It took a while to figure this out. As it turned out, there were 2 problems affecting the sending of emails: first there was the configuration of EXIM4 for proper sending of emails from the server and the PHP had to be configured properly. I will tell you next the steps I took to fix both.
Initial configuration of EXIM4
There are 2 ways of doing this: Running the start Exim configuration script and answer the questions presented. There are 2 excellent resources you can use if you want to go this way: Linode’s EXIM4 config post and the official package description for Debian. There is a faster way I will show you if you are comfortable modifying configuration text files.
We will edit the configuration file for EXIM4 with the following command:
# nano /etc/exim4/update-exim4.conf.conf
Once in there, make the necessary changes to match as follows:
dc_eximconfig_configtype='internet' dc_other_hostnames='' dc_local_interfaces='127.0.0.1' dc_readhost='[<em>enter here the name of your host</em>]' dc_relay_domains='' dc_minimaldns='false' dc_relay_nets='' dc_smarthost='' CFILEMODE='644' dc_use_split_config='false' dc_hide_mailname='true' dc_mailname_in_oh='true' dc_localdelivery='mail_spool'
Close the file with Ctrl+X, then confirm saving the file by answering ‘Y’ and then enter to confirm the name of the file. Next, you need to restart EXIM4 as follows:
# /etc/init.d/exim4 restart
That will do the trick for EXIM4, you can test at this point if the system is properly configured by sending you a test email as follows:
# echo "This is a test." | mail -s Testing [<em>youremail</em>]@[<em>yourmaildomain.com</em>]
For troubleshooting, you can look into the logfile EXIM4 keeps of its operations as follows:
# cat /var/log/exim4/mainlog
PHP configuration of SMTP email
Now, we need to make sure PHP is configured to talk nice to EXIM4. Debian 6 uses EXIM4 as its message transfer agent (MTA) and this is different from other Linux builds where SENDMAIL is normally used. Because of this, the PHP.ini file might be missing the proper configuration to work, as PHP manual page mentions: ‘an honest attempt of locating the sendmail program for you is done and set a default, but if it fails, you can set it manually‘. Let’s open PHP.ini for edition with the following command:
# nano /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini
And search for the section configuring SMTP parameters with Ctrl+W, then type ‘sendmail_path‘ and enter. Once you are there, edit the line to the following:
sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/sendmail -t -i
In the same way, order closing the file with Ctrl+X, indicate saving changes with Y and then confirm the name of the file with enter.
Now, restart Apache for the changes to take effect with the following commands:
# /etc/init.d/apache2 stop # /etc/init.d/apache2 start
You can test PHP with the following simple script, create a new file on your server, name it ‘testmail.php’ and paste the following code:
<?php $email_to = "[enter your email here]"; $email_subject = 'Testing EXIM4'; $email_message = 'This is a Test'; // create email headers $headers = 'From: firstname.lastname@example.org'."\r\n". 'Reply-To: email@example.com'."\r\n" . 'X-Mailer: PHP/' . phpversion(); $result = mail($email_to, $email_subject, $email_message, $headers); if ($result) echo 'Mail accepted for delivery '; if (!$result) echo 'Test unsuccessful... '; ?>
This should fix the problem and email should be sending nicely. Did this fix your issue?… Let me know!
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