Sendmail Project Part I – Sendmail Not Starting Problem

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Recently, I finally reached the point where i was getting annoyed when checking backup logfiles by logging in via SSH. I would navigate to the directory, ‘tail’ the file to see if it was successful, and then log back out…tedious! I knew i could just create an email solution, but kept on putting it off. So I decided to create a script, and use sendmail to email me part of the log. Of course, with every IT project, whether big or small, speed bumps pop up that you need to get around. I figure I would share how i accomplished this in case it helps out anyone out there. Just as a warning, I dabble a lot in Linux, I wouldn’t call myself an expert per se, but I’m getting better everyday and can get around. I’ll post this in 3 or 4 parts so my

Bump 1. The first part, getting sendmail to start on my server.

Sendmail was already installed, however it wouldn’t start. I kept on getting the following error message in /var/maillog when trying to start it:

sendmail[1452]: NOQUEUE: SYSERR(root): /etc/mail/sendmail.
cf: line 588: fileclass: cannot open ‘/etc/mail/trusted-users’: World writable directory

After doing some research and working with a person from one of our software vendor’s we (ahem, he) decrypted this message as meaning that one of our directories permissions was too permissive, and sendmail did not like this. It turned out that someone (several people have handled this box over the years, including the software company as it houses an ERP system) changed the permissions on the /etc directory to 777, instead of 755, which as i understand it is the default for /etc. Once changed, sendmail started up with no problems. It must be a security feature and i’m glad that we found that because I would imagine its not a good thing to allow everyone delete/change access to your /etc directory, even though most of the users on this box do not login to this linux box directly.

Next part of the project is Sendmail2


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I started this blog because I am a System/Network Administrator, and I’ve always pulled plenty of information on solving IT problems off of the web for the past 10 years from nice people who were generous enough to share their problems and solutions online, and also provided a forum for discussion. Aside from answering a usenet post here and there, commenting on someone else’s blog, or sharing information with IT consultants I work directly with, I felt like I haven’t shared enough of my experiences online where anyone could access them and ask questions.

Hopefully, I can give back by popping up in a fellow admin’s search when quickly trying to solve a problem with several impatient people breathing down their necks, or just to make someone’s life easier when trying to tackle an IT problem.

So, this is it, I hope I can help some “IT guys” out, and learn a few things myself.  I’ll try to post on a wide variety of topics that I encounter in my daily endeavors. Who knows, maybe I’ll throw a post about the Mets or Giants on here too when I’m frustrated by how bad they suck. We’ll see how much time I have.  Thanks for reading, hope I can provide some help. -Vincent.