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I am experiencing an error when trying to send mail to certain hosts from my VPS. Here is an example:

SMTP error from remote mail server after MAIL FROM:<> SIZE=1409: host []: 550 Access denied - Invalid HELO name (See RFC2821

I am using exim4 and sendmail. At first I thought it was my host name, so I changed that from a numerical value to my website address.

Does anyone know what's wrong and what I need to do?

Thank you.

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I don't think the whole error was pasted properly unfortunately. – Jonathan Ross Apr 3 '11 at 11:15
The error you posted has your domain as What is the output of hostname? – slillibri Apr 3 '11 at 13:48

It can be your server's hostname. Remember that you need to change it on /etc/hostname, on /etc/hosts and use hostname <newname if you don't want to reboot the server.

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Have you checked what your server is sending as it's HELO greeting? An ip address (in square brackets) is valid, as is any FQD domain name.

How did you change the host name? it should be set in /etc/hostname

the remote server has not rejected you immediately after you sent the HELO but waited until you sent MAIL FROM: Although the error said the rejection was due to an invalid helo name the may be doing callback verification. Make sure the MAIL FROM address is valid to rule that out.

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You should also check the contents of /etc/mailname

In order to see what exim thinks its hostname is (and will use in the HELO), try grepping the output of exim4 -bP for primary_hostname

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