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I followed this tutorial on Linode to setup a send only mail server:

https://library.linode.com/email/exim/send-only-mta-debian-6-squeeze

It works but with some oddities. Sending email with PHP works as long as only 1 email address is supplied. If I use a comma separated list in the to field it seems to not fully work. Or not all the addresses get the email.

My config looks like;

dc_eximconfig_configtype='internet'
dc_other_hostnames='isthatbeergood.com; themoviepostersite.com; parkereatery.com;  stratford.parkereatery.com; trumbull.parkereatery.com; richtestani.com; localhost;'
dc_local_interfaces='127.0.0.1'
dc_readhost=''
dc_relay_domains=''
dc_minimaldns='false'
dc_relay_nets=''
dc_smarthost=''
CFILEMODE='644'
dc_use_split_config='false'
dc_hide_mailname=''
dc_mailname_in_oh='true'
dc_localdelivery='maildir_home'

While most emails wont even come to the hostnames since it send only, will it send to any address?

Here is the end of /var/log/exim4/mainlog

2014-06-20 10:37:29 1WxzwV-0008DP-Vi => richtestani@mac.com R=dnslookup T=remote_smtp H=mx3.mac.com.akadns.net [17.172.34.64]
2014-06-20 10:37:29 1WxzwV-0008DP-Vi Completed
2014-06-20 10:41:04 1Wy000-0008Do-SH <= www-data@mail.damesandthugs.com U=www-data P=local S=531
2014-06-20 10:41:05 1Wy000-0008Do-SH => sandman@gmail.com R=dnslookup T=remote_smtp H=gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com [74.125.29.26] X=TLS1.2:RSA_ARCFOUR_SHA1:128 DN="C=US,ST=California,L=Mountain View,O=Google Inc,CN=mx.google.com"
2014-06-20 10:41:05 1Wy000-0008Do-SH => richtestani@mac.com R=dnslookup T=remote_smtp H=mx2.mac.com.akadns.net [17.172.34.11]
2014-06-20 10:41:05 1Wy000-0008Do-SH Completed

Interesting it says my mac.com address is complete, but I never got the email. Gmail made it but no completed message.

Any help here would be great! Rich

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1 Answer 1

1) Email providers will verify the sender when they receive an email. How they do this depends upon the specific provider, but some will actually connect out to your mail server using the MX records for the sender's domain and check to see if the sender actually exists. These are aptly named "sender callouts". If it fails or is rejected, the email provider is more likely to classify your email as spam and/or drop it. The construction of your system does not allow those sender callouts to succeed:

$ swaks --to www-data@mail.damesandthugs.com --from todd@mrball.net
--quit-after rcpt
=== Trying mail.damesandthugs.com:25...
*** Error connecting 0.0.0.0 to mail.damesandthugs.com:25:
***     IO::Socket::INET: connect: timeout

2) Reputation is a BIG part of all email spam scoring nowadays. If your IP is just now starting to send emails, the reputation is neutral. If your domain is just now starting to send emails, the reputation is neutral. Neutral is frequently considered "not good" when it comes to reputation, and the only way to fix it is to slowly ramp up the volume of good email from your IP and/or domain. Sudden changes (big deltas) are viewed badly by reputation systems.

3) If your domain is just registered, that actually counts heavily against you since that's a frequent tactic of "drive by spamming".

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I know I've had some spam issues previously (within the last year), mostly because I am terrible at managing a mail server. So I am sure my server or IP has been black listed somewhere. I am going to setup some sites to use Mandrill in leu of having my own mail server - might save me a lot of headaches in the long run. –  Richard Testani Jun 21 at 16:07
    
Yes it will, I think your assessment is wise. –  Todd Lyons Jun 21 at 19:59

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