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  1. #1

    POP before SMTP won't stay ticked

    I seam to be unable to get my RaQ to forward mail by SMTP. I keep getting error 550 from my email software.

    I have been into control panel --> Email Server and ticked "POP before SMTP relaying" with a 15 minute relay window. I have then "saved changes" and gone back to control panel and "saved changes" again.

    When I go back into Email Server the "POP before SMTP relaying" box is NOT ticked!

    Does anyone know why this should be? I am fully up to date on all software packages and they have been carefully installled in order.

    Any help appreciated.


  2. #2
    You should check two things to see if POP before SMTP is actually running. At the shell prompt as root:

    ps axf | grep poprelayd

    This should come back (in addition to the grep) something similar to this:

    600 ? S 0:35 perl /usr/local/sbin/poprelayd -d

    The important thing is that you see something similar to this. If you don't it's not running. Try checking the box and saving again and repeat as above. If it's still not running, it's broken for some reason, report back here and let us know.

    If it is running, you need to make sure it's configured in sendmail correctly. Again at the shell prompt as root:

    grep popip /etc/mail/

    This should come back with:

    Kpopauth hash -a<MATCH> /etc/mail/popip.db
    Kpopauth hash -a<MATCH> /etc/mail/popip.db
    Kpopauth hash -a<MATCH> /etc/mail/popip.db
    Kpopauth hash -a<MATCH> /etc/mail/popip.db

    If it does, it's configured in sendmail. If not, it's broken

    If it is running and is in your file, then you need to make sure it's actually picking up your IP address. So, and the next bit must all be done within 15 minutes (the default timeout), first check your POP3 account on the server (don't try sending anything) using your normail POP3 email client. then at the shell prompt as root:

    perl /usr/local/sbin/poprelayd -p

    This will list any IP addresses that the process has found in your log file. Your ISP IP address should be in this file, the number following it is the time in seconds after the last POP was done. If it's not in there, it's broken. If it is in there, run the command abive again. You should see that the counter next to the IP address has gone up.

    If it has, it's working. Try sending an email. If this fails, it could be that you're going through some weird kind of firewall that keeps changing your IP address between POPing and SENDing which is mucking up the whole process. You should be able to easily track this by doing the following:

    At the shell prompt as root, do the following (it will not return you to the command prompt):

    tail -f /var/log/maillog

    This will start monitoring your maillog file. Now, POP your email account again and you should see an entry in your logfile with the following in it (sanitised):

    Jul 18 09:17:08 www ipop3d[23491]: pop3 service init from nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn
    Jul 18 09:17:08 www ipop3d[23491]: Login user=sales [nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn] nmsgs=1/1
    Jul 18 09:17:11 www ipop3d[23491]: Logout user=sales [nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn] nmsgs=0

    Note the nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn IP address.

    Now, try sending an email. Depending on the problem you will get something different in your log file (you may have to wait a little while for this error to appear). Make sure that the IP address on any error message relating to what you have just done matches the one above. If it's subtely (or not) different, then that's your problem. If it's the same, then there needs to be another rethink

  3. #3
    Oh, use <ctrl>c to get out of the tail monitor

  4. #4

    Thanks, your help looks really comprehensive, but I must confess I am a complete beginner at this. I can set things up in the RaQ control panel fine, but when you start talking about shell prompts I get confused.

    I use telnet to get my patches by FTP. Is the shell prompt the thing I get when I telnet the server? IE:

    [admin admin]#


  5. #5
    You're almost there

    You need to get from the admin account to the root account, but do be careful and only login to root when you have to, and always be extra careful if you dlete anything . At the prompt you mentioned:

    [admin admin]#


    su -

    You'll be prompted to enter a password. This is usually exactly the same as your admin password. You should then find yourself at the prompt:

    [root /root]#

    If you post back to the board, please be careful not to reveal your real IP addresses or domains you have. TELNET is quite insecure as it sends usernames/passwords in clear text, rather than encrypted and is frowned upon these days. Most will recommend that certainly, when you're not using it, disable it in the control panel. You should also look to disable it permanently in the control panel (i.e. never enable it) and install SSH instead which you can find here:

    To login using SSH, you will need an SSH client. There are various available, but my preference is for:

    Also, have you approached the company that you obtained the RaQ from? If you leased it, the hosting company should support this kind of thing for you. If you bought it through a VAR, then if they're reputable, they should also offer some kind of experienced technical support for what is, after all, a failing with the product - especially since you don't appear to have changed it beyond applying patches and configuring it through the UI.

  6. #6

    Thanks for all your help. Its good to have someone who explains things in simple terms rather than buzzwords.

    I will take on board your advice. For the moment though I will stick with telnet (I prefer to take one step at a time) but I will certainly look into SSH.

    I will try your suggestions using telnet later this evening (thats quite a way off i'm in the UK). I will keep you posted.


  7. #7
    Just a question..
    what does pop before smtp do?

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Reply to Jonathan (Chirpy)

    Took a while but I finally got around to doing your checks above. The results are as follows:

    in response to "ps axf | grep poprelayd"

    I got "8676 ? S 0:00 perl /usr/local/sbin/poprelayd -d" So I assume that is OK?

    in response to "grep popip /etc/mail/"

    I got "Kpopauth hash -a<match> /etc/mail/popid.db" it appeared twice on two lines. So I assume that is OK?

    in response to "perl /usr/local/sbin/poprelayd -p"

    I got my ISP IP address and 2 a little later i got the same with 46 so I assume that is OK?

    I then did the "tail" and that all appeared to be OK also.

    The good news it is now sending mails fine!

    The interesting news is I had just changed my ISP, so I thought I would try sending mail with my old ISP again and it didn't work again. When I try to "tail" it, all the pop requests are accepted fine, but there is no sendmail activity and my email software gives me an error.

    Looks like the problem has been with the ISP. Sorry to have troubled you, but thanks for your help anyway, I probably wouldn't have found the problem without it.


  10. #10
    Great news

    The problem, then, is that your old ISP was likely blocking port 25 on your internet connection. This is the port that your email client uses when talking to the SMTP server on the RaQ.

    IIRC, AOL (used to) do this, so it's certainly done by some ISPs under the supposed belief that it stops spamming.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Earthlink/MSpring does this as well. So does Verizon (DSL).

  12. #12
    The ISP that I couldn't connect with was VISPA (UK based). The weird thing is though, they allow [email protected] to go through their own server!

    But its not for me to question, I am sorted now thats the main thing.

    Oh one final thing though. I still cant get "pop before smtp" to stay clicked in the control panel, although it is obviously working, each time I revisit it is unticked! desptie me keep ticking it!

    Is that normal?


  13. #13
    It's a bug that I've seen on RaQs in the past, but thought that it had been fixed in one of the updates. If I were you, I'd double-check that you do have all the updates applied on the server.

    If you have, and are bothered (I wouldn't be) then you might get a definitive answer on the Sun forum: (under RaQ Discussions)

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