stupid sendmail question (did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN)

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Sat Apr 24 01:07:00 PDT 2004

On Fri, Apr 23, 2004 at 04:40:42PM -0400, Duane Winner wrote:

> I am getting this in my /var/log/maillog:
> Apr 23 15:23:39 library sm-mta[169]: i3NJNd8g000169: localhost 
> [] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MTA

Which means that the Java side did not issue any SMTP commands after
connecting and issuing an EHLO or HELO.  Which perhaps indicates that
the sendmail side didn't respond with the expected
' Hello ...' and following list of capabilities in

What do you see if you telnet to localhost port 25 and then type in an
EHLO command? It should look something like this, although you
probably won't have the AUTH or STARTTLS parts unless you've modified
your sendmail:

    % telnet localhost 25
    Connected to localhost.
    Escape character is '^]'.
    220 ESMTP Sendmail 8.12.11/8.12.11; Sat, 24 Apr 2004 08:59:29 +0100 (BST)
    EHLO localhost Hello localhost [], pleased to meet you
    250 HELP
    221 2.0.0 closing connection
    Connection closed by foreign host.

Nb. That sequence generates precisely the sort of log message you saw:

    Apr 24 08:59:41 happy-idiot-talk sm-mta[8543]: i3O7xTra008543: localhost [] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to IPv4

> when my Tomcat serlvets attempt to send an email from my web app.
> I only want sendmail listing on, and the web app is 
> configured to use as it's mail server. It works fine on my Red 
> Hat implementation, but I'm guessing FreeBSD sendmail is tightened up 
> even more.
> I know that sendmail is working, because I can use the 'mail' MUA and 
> send myself a quick email.
> I'm guessing this is a little different that just going #mail blahblah, 
> because I'm doing mail relaying? But why would sendmail be denying mail 
> relaying from itself (localhost).
> Is this fairly simple to address? I know its probably stupid, but I 
> haven't played with sendmail in about 3 years, and never completely 
> understood then either.

Hmmm... in server.xml I have:

            <Resource name="mail/Session" auth="Container"

            <ResourceParams name="mail/Session">


and in the per-application web.xml there is:


and that seems to work very well.  This is from within a jail, and
speaking to sendmail in the host environment, which is why it can't
use a connection via localhost.  Port 587 is 'submission' -- the port
designated for local submission on new messages by the MUA,
distinguishing it from port 25 intended now for MTA to MTA transfer of
messages.  However, that's a new standard that has not yet reached
universal acceptance, so speaking on port 25 should work as well.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
PGP:         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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