Movie synopsis:

I'm managing just a few websites with VestaCP, each website has its own domain and so far it works good. The server is on Linode.

I have implemented a very simple contact form in one of the sites using php's mail():

$success = mail($EmailTo, $Subject, $Body, $headers);

For the $headers I've kept it simpler after trial and error: $headers = 'From: '. $EmailFrom;

The problem:

Now, of course, the e-mails I'm trying to send are not reaching the info box or my personal gmail box.


  1. So I tried testing through SSH. First I configured the mail log so I could see that line I posted above, I made sure (through phpinfo()) that PHP's using the intended sendmail bin (/usr/sbin/sendmail). So it seemed it wasn't PHP/php.ini's fault.

  2. Then I read here on serverfault.com to try the following short sendmail script (since turns out I don't know how to send e-mail just using the CLI):

That test seemed it had gone well (lots of data), and it's actually reaching my personal gmail box (spam folder of course):

/usr/sbin/sendmail -i -v -- mybox@gmail.com  <<
subject: testeando


enter image description here

But then I run the same script just changing to the info@goodsite.org and, besides from not reaching, the script says this:

  ** info@goodsite.org: Unrouteable address
  <= <> R=1XnGAV-0004VJ-UP U=Debian-exim P=local S=1113
delivering 1XnGAV-0004VN-VO
  ** root@linodecentral: Unrouteable address
  Frozen (delivery error message)

Now I'm stuck. I don't know how gmail is "routable" but the perfectly working google-MX domain is not. Plus I don't know if my hostname (linodecentral) has something to do with it?

Summing up the results:

  • the form can reach neither box.
  • the sendmail bash script can only reach my personal box (and its from e-mail sucks).


This is what the exim4's mainlog says when trying info@goodsite:

2014-11-08 23:23:20 1XnEPg-0001bg-Hb <= pvc@LinodeCentral U=pvc P=local S=495
2014-11-08 23:23:20 1XnEPg-0001bg-Hb ** info@goodsite.org: Unrouteable address
2014-11-08 23:23:20 1XnEPg-0001bk-IY <= <> R=1XnEPg-0001bg-Hb U=Debian-exim P=local S=1287
2014-11-08 23:23:20 1XnEPg-0001bg-Hb Completed
2014-11-08 23:23:20 1XnEPg-0001bk-IY ** pvc@linodecentral: Unrouteable address
2014-11-08 23:23:20 1XnEPg-0001bk-IY Frozen (delivery error message)

And this when trying my personal inbox (which sends correctly to):

2014-11-09 01:02:38 1XnFxm-00047Z-3L <= root@LinodeCentral U=root P=local S=320
2014-11-09 01:02:38 1XnFxm-00047Z-3L => mybox@gmail.com R=dnslookup T=remote_smtp H=gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com [2a00:1450:400c:c01::1b] X=TLS1.2:RSA_ARCFOUR_SHA1:128 C="250 2.0.0 OK 1415491358 ey11si10238321wid.16 - gsmtp"
2014-11-09 01:02:38 1XnFxm-00047Z-3L Completed

I don't know why it's using root to send to my personal inbox and pvc (the user owner of the website folder and whatnot) for the other address.

PS: obv "goodiste.org" is just a place holder for the real domain.

  • Any additional information in the Sendmail logs? – Mike B Nov 9 '14 at 7:22

Try checking that the linode host sees the right MX records for your destination domain...

 dig MX good domain.org

That should show Google's servers. If not you've got a lower level problem.

The domain part of sending address is typically derived from what is in /etc/hosts for the local machine. At the very least you want this to be the fqdn. You can override this in the MTA's config.

Exim logs should show you why delivery to local addresses is failing.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.