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i just have a laptop with an internet connection, but i keep changing the internet provider. i want to be able to send mails from my laptop to real addresses. i dont want to use smtp. can i configure sendmail, or any other program to send mails from my laptop? i tried installing sendmail with "sudo apt-get install sendmail" but when i try sending mail, example through actionmailer in rails, of mail() call in php through a web program, the mail does not get delivered. what am i doing wrong, and how can i fix this?

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You can't (reasonably) send email without using SMTP (what do you think sendmail does?!) - and you do need to have a proper SMTP server on a sane host, email coming from the ip addresses that ISPs will tend to assign you tend to get flagged as "Probably spam from someone infected with a Trojan". – Quentin Dec 14 '10 at 7:52
I wish user11825 had submitted his comment above as a real answer. He is right that you can do what you want with a mail server (like sendmail) on your laptop, but this will still be doing SMTP to pass the mail along. But his killer win is the observation about email coming from domestic IP ranges; this is the kiss-of-death for email with many anti-spam systems. Also, many ISPs now block outbound port 25 connections, so your laptop will sometimes fail to send mail when it's on networks with such a policy. SMTP AUTH to a trusted mail relay would be a much better idea. – MadHatter Dec 14 '10 at 7:56
I now know that sendmail also uses smtp, thanks for the comment :). But I would still like to set up sendmail from domestic ip ranges in the hope that my ISP hasnt blocked port 25, and that i may be allowed to bypass anti-spam systems. i am interested in knowing if it is possible at all to configure something on my system that can send mail without asking me to set up smtp. i would not mind some smtp like so: – umar Dec 25 '10 at 13:15
:address => "localhost", :port => "25", :user_name => "", :password => "whatever" – umar Dec 25 '10 at 13:17

Sendmail can be a bit tedious to setup or troubleshoot.. I'd suggest using Postfix :)

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