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I have a new server running ubuntu, nginx, php sendmail etc.

To test if sendmail is working I made a basic php file with the php mail function in it. When I execute the file my browser hangs until I get a 503 timeout but I still receive the test mail a few seconds later indicating sendmail is working.

Other pages on the server load just fine

The server does not have a domain name; I am just using its IP address for now. There are no errors in the nginx error log but the mail log is showing errors like

sergeserver sm-msp-queue[13609]: unable to qualify my own domain name

Any ideas why and how to solve?

Here is the contents of etc/hosts       localhost

# --- Gandi DHCP Script ---  sergeserver
# --- End ---

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
ff02::3 ip6-allhosts
share|improve this question
What does the nginx error log say? Check this if you need help with error log configuration – Mathias R. Jessen Feb 6 '13 at 22:38
This sounds more like an nginx configuration issue. You may want to check to logs at /var/log/nginx or the corresponding mail logs. – passy Feb 6 '13 at 22:38
check the nginx error log - no errors reported. Other pages work fine and do not time out. There is unable to qualify my own domain name error in the mail log but I don't have a domain yet - just using the server IP – harryg Feb 6 '13 at 22:42
Please include the contents of /etc/hosts – QuentinMoss Feb 7 '13 at 4:31
please see edit – harryg Feb 7 '13 at 19:05
up vote 0 down vote accepted

The quickest hack to make this error message go is to try and add the following lines in your /etc/mail/


Do not use any random domain as a FQDN. Use either a domain that you own, or After editing make sure you generate and restart sendmail. In Debian you do this with sendmailconfig. In CentOS you run /etc/mail/make followed by service sendmail restart.

share|improve this answer
OK, I shall try later when I get home. A few questions: why does it matter which domain I use? Can I use a domain I own but which is currently being used on another site? Will this cure the page timeouts? – harryg Feb 7 '13 at 10:38
It matters because $j holds the name by which your computer introduces itself to other computers during the SMTP dialog. – adamo Feb 7 '13 at 12:35
I added the line as you described and regenerated but the issue persists – harryg Feb 7 '13 at 19:06
What does the Dj do before – harryg Feb 7 '13 at 22:07
It defines macro $j. Whatever the value for $j add it in your /etc/hosts files too. – adamo Feb 8 '13 at 8:56

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