW_FILE', `-o /etc/mail/local-host-names')dnl

DAEMON_OPTIONS(`Name=MTA-v4, Addr=, Port=smtp')dnl
DAEMON_OPTIONS(`Name=MSP-v4, Addr=, Port=submission')dnl


# LHS is separated from RHS with tabs, not whitespaces
R$- <@ $=w . >          john.doe < @ >

LOCAL_RULE_0 makes sure that any email sent from this machine is sent as If this is not expected behavior delete LOCAL_RULE_0 or use FEATURE(nullclient).

[1] Unavailable does not mean neccessarily down. It may mean that some kind of rate-limiting is in place.
[2] Where system for such users is only their MUA (Mail User Agent).
[3] The example is Debian/Ubuntu-centric, but can be adapted to any system that runs sendmail

2 thoughts on “configuring sendmail for your unix desktop

  1. Thanks!
    This will be extremely useful to me soon. I am planning to set-up a small (and silent) BSD home server. Second line should read OSTYPE(freebsd6) I guess.

  2. # cd /etc/mail
    # vi
    # make all install restart

    You may have to check /etc/defaults/rc.conf and modify /etc/rc.conf accordingly. I’ve moved away from FreeBSD servers to DragonFlyBSD, so I may not be accurate here.

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