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I have a couple of cron jobs that somethime produce error output and would like to get a notification in my "real" email account, since I don't use my user's mailbox in my Ubuntu laptop, but cron (or is it postfix maybe) keeps trying to email the local root account.

I know I can add the MAILTO variable to the crontab:

ricardo@ricardo-laptop:~$ sudo crontab -l
# m h  dom mon dow   command
*/5 * * * * /home/ricardo/mrtg/cfg/run.sh

But it doesn't seem to pay any attention to it

I also tried adding my email to the /etc/aliases file and running newaliases

ricardo@ricardo-laptop:~$ cat /etc/aliases
# See man 5 aliases for format
postmaster:    root
root:          redacted@gmail.com
ricardo:       redacted@gmail.com

still, whenever cron wants to send an email it's still sending to root@my.domain.com:

ricardo@ricardo-laptop:/var/log$ tail mail.log
Aug  3 16:25:01 ricardo-laptop postfix/pickup[2002]: D985B310: uid=0 from=<root>
Aug  3 16:25:01 ricardo-laptop postfix/cleanup[4117]: D985B310: message-id=<20100803192501.D985B310@ricardo-laptop>
Aug  3 16:25:01 ricardo-laptop postfix/qmgr[2003]: D985B310: from=<root@144-68-247-190.fibertel.com.ar>, size=762, nrcpt=1 (queue active)
Aug  3 16:25:03 ricardo-laptop postfix/smtp[4120]: D985B310: to=<root@144-68-247-190.fibertel.com.ar>, orig_to=<root>, relay=smtp.gmail.com[]:25, delay=1.5, delays=0.38/0.02/0.9/0.18, dsn=5.7.0, status=bounced (host smtp.gmail.com[] said: 530 5.7.0 Must issue a STARTTLS command first. d1sm12275173anc.19 (in reply to MAIL FROM command))

Any suggestions? I'm running Ubuntu 10.04, with everything up-to-date


(thanks to Ressu)

The problem was with the file /etc/mailname

This file was set by the Ubuntu installer and had the wrong server-name. Once I changed it to match "ricardo-laptop" postfix realized the emails were intended for local delivery and started to follow the aliases

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1 Answer 1

up vote 16 down vote accepted

It would appear that you have configured smtp.gmail.com as your smarthost for the mail server. You need to remove the smarthost configuration or edit it so that your server is at all capable of sending mail to the outside world.

The configuration you have now for the mail forward appears to be working, but is failing because smtp.gmail.com is rejecting the mail.

Update: For future reference, the problem was in /etc/mailname which listed a name that wasn't in the mydestinations list of postfix. This caused all mails to be considered foreign and the mail bypassed /etc/aliases processing.

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I'm ignoring the TLS error for now, and concentrating in the fact that the last line in mail.log says: postfix/smtp[4120]: D985B310: to=<root@144-68-247-190.fibertel.com.ar> so cron is still trying to email my root account instead of my gmail account I was afraid that leaving gmail's response in the question would be confusing,but I didn't want to change it too much so I don't loose valuable information. I'll try to fix the TLS error now, but I'm confident it should have nothing to do with the wrong destination problem –  Ricardo Reyes Aug 3 '10 at 20:21
Could you include your main.cf for postfix. I suspect that your postfix instance thinks that the mail is not local to begin with, only local mail get affected by aliases file –  Ressu Aug 3 '10 at 20:32
Here is my postfix.cfg: cl1p.net/postfix I tried removing the smarthost option, but it only changed Gmail's error message, since my ip doesn't resolve correctly. Keep in mind that this is isn't a server, it's just my personal laptop and the only emails I need to deliver are the cron alerts, to my own gmail account. Thanks. –  Ricardo Reyes Aug 3 '10 at 20:41
Hmm.. does your /etc/mailname have your hostname in it? for some reason postfix appears to think that it is called 144-68-247-190.fibertel.com.ar instead of ricardo-laptop. Also, what does the hostname command say? –  Ressu Aug 3 '10 at 21:41
Postfix needs to be configured as a full mail server, not as a satellite to gmail. Otherwise, there will be authentication problem because the sender is not a user for gmail. –  txwikinger Aug 3 '10 at 21:44

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