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Anyone able to explain this problem? I can do a dig or nslookup on a host and get the MX servers, but when I check through sendmail it fails?

RHEL 5.6


(root)> sendmail -bt
ADDRESS TEST MODE (ruleset 3 NOT automatically invoked)
Enter <ruleset> <address>
> /mx
getmxrr( returns 0 value(s):

Sendmail debug output

(root)> echo '/mx' | sendmail -bt -d8.20
ADDRESS TEST MODE (ruleset 3 NOT automatically invoked)
Enter <ruleset> <address>
> getmxrr(, droplocalhost=0)
getmxrr( returns 0 value(s):


(root)> dig mx

; <<>> DiG 9.3.6-P1-RedHat-9.3.6-14.P1.el5 <<>> mx
;; global options:  printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 2247
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 5, AUTHORITY: 4, ADDITIONAL: 9

;                    IN      MX

;; ANSWER SECTION:             600     IN      MX      10             600     IN      MX      20             600     IN      MX      30             600     IN      MX      40             600     IN      MX      50

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:             33524   IN      NS             33524   IN      NS

Sendmail log entry

Sep 20 00:42:26 myhost sendmail[26714]: r8K0gLUS026712:, (500/500), delay=00:00:05, xdelay=00:00:05, mailer=example, pri=152798,, dsn=5.1.2, stat=Host unknown (Name server: host not found)

Sendmail with -d17 (times out)

sendmail -v -d17.20
Running /var/spool/mqueue/r8KFB1VF002503 (sequence 1 of 1)
hostsignature(): getmxrr() returned 1, mxhosts[0]
hostsignature( =
hostsignature(): stab( found
<>... Connecting to via esmtp...
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AFAIK, both dig and nslookup use their own DNS client resolver, not the DNS client resolver of the machine you're running them from... so I would look at the DNS client resolver on this machine. – joeqwerty Sep 20 '13 at 3:12
Could you post sendmail log entries? – Andrzej A. Filip Sep 20 '13 at 4:51
dig and nslookup will get the resolver information from resolv.conf, unless it is otherwise specified. – Falcon Momot Sep 20 '13 at 6:49
The following command should provide more details incluing sendmail's resolver options : echo '/mx' | sendmail -bt -d8.20 – Andrzej A. Filip Sep 20 '13 at 6:58
Any strange DNS settings on the box? What do you have specified in /etc/hosts and /etc/resolv.con and /etc/nsswitch.conf (be sure to scrub the output for confidential info before posting). – Mike B Oct 2 '13 at 22:14

1 Answer 1

Would rather post this as a comment, but I can't.

Your sendmail log entry keeps talking about "", which indicates sendmail not completely configured. is a typical placeholder domain, as is

(That is assuming you didn't selectively mangle/censor it yourself -- if that's the case, that a) makes it difficult to extract meaningful information and b) should at least be done consistently)

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