Tag Archives: MTA

sendmail (notifications) using GMAIL SMTP | Ubuntu 11.10

4 Jan

Sending email directly from the MTA (mail transfer agent) on one’s server is now considered to be faux pas. Unless you’ve got that machine configured within DNS (MX record, reverse lookup, etc), it’d likely fail most basic spam checks at the destination mail server. The complexity of the configuration increases if you’ve got the need to masquerade emails from multiple domains.Instead, the ideal approach is to relay through a central SMTP gateway for all of the outbound emails generated from your server(s).

The downside of using google for relay is that it automatically sets the “from” address to the account that was used for smtp authentication. This article hacks sendmail.cf to dynamically change the authentication used based on the original “from” address. This would be applicable if you have an application that’s sending emails on behalf of multiple user accounts / domains.

To sum it up. Here’s how to get sendmail working in 10 minutes :

1. Install sendmail

Open Terminal and

sudo apt-get install sendmail sasl2-bin
service saslauthd start
sudo cp /etc/mail/sendmail.mc /etc/mail/sendmail.mc.orig
sudo vi /etc/mail/sendmail.mc
2. Setup client-info

In /etc/mail/auth/client-info: (if you do not have this file, create it)

AuthInfo:smtp.gmail.com “U:root” “I:username@gmail.com” “P:password” “M:PLAIN”
AuthInfo:smtp.gmail.com:587 “U:root” “I:username@gmail.com” “P:password” “M:PLAIN”

Set <username@hostname.tld> and <password> to the same account you use to authenticate w/ gmail.

Create the client-info.db:

makemap -r hash client-info.db < client-info
chmod 700 /etc/mail/auth
chmod 600 /etc/mail/auth/*

Both client-info & client-info.db should have permission of 600.

3. Create certificates used by sendmail

This generates the certificates and files needed to authenticate successfully with GMAIL SMTP:

mkdir /etc/mail/certs
cd /etc/mail/certs
openssl dsaparam 1024 -out dsa1024 -out dsa1024.pem
openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 3650 -newkey dsa:dsa1024.pem -out /etc/mail/certs/mycert.pem -keyout /etc/mail/certs/mykey.pem
ln -s /etc/mail/certs/mycert.pem /etc/mail/certs/CAcert.pem
openssl req -x509 -new -days 3650 -key /etc/mail/certs/mykey.pem -out /etc/mail/certs/mycert.pem
chmod 700 /etc/mail/certs
chmod 600 /etc/mail/certs/*
4. Add settings to sendmail.mc

We need to enable STARTTLS for GMAIL SMTP support. Earlier we installed sals2-bin which provides this support. A single line entry in sendmail.mc enables this feature. However, be sure to start sasl on boot by editing /etc/default/saslauthd and set START=yes

Make sure sendmail.mc has:

define(`RELAY_MAILER_ARGS', `TCP $h 587')
define(`ESMTP_MAILER_ARGS', `TCP $h 587')
FEATURE(`authinfo',`hash /etc/mail/auth/client-info')dnl
define(`CERT_DIR', `MAIL_SETTINGS_DIR`'certs')
define(`confCACERT_PATH', `CERT_DIR')
define(`confCACERT', `CERT_DIR/CAcert.pem')
define(`confSERVER_CERT', `CERT_DIR/mycert.pem')
define(`confSERVER_KEY', `CERT_DIR/mykey.pem')
define(`confCLIENT_CERT', `CERT_DIR/mycert.pem')
define(`confCLIENT_KEY', `CERT_DIR/mykey.pem')

NOTE: Be aware that smart-quotes used in the code examples will not be recognised if pasted into your files! Ensure replacing smart-quotes by regular quotes (see comments below for further detail).

5. Finish off

Finally, update sendmail.cf:

m4 sendmail.mc > sendmail.cf
cd /etc/mail
/etc/init.d/sendmail reload

To be safe, i like to rerun the configuration and go through any errors that come up :