I installed Ubuntu 11.04, LAMP using tasksel.
I find that PHP
mail() does not work.
I suppose I need to enable it or something? How do I do that?
As already noted, postfix would be an overkill if you just need to send emails from php while developing applications on your home computer.
I personally use very simple and lightweight package ssmtp. It will use any smtp server to send outbound emails. Install it by running:
sudo apt-get install ssmtp
/etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf file, comment out existing mailhub line and add the following lines (this example is for gmail smtp server):
(Provide your gmail username & password. Of course you can use any other SMTP server).
Now make sure that your php.ini has correct
sendmail_path. It should read as:
sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/sendmail -t
(From comments of @dima-l and @omar-sabic: You do not have to specify
ssmtp here because the installation should have created a symlink for
/usr/sbin/sendmail, which correctly points to
ssmtp. Otherwise you have to specify
sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/ssmtp -t)
Reload apache and your php should be able to send outgoing emails now.
From the mail manual of php:
For the mail functions to be available, PHP requires an installed and working email system. The program to be used is defined by the configuration settings in the php.ini file.
This means you have to install some sort of mailserver and configure php to use it. Usually this mailserver is postfix in Ubuntu. However - if the php side you are coding will eventually be stored on a hosting service's side (e.g. xmission), a mail server will most likely already be installed there. In that case just test your site online instead of locally.
If you need to test it on your own system or mean to host it on your own home-server than proceed with:
Installation: postfix /
sudo apt-get install postfix
During the process you will be asked in which mode you want postfix installed. There are four possible modes:
The rest of the install options depend on your choice of this general configuration.
Most likely you will choose a satellite install. That means mail will be sent using an extern provider. As smtp-server (outgoing mail server) you will then have to specify your providers smtp. The rest of the options is self explanatory.
Most smtp-servers require a password authentication to send mail. So postfix will need to know that password. Also there are things like encryption to consider (which you'll have to google). This is how you configure postfix using password authentication (sasl):
sudo apt-get install libsasl2-2 libsasl2-modules sasl2-bin
Enable sasl-auth by adding these lines to
# add to /etc/postfix/main.cf
smtp_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtp_sasl_security_options = noplaintext noanonymous
smtp_sasl_password_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/sasl_password
Create a file
/etc/postfix/sasl_password with a line like:
smtp.gmail.com [email protected]:USERPASSWORD
Substitute the actual password, username and smtp-address.
sudo chmod 600 /etc/postfix/sasl_password # for safety of your smtp password
sudo postmap hash:/etc/postfix/sasl_password
sudo postmap /etc/postfix/sender_canonical
sudo /etc/init.d/postfix restart
You might have to circumvent the 'permission denied' bug by
chown postfix:postfix /etc/postfix beforehand.
This should do it in most of the cases. Yet some smtp providers require a specific address as the sender or encryption.
Related: PEAR::Mail interface might also be of interest to you.
Gmail (and perhaps other services) may not like it that you are attempting to send mail this way as it could be deemed insecure by their standards, and would block your attempt i.e. nothing will happen on the screen or someplace of the whole process would block your authentication. Also your POP3 must be enabled.
To counter that see here. (If you want to be on the safe side, then create a dummy Gmail account)
PHP requires an SMTP client to send mail. You could install a full-featured mail transfer agent (MTA) like Postfix to serve this function, but it's overkill if you only need to send mail through PHP. Instead, install msmtp. It's lightweight and much simpler to configure.
sudo apt-get install msmtp-mta ca-certificates
Create a new configuration file:
sudo vi /etc/msmtprc
...with the following configuration information:
# Set defaults.
# Enable or disable TLS/SSL encryption.
# Set up a default account's settings.
user <[email protected]>
from <[email protected]>
You need to replace the configuration data represented by everything within "<" and ">" (inclusive, remove these). For host/username/password, use your normal credentials for sending mail through your mail provider.
Tell PHP to use it
sudo vi /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini
Add this single line:
sendmail_path = /usr/bin/msmtp -t
Should be a simple fix. You just need to install Postfix which does the actual emailing.
sudo apt-get install postfix
You want to run that from a terminal (and not the software centre) because it needs to ask you a few setup questions. You should be find to just accept all the defaults (local-only, etc).
This is an old question and there are worthy answers above, but I needed
exim for my environment. Also, confirm you have sendmail installed in the first place (
$ which sendmail -- should return something like /usr/sbin/sendmail). I found a good guide at linode.com, but the gist is:
apt-get install exim4-daemon-light mailutils
which will get you to an interactive editor.
Great answer, con-f-use.
I have one thing to add about the "dummy gmail account":
This is highly recommended because you have to configure your gmail account to allow less secure applications: https://www.google.com/settings/u/0/security/lesssecureapps
Otherwise you will get a "please log in using your web browser and then try again" error in your
also I found that I get a timeout error unless I send the gmail smtp sever my root certificate. To do this:
sudo nano /etc/postfix/main.cf
add the following to the bottom of the file
smtp_tls_CAfile = /etc/postfix/cacert.pem
Then copy the thawte root cert to the
cat /etc/ssl/certs/thawte_Primary_Root_CA.pem | sudo tee -a /etc/postfix/cacert.pem
Here is the link I used : Configure Postfix to Use Gmail SMTP on Ubuntu | EasyEngine
Hopefully this saves someone a few hair follicles...
I found the solutions provided by Dima L. is the most easiest way & lightweight to system.
Just some addition for more clarity on setting. You should comment
/etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf file. The sample
ssmtp.conf file is as below:
# Config file for sSMTP sendmail
# The person who gets all mail for userids < 1000
# Make this empty to disable rewriting.
# The place where the mail goes. The actual machine name is required no
# MX records are consulted. Commonly mailhosts are named mail.domain.com
# Where will the mail seem to come from?
# The full hostname
# Are users allowed to set their own From: address?
# YES - Allow the user to specify their own From: address
# NO - Use the system generated From: address