my ssmtp doesn't change "To" from 'root' to my email.

In my ssmtp.conf I have: root=servers@latina.com

In debug output I found only one difference between working and not working commands:

working command: echo "body" | mail -s "test" servers@latina.com

debug output:

Feb 16 13:28:20 deb1-sh sSMTP[21160]: To: servers@latina.com

not working command: echo "body" | mail -s "test" root

debug output:

Feb 16 13:27:21 deb1-sh sSMTP[21151]: To: root

According to this post:http://possiblelossofprecision.net/?p=591 I tried to add file /etc/mail.rc with following content:

alias root servers@latina.com

With no success.

I run debian jessie 8.3.

It looks like ssmtp root alias doesn't work. Has anybody idea why? Or how to solve this issue? Thank you.

  • 2
    I'm suffering from the same issue. ssmtp root works (mail is sent to the address specified in ssmtp.conf root=... line), but at the same time mail root does not work. The latter call generates an error in /var/log/mail.err ("553 5.1.8 Domain name required: <root@>") that indicates that the To-address was not re-written. I have confirmed that mail actually reads the /etc/mail.rc file on my system using strace. – dasup Mar 7 '18 at 17:40

As I understand it, the root configuration setting for sSMTP is only used for local accounts so should be set to a username that’s valid for the local host. It’s not an alias like those used by other more fully-featured MTAs (which can be used to forward mail to another domain).

The comments in my /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf state

(5) root

If sSMTP finds an unqualified e-mail address among the recipients, and it corresponds to a username on your local machine with a userid less than 1000, then the e-mail is sent to this value instead. The idea is that mail sent to 'root' should probably go to 'postmaster' instead.


ssmtp does not replace mail. I got it working by using ssmtp binary instead of mail.mailutils. You can test it by running this command: MAIL=$(which mail) mv "${MAIL}" "${MAIL}.orig" && ln -s $(which ssmtp) "${MAIL}"

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.