I have an old message stuck somewhere. The recipient's address is invalid and the system keeps trying to re-send despite mail output queue being supposedly empty. Any ideas where I should look for the stuck message?

~$ mailq
mailq: Mail queue is empty
~$ sendmail -bp
sendmail: Mail queue is empty

My /var/log/mail reads:

Jan  3 17:00:02 my-linux-box sSMTP[15504]: Creating SSL connection to host
Jan  3 17:00:03 my-linux-box sSMTP[15504]: SSL connection using RSA_ARCFOUR_SHA1
Jan  3 17:00:07 my-linux-box sSMTP[15504]: Sent mail for [email protected] (221 2.0
  • Bumping up... even though it's been over a month would appreciate any help. Thanks
    – Ya.
    Feb 13, 2013 at 18:12
  • if you have a file ~/dead.letter, I found this to work cat ~/dead.letter | sendmail [email protected].
    – Sebastian
    Aug 23, 2013 at 8:41
  • @Sebastian: if the mail address is wrong, you will just repeat the error. But in fact the dead.letter exists because the mail was not accepted by the first MTA (beeing local or remote) when submited by the mail agent.
    – Benoit
    Mar 19, 2014 at 10:21

1 Answer 1


Well, the message is probably not in the queue, as soon as ssmtp doesn't manage queues at all.

Maybe some applications tries to send a message one in a while, so you could try find that app and remove mail sending logic. In my case I couldn't remember which app that was so I just uninstalled ssmpt from the system.

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