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I am using (well fighting with) postfix and dovecot, the log files are not producing anything related to lost e-mails or errors. I send an e-mail from my gmail account and nothing happens. No unable to send no nothing.

A pingability test shows I have no reverse dns set up, but this should effect my receiving of e-mail?

Performing the steps here (using telnet and HELO), I am left with message queued

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

First step will be to get your DNS in order. You need an A and an MX entry for your mail server, and if at all possible, an reverse entry for your IP address.

After that, check if postfix is listening on port 25 via telnet:

telnet yourhostname 25

You can follow the explanation from here to see how far you get with this. Please extend your question with the outcome.

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done all that set the smtp server to port 587, will give the link a try thanks – NimChimpsky Aug 2 '11 at 8:29
Your mail server can't be set up to port 587 if you want receive mails. Every server trying to send mails to you is expecting port 25. 587 is the submission port you use only for you local users with password protection. – Sven Aug 2 '11 at 8:36
O M G I am such a numtpy! Thank you very much – NimChimpsky Aug 2 '11 at 8:44

If you are on a consumer IP connection, chances are port 25 is blocked in one or both directions. Some ISP block outbound, some block inbound, some block both.

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indeed, that is why I initially swapped my smtp to port 587, which casued the problem – NimChimpsky Aug 2 '11 at 8:58
So, if you are on a home network with port 25 blocked, you can't set up a mail server. – Sven Aug 2 '11 at 9:28
If outbound SMTP is blocked, ISP will probably provide a mail relay, so you can set up a mail server which has the ISPs mail relay as smarthost. If ISP blocks inbound SMTP there is not much you can do, unless they provide a mail gateway. A mail gateway is a host that accepts mail for any domain, but only delivers mails on local nets. You set it as lowest priority MX record. Sender will try and fail higher priority MX (because of the block) so mail ends up at gateway, which can reach higher priority MX and will therefore succeed in delivering to high priority MX (your mail server). – Bittrance Aug 5 '11 at 21:08

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