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Thread: Can't receive email from external domains (Postfix/Dovecot)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Smile Can't receive email from external domains (Postfix/Dovecot)


    I am new to Ubuntu and linux. I have one server running at home. I am trying to get a mail server running using Postfix/Dovecot and I have followed a few guides to get running. I have setup virtual users and am able to connect using outlook and send emails through my ISP's SMTP server (using Postfix as a relay). I can send emails externally and internally perfectly. The only problem is that I can't receive emails from external domains. Receiving emails works fine from internal domains. I have posted my postconf -n output for my Postfix configuration. My ISP is Bell Sympatico and I know that they at least block outgoing port 25.

    alias_database = hash:/etc/aliases
    alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases
    append_dot_mydomain = no
    biff = no
    broken_sasl_auth_clients = yes
    config_directory = /etc/postfix
    home_mailbox = Maildir/
    inet_interfaces = all
    inet_protocols = ipv4
    mailbox_command = /usr/lib/dovecot/deliver -c /etc/dovecot/dovecot-postfix.conf -n -m "${EXTENSION}"
    mailbox_size_limit = 0
    mydestination =,, localhost
    myhostname =
    mynetworks = [::1]/128 [fe80::%eth0]/64
    myorigin = /etc/mailname
    readme_directory = no
    recipient_delimiter = +
    relayhost =
    smtp_sasl_auth_enable = yes
    smtp_sasl_password_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/sasl_passwd
    smtp_sasl_security_options =
    smtp_tls_note_starttls_offer = yes
    smtp_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${data_directory}/smtp_scache
    smtp_use_tls = yes
    smtpd_banner = $myhostname ESMTP $mail_name (Ubuntu)
    smtpd_recipient_restrictions = reject_unknown_sender_domain, reject_unknown_recipient_domain, reject_unauth_pipelining, permit_mynetworks, permit_sasl_authenticated, reject_unauth_destination
    smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
    smtpd_sasl_authenticated_header = yes
    smtpd_sasl_local_domain = $myhostname
    smtpd_sasl_path = private/dovecot-auth
    smtpd_sasl_security_options = noanonymous
    smtpd_sasl_type = dovecot
    smtpd_sender_restrictions = reject_unknown_sender_domain
    smtpd_tls_auth_only = yes
    smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-mail.pem
    smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/ssl/private/ssl-mail.key
    smtpd_tls_mandatory_ciphers = medium, high
    smtpd_tls_mandatory_protocols = SSLv3, TLSv1
    smtpd_tls_received_header = yes
    smtpd_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${data_directory}/smtpd_scache
    smtpd_use_tls = yes
    tls_random_source = dev:/dev/urandom
    virtual_gid_maps = static:5000
    virtual_mailbox_base = /home/vmail
    virtual_mailbox_domains = /etc/postfix/vhosts
    virtual_mailbox_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/vmaps
    virtual_minimum_uid = 1000
    virtual_uid_maps = static:5000

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Re: Can't receive email from external domains (Postfix/Dovecot)

    Any ideas? There seems to be no sign of an incoming message in the logs when I send an email from an external domain like Gmail.

    My MX record is like so (according to
    0 (no glue)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Re: Can't receive email from external domains (Postfix/Dovecot)

    It seems my ISP was blocking the incoming port as well. So I changed my ISP and moved server to remote location. When I try to connect through outlook, POPS works but connecting to the outgoing SMTP doesnt work. Although it works when I connect at from the same network the server is running on. My postfix is no longer a relay.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Re: Can't receive email from external domains (Postfix/Dovecot)

    From WIKI:

    "If you want to use port 587 as the submission port for SMTP mail rather than 25 (many ISPs block port 25), you will need to edit /etc/postfix/ to uncomment the relevant line for port 587 there. "

    Which lines do I need to uncomment? How do I enable TLS on port 587?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    In the same galaxy as you
    Kubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: Can't receive email from external domains (Postfix/Dovecot)

    I wish I knew, so I could help you. Be patient, though; someone will come along who knows.
    Spoiler: Highlight to read
    Congratulations, you have found the secret message! It contains absolutely nothing useful!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Re: Can't receive email from external domains (Postfix/Dovecot)

    Thats okay, I was able to solve the problem. The comment that needs to be removed in is the submission line and the options below it. The main problem I was having was a bug in the dovecot-postfix configuration file, . The line is,

    smtpd_tls_mandatory_ciphers = medium, high

    which is wrong and should be corrected to:

    smtpd_tls_mandatory_ciphers = medium

    If you don't fix the above line you will end up seeing an error in the mail.log as:
    "invalid tls cipher grade: "medium, high": aborting TLS session"

    hopefully, this helps anyone out in the future!


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