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I have a centos box (vps) with sendmail and I am using it to send a newsletter to mail clients. I am using a machine in my local network to send the e-mails via SMTP (AUTH PLAIN) but after sending some e-mail (35 .. 50) the connection starts to get closed by the server (centos/sendmail).

I've searched Google for a limit configuration on number of e-mails in sendmail but didn't find anything.

What configuration can I use to allow me to send more e-mails?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Have you checked sendmail log files for reaction to too high system load? [I have assumed "customized" newsletter - one "personalized" email per one recipient]

Possible fixes:

Custom mailing list software (as recommended by adamo)


  • Increase confQUEUE_LA (default=8 per processor) and confREFUSE_LA (default=12 per processor) if your server can handle it
  • Configure confDELAY_LA (I would suggest 9) to make sendmail slow messages acceptance
  • introduce delays in email sending e.g. 1-2 seconds after every 10 messages
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Welcome to SF Andrzej! Since this is a VM, I am assuming that in the case of a single mail per recipient, this will be queued locally by a web (php) form, so it might be a good idea to follow Vixie's advice and have QUEUE_LA and REFUSE_LA have the reverse values (deny accepting connections in order to clear the queue first). – adamo Mar 12 '13 at 7:05
I personally prefer accepting ham e-mail in most situations. You can fine tune sendmail/server under your control to minimize delivery delays. I would like to achieve delivery of at least 90%/95% of non bulk e-mail below 5 minutes limit (standard for 2013). – Andrzej A. Filip Mar 12 '13 at 8:48

First of all you have to read the configuration README. In there you will read aout settings your can put in the /etc/mail/acceess database that rate limit connections to your host. ClientConn: and ClientRate: are the ones.

You also need to check confMAX_RCPTS_PER_MESSAGE.

However, since you are sending a newsletter, you are better off managing this by installing appropriate software like say Mailman

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