Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm receiving error mails: couldn't reach your server; e-mail not sent. When I look at the Exim error logs, I see the host where I sent the mails from, followed by 'relay not permitted'. What can I do now?

share|improve this question

You need to add the ip of yout host(s) to the list of the *permitted relayers". Here is a simple article on how to configure that under Ubuntu, which has a split file type of configuration (as debian) and so differs from the official one.

share|improve this answer

Well, exim thinks that the domain of the receiving email is not local (so it should relay it) and correctly is denying to be a relaying host. You have to add your domain to local_domains like this: domainlist local_domains = @ : localhost :

share|improve this answer

After several hours of working in circles I stumbled upon the answer that worked for me. It didn't matter how many permutations of dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config I tried, adding in entries for dc_relay_nets or dc_relay_domains or direct edits of exim4-local-domains.txt. It turns out there is a file named exim4-relay-mail-from-this-list-of-ip-addresses.txt in /etc/exim4 that simply needs the ip address or CIDR block of the net you want to relay for (e.g. Mine is set up with a single entry on each line, not a semicolon separated list like much else in exim4. A restart of exim4 was required in my case.

Now, with a name like that it would seem only a fool could miss something this obvious, but in all my internet searches this file name never once materialized and everything I read directs back to using dpkg-reconfigure and working with dc_relay_nets. Hope this helps someone else avoid lost time.

share|improve this answer

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.