Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

On my Linode I followed this doc to setup a mail server.

Now I can send email to any domain but can't receive from other domains!
I mean 001@mydomain.com can recieve from 002@mydomain.com but can't recieve any mail from xxx@gmail/yahoo/...com. I checked my vmail (Maildir) too, mails from other domains aren't there.

I received Delivery Status Notification (Delay) from gmail(after about 24 hrs):

Delivery to the following recipient has been delayed:
Message will be retried for 2 more day(s)
Technical details of temporary failure: 
The recipient server did not accept our requests to connect. Learn more at http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=7720 
[mail.mydomain.com. (10): Connection refused]

And it's my settings:
I have a MX Record:


and an A/AAAA Records:

mail (with same ip as my server)  

My /etc/hosts       localhost.localdomain   localhost
(server ip)     hostname.mydomain.com  hostname

My /etc/default/saslauthd

DESC="SASL Authentication Daemon"
OPTIONS="-c -m /var/spool/postfix/var/run/saslauthd -r"

My /etc/aliases

postmaster: root
root: admin@mydomain.com

My /usr/share/postfix/main.cf

protocols = imap imaps pop3 pop3s
log_timestamp = "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S "
mail_location = maildir:/home/vmail/%d/%n/Maildir

ssl_cert_file = /etc/ssl/certs/dovecot.pem
ssl_key_file = /etc/ssl/private/dovecot.pem

namespace private {
    separator = .
    prefix = INBOX.
    inbox = yes

protocol lda {
    log_path = /home/vmail/dovecot-deliver.log
    auth_socket_path = /var/run/dovecot/auth-master
    postmaster_address = admin@mydomain.com
    mail_plugins = sieve
    global_script_path = /home/vmail/globalsieverc

protocol pop3 {
    pop3_uidl_format = %08Xu%08Xv

auth default {
    user = root

    passdb sql {
        args = /etc/dovecot/dovecot-sql.conf

    userdb static {
        args = uid=5000 gid=5000 home=/home/vmail/%d/%n allow_all_users=yes

    socket listen {
        master {
            path = /var/run/dovecot/auth-master
            mode = 0600
            user = vmail

        client {
            path = /var/spool/postfix/private/auth
            mode = 0660
            user = postfix
            group = postfix

My /usr/share/postfix/main.cf

# See /usr/share/postfix/main.cf.dist for a commented, more complete version

# Debian specific:  Specifying a file name will cause the first
# line of that file to be used as the name.  The Debian default
# is /etc/mailname.
#myorigin = /etc/mailname

smtpd_banner = $myhostname ESMTP $mail_name (Ubuntu)
biff = no

# appending .domain is the MUA's job.
append_dot_mydomain = no

# Uncomment the next line to generate "delayed mail" warnings
#delay_warning_time = 4h

readme_directory = /usr/share/doc/postfix

# TLS parameters
smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/postfix/smtpd.cert
smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/postfix/smtpd.key
smtpd_use_tls = yes
smtpd_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${data_directory}/smtpd_scache
smtp_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${data_directory}/smtp_scache

# See /usr/share/doc/postfix/TLS_README.gz in the postfix-doc package for
# information on enabling SSL in the smtp client.

myhostname = hostname.mydomain.com
alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases
alias_database = hash:/etc/aliases
myorigin = /etc/mailname
mydestination = hostname.mydomain.com, localhost, localhost.localdomain
relayhost =
mynetworks =
mailbox_size_limit = 0
recipient_delimiter = +
inet_interfaces = (server ip),
html_directory = /usr/share/doc/postfix/html
message_size_limit = 30720000
virtual_alias_domains =
virtual_alias_maps = proxy:mysql:/etc/postfix/mysql-virtual_forwardings.cf, mysql:/etc/postfix/mysql-virtual_email2email.cf
virtual_mailbox_domains = proxy:mysql:/etc/postfix/mysql-virtual_domains.cf
virtual_mailbox_maps = proxy:mysql:/etc/postfix/mysql-virtual_mailboxes.cf
virtual_mailbox_base = /home/vmail
virtual_uid_maps = static:5000
virtual_gid_maps = static:5000
smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
broken_sasl_auth_clients = yes
smtpd_sasl_authenticated_header = yes
smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_mynetworks, permit_sasl_authenticated, reject_unauth_destinationvirtual_create_maildirsize = yes
virtual_maildir_extended = yes
proxy_read_maps = $local_recipient_maps $mydestination $virtual_alias_maps        $virtual_alias_domains $virtual_mailbox_maps $virtual_mailbox_domains $relay_recipient_maps $relay_domains $canonical_maps $sender_canonical_maps $recipient_canonical_maps $relocated_maps $transport_maps $mynetworks $virtual_mailbox_limit_maps
virtual_transport = dovecot
dovecot_destination_recipient_limit = 1

My iptables rules:
(I use 2525 instead of 25 port and it's open in my machine and isp, i can telenet on it)

 pkts bytes target     prot opt in     out     source               destination         
  130  7820 ACCEPT     tcp  --  any    any     anywhere             anywhere            tcp dpt:smtp 
    0     0 ACCEPT     udp  --  any    any     anywhere             anywhere            udp dpt:25 
  388 33099 ACCEPT     tcp  --  any    any     anywhere             anywhere            tcp dpt:2525 
    0     0 ACCEPT     udp  --  any    any     anywhere             anywhere            udp dpt:2525 
    0     0 ACCEPT     udp  --  any    any     anywhere             anywhere            udp dpt:100 
    0     0 ACCEPT     udp  --  any    any     anywhere             anywhere            udp dpt:pop3 
   65  3538 ACCEPT     tcp  --  any    any     anywhere             anywhere            tcp dpt:pop3 
    0     0 ACCEPT     tcp  --  any    any     anywhere             anywhere            tcp dpt:26 
    0     0 ACCEPT     udp  --  any    any     anywhere             anywhere            udp dpt:26 
    0     0 ACCEPT     udp  --  any    any     anywhere             anywhere            udp dpt:pop3s 
 2355  184K ACCEPT     tcp  --  any    any     anywhere             anywhere            tcp dpt:pop3s 

Nothing adds to my /var/log/mail.log when I should receive other domains mail, but it seems ok when I try to receive mails by mail clients.

Apr 14 07:53:51 hostname dovecot: pop3-login: Login: user=<myname@mydomain.com>, method=PLAIN, rip=, lip=, TLS
Apr 14 07:53:52 hostname dovecot: POP3(myname@mydomain.com): Disconnected: Logged out top=0/0, retr=0/0, del=0/7, size=6546

Nothing happens to /home/vmail/dovecot-deliver.log when I sould receive mail from other domains but in case of same domain email seems normal:

2011-04-14 05:42:53 deliver(myname@mydomain.com): Info: msgid=<FA382109-99D9-4C8F-8AD9-1C88C73C60CC@mydomain.com>: saved mail to INBOX

I checked mail by VMail, mutt, Apple Mail and Thunderbird and it's my settings on mail clients:
Account Type: pop3
Incoming Mail Server: mail.mydomain.com
Username: myname@mydomain.com
Password: XXXXX
Outgoing Mail Server:
Server Name: mail.mydomain.com
Port: 2525
Authenitocation: Password
Username: myname@mydomain.com
Password: XXXXX

share|improve this question
Can you add output from /var/log/maillog for smtp (#grep smtp /var/log/maillog) ? And is mydomain.com setup in the mysql virtualmap as a destination? –  wrmine Apr 14 '11 at 21:27
Yes in my domains in mysql are: mydomain.com and mail.mydomain.com (BTW I received Mail Deliver Alert, i added its detail to the question) –  Amir Latifi Apr 14 '11 at 21:56
#grep smtp /var/log/maillog: Apr 14 17:11:31 zooey postfix/smtpd[20460]: connect from unknown[(my public ip on my machine)]' Apr 14 17:11:32 zooey postfix/smtpd[20460]: disconnect from unknown[my public ip on my machine] Apr 14 17:18:17 zooey postfix/smtpd[20482]: warning: (my public ip on my machine): hostname (my public ip on my machine).(myisp) verification failed: Name or service not known –  Amir Latifi Apr 14 '11 at 22:02
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Since absolutely nothing is logged in your /var/mail/mail.log and your chains show zero traffic coming in to tcp/25, I believe your ISP is blocking incoming traffic on tcp/25. This is normal practice for home users. Unless you have a business class connection, ISPs do not allow traffic to their customers destined for tcp/25.

You'll need some type of external service like DynDNS' mailhop. You set DynDNS up as your MX and they relay the mail to your server on an open destination port like 2525.

EDIT: to be clear; real internet email only ever travels on port tcp/25. You can't just open a port like 2525 and expect it to work.

share|improve this answer
Yes, my ISP blocked tcp/25 and as I mentioned I change default 25 port to 2525, I set it in my mail clients too and I don't have problem for outgoing mails. (BTW I received Mail Deliver Alert, i added its detail to the question) –  Amir Latifi Apr 14 '11 at 21:53
So why I when I use 2525 port, I'm able to send emails but can't receive emails?! –  Amir Latifi Apr 14 '11 at 22:30
Sending is different than receiving. It's outgoing traffic, not incoming. Likely that your ISP doesn't block outgoing mail on 25/tcp (so people can send through other services) and you can probably even use their mail server as a relay. –  Sean C. Apr 15 '11 at 1:30
add comment

Because my ISP is also blocking port 25, I added another port (2525) to /etc/postfix/main.cf. However, I made the mistake of commenting out the smtp port, resulting in a failure of receiving mails from external domains.

# Does not work
#smtp      inet  n       -       -       -       -       smtpd
2525      inet  n       -       -       -       -       smtpd

To receive mail from other servers, as well as circumvent the port restrictions of your ISP, simply open port 25 (smtp) and another port of your choosing.

# Works
smtp      inet  n       -       -       -       -       smtpd
2525      inet  n       -       -       -       -       smtpd
share|improve this answer
I don't have enough rep to voteup trembl comment, but I would like to thank him for his comment. Spent a week trying to debug a mailserver that wasn't receiving emails, and it was that simple mistake of commenting the smtp entry on master.cf –  user180360 Jul 4 '13 at 17:55
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.