Sendmail not accepting connections on port 25

Bill Tillman btillman99 at
Tue Jul 19 18:57:39 UTC 2011

From: Robert Bonomi <bonomi at>
To: freebsd-questions at; ssgriffonuser at
Sent: Tue, July 19, 2011 12:31:56 PM
Subject: Re: Sendmail not accepting connections on port 25

> Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 00:03:58 -0700
> From: ssgriffonuser <ssgriffonuser at>
> Subject: Sendmail not accepting connections on port 25
> Hi all,
> I'm having difficulty getting sendmail set up on my server.  I can send 
> and receive to localhost and I can send to external networks but I can 
> not receive from external networks (I receive a 550: Address rejected).  

What does the sendmail LOG FILE show?

> Netstat says sendmail is listening on port 25 but I cannot telnet to it.

Netstat just says "something" has port 25 open on 'any' address -- this may,
or may *not* be the sendmail instance you think is running.  It probably 
*IS*, but you need to be sure.

> When I do a port scan of the server, nmap does not show anything on port 
> 25 but does show smtp on 587.

May I recommend 'lsof'?

The command-line  "lsof -n -P |grep IPv"  will show exactly what processes
have have what ports, on what addresses, open.

> As far as configuration goes, I added my hostname to 
> /etc/mail/local-host-names and created a /etc/host/virtusertable that 
> looks like:
> admin at    shane
> shane at    shane
> then I ran 'make all install restart' .

*Unless* you modified the .mc  file, I believe 'virtusertable' should be in
/etc/mail, not /etc/host.

what does 'grep Kvirtuser /etc/mail/' show?

Lastly, you need to run 'makemap hash virtusertable' in the directory where
the virtusertable file lives.

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It's been ages since I configured an e-mail server but I do recall that sendmail 
likes to have the makemap hash command run as well as a few config file 
adjustments. If you get into the m4 stuff with sendmail it can become quite 
complex which is why lots of people stay away from sendmail these days in favor 
of postfix or qmail.

I am surprised that your able to send mail but not receive it. It's usually the 
other way around because ISP's block e-mail being sent from their subscribers 
due to spammers and because they have found they can charge you extra if you 
want to run an e-mail server other than the one they provide. Also, receiving 
mail usually runs with with a pop3 or imap deamon, your setup may be different 
and those programs usually default to port 110, not 25. Port 25 would be the 
typical outgoing port.

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