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What's wrong with my emails?
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What's wrong with my emails?

NarutoNaruto Member
edited January 2012 in Help

Okay, my VPSes cannot send mail to Hotmail. I know, Hotmail is stupid and does things their way... but here is my setup:

I have 3 VPSes doing round robin. I have an A record for each one.

Let's call the IPs for each VPS,, and for toubles sake. We'll call the domain

Reverse DNS on all 3 of those IPs resolve to, but mail will not send.

Hotmail said they blacklisted my IPs for sending bulk emails, which I know I never did because I only send registration verifications and it has a captcha on it. I told them this and said I just got the IPs from my provider. They suggested I add an SPF record.

Man, an SPF record? I don't understand those things. I made both a TXT and an SPF record with the following, yet Hotmail still won't accept my emails. Not even to the junk folder.

v=spf1 a mx ptr ip4: ip4: ip4: -all

Why are they so mean to me? What do I do? How come people even use hotmail? Why must spammers ruin things for others?


  • DamianDamian Member
    edited January 2012

    Do you get any kind of errors in your logs, or in your deferral log? We had an issue a few months ago where Yahoo demanded!!!! that we start sending emails with Domainkeys, and I noticed it in the logs.

  • I don't know where sendmail's logs are located.

  • It's kinda distribution-specific. On my Centos systems, it's /var/log/maillog, on my Debian system, it's /var/log and then broken down into distinct files, like /var/log/mail.log and /var/log/mail.err

    If neither of these match your layout, /var/log is a good place to start looking

  • NarutoNaruto Member
    edited January 2012

    Jan 15 07:34:52 3 sendmail[16025]: q0F7YqJ1016025: to=root, delay=00:00:00, xdelay=00:00:00, mailer=local, pri=31612, dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent Jan 15 07:53:10 3 sendmail[16052]: q0F7rAQG016052: from=apache, size=124, class=0, nrcpts=1, msgid=<[email protected]>, [email protected] Jan 15 07:53:10 3 sendmail[16053]: q0F7rAYZ016053: from=<[email protected]>, size=351, class=0, nrcpts=1, msgid=<[email protected]>, proto=ESMTP, daemon=MTA, relay=localhost.localdomain [] Jan 15 07:53:10 3 sendmail[16052]: q0F7rAQG016052: [email protected], ctladdr=apache (48/48), delay=00:00:00, xdelay=00:00:00, mailer=relay, pri=30124, relay=[] [], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (q0F7rAYZ016053 Message accepted for delivery) Jan 15 07:53:11 3 sendmail[16055]: q0F7rAYZ016053: to=<[email protected]>, ctladdr=<[email protected]> (48/48), delay=00:00:01, xdelay=00:00:01, mailer=esmtp, pri=120351, [], dsn=5.0.0, stat=Service unavailable Jan 15 07:53:11 3 sendmail[16055]: q0F7rAYZ016053: q0F7rBYZ016055: DSN: Service unavailable

  • Interesting that it doesn't give a reason other than "Service unavailable"

    Is your hostname set to something other than localhost?

  • It's set the domain. (note: those logs are edited to say

    I can send to Gmail just fine.

  • It would help to see your config files. Pastebin 'em!

  • Default config files that come with sendmail on CentOS 5.

  • WhizzWrWhizzWr Member
    edited January 2012

    That happened to me as well, except I have a valid SPF & SenderID (MS version of SPF). IMO it's just their filtering system that's probably flawed.

    I contacted them here and they said the have whitelisted my IP.

    I'd recommend you to use this tool to create your SPF record SenderID Wizard

    and submit your SPF record here: Submit your SPF record

    Optionally if you wish to monitor your IPs status, sign-up for this service:
    Windows Live SDNS

    Oh and by the way, once you changed a DNS record (TXT, SPF, etc) it will normally take up to 48 hours (in most case it's less) till the whole internet know you have made a change. You can change the DNS TTL during adjustment-period, but if you don't want to mess with your DNS server, just wait for a few hours before sending another test mail.

    In my case, it turned out that I have other TXT record other than SPF. So Hotmail filtering system insist on reading that record instead of the valid SPF records. Removed that TXT records, and tadaa my e-mail arrived on any hotmail inbox.

    Pretty much every major e-mail service requires SPF to be used (Yahoo, GMaik, Hotmail). To make things more complicated, there is also DKIM. If you really wish your e-mails will have a guaranteed delivery, go Google them. That just an advice, though.

  • I have a forum so I use SPF + DKIM and haven't noticed any problems sending emails to hotmail.

    Maybe the all 3 IP's resolving to same name is causing a problem.

  • Just an update, @Francisco helped me setup Google Apps for sending mails instead. It works. :)

  • Just for the record, I don't use SPF nor DKIM and my mailserver sends email fine to Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo. I haven't had any whitelisting done for my IPs.

    All I do is have proper rDNS set and my ehlo hostname is correct.

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