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sendmail User unkown message...Written to dead.letter and still works

Jack C. Mahaffey
Super Advisor

sendmail User unkown message...Written to dead.letter and still works

I'm getting the following message when an e-mail message is sent to an alias that refers to an e-mail account on another host.

bcoolor4:dtremote...User unknown

The message is still sent to the correct user identified in the /etc/mail/aliases table. The aliases.db has been removed and rebuilt. sendmail has been restarted.
When running sendmail -v dba everthing appears to work okay.

What can I now check to stop the this. The dead.letter file keeps growing...


I do have a UNIX login name bbcolor in the /etc/passwd file. This user is not assigned to any aliases.

Any ideas...

jack...
7 REPLIES
Jack C. Mahaffey
Super Advisor

Re: sendmail User unkown message...Written to dead.letter and still works

Problems only occurs with mailx... Running sendmail works okay...
Douglas Cromby_1
Valued Contributor

Re: sendmail User unkown message...Written to dead.letter and still works

There are a number of possible causes. One thing to check is to see if you have a sendmail patch. This patch is recommended:


1. PHNE_17135 if you are running HP-UX 10.20.

--OR--

2. PHNE_17190 if you are running HP-UX 11.00.

Douglas Cromby_1
Valued Contributor

Re: sendmail User unkown message...Written to dead.letter and still works

You might like to check permissions.

Verify that the permissions on /usr/sbin/sendmail are set to:

-r-sr-sr-t.

Note: If /usr/sbin/sendmail is not set to -r-sr-sr-t, then execute the following command:

chmod 7555 /usr/sbin/sendmail
Dan Hetzel
Honored Contributor

Re: sendmail User unkown message...Written to dead.letter and still works

Hi Jack,

In addition to Douglas' post:

Latest superseeding patches are:
ftp://ftp.itrc.hp.com/hp-ux_patches/s700_800/10.X/PHNE_22672
for 10.20 or
ftp://ftp.itrc.hp.com/hp-ux_patches/s700_800/11.X/PHNE_18546
for 11.0

Dan
Everybody knows at least one thing worth sharing -- mailto:dan.hetzel@wildcroft.com
Jack C. Mahaffey
Super Advisor

Re: sendmail User unkown message...Written to dead.letter and still works

sendmail -bs returns:
220 chlprod.mead.com ESMTP Sendmail 8.9.3 (PHNE_18546)/8.7.1; Mon, 12 Feb 2001 11:29:56 -0500 (EST)
So the patch is installed.

Check of permissions on sendmail shows
-r-sr-srt for root:mail login.
Douglas Cromby_1
Valued Contributor

Re: sendmail User unkown message...Written to dead.letter and still works

You get a dead.letter fundamentally because the user a message is being sent to cannot be delivered - user unknown. This would be seen for inbound messages only.

Aliases have been seen to be a problem, where the aliases were pointing to a non-existant user.

Permissions of /var/user/username can also be a problem. Mine are set to -rw-rw----.

SPO Distributed Svcs
Occasional Contributor

Re: sendmail User unkown message...Written to dead.letter and still works

I am experiencing similar problems.

Sendmail is returning a user unknown for valid users, both remote and local. In my case these errors are being generated from automated mail sent from a generic script that our DBAs use.

Interestingly enough, the errors only come from machines with the PHNE_18546 sendmail patch installed. The ones without it have never been a problem.

I wish I could offer more advice, but I'm in the same boat as you are. Who knows though.. sometimes those little clues reveal a whole lot.