Sendmail/postfix inoperability

Ok, I've attempted to run both sendmail and postfix, and run into the same

problem with both.

Essentially, I can send mail outgoing but not recieve it incoming. I thought

this might be a problem with my MX records, but I checked them.

I get the following in my maillog too, and on screen when I've run

postfix in debug mode:

Dec 22 00:48:22 li3-194 postfix/nqmgr[10374]: fatal: open dictionary: need "type:name" form:

Dec 22 00:48:23 li3-194 postfix/master[9970]: warning: process /usr/libexec/postfix/nqmgr pid 10374 exit status 1

Dec 22 00:48:23 li3-194 postfix/master[9970]: warning: /usr/libexec/postfix/nqmgr: bad command startup – throttling

I'm pretty sure I've got the config file settings right, I followed the guide at: almost religiously, after several

attempts to do it myself failed.

Local mail outgoing however, works fine….. it's just incoming mail that never

gets delievered.

Any suggestions?


10 Replies

looks like a configuration problem - maybe you could include your config so i can try and see where the problem is.

Jan 3 18:24:16 li3-194 postfix/local[16593]: fatal: open database /etc/postfix/aliases.db: Invalid argument

Jan 3 18:24:17 li3-194 postfix/nqmgr[16581]: warning: premature end-of-input from private/local socket while reading input attribute name

Jan 3 18:24:17 li3-194 postfix/nqmgr[16581]: warning: private/local socket: malformed response

Jan 3 18:24:17 li3-194 postfix/nqmgr[16581]: warning: transport local failure – see a previous warning/fatal/panic logfile record for the problem description

Jan 3 18:24:17 li3-194 postfix/master[16579]: warning: process /usr/libexec/postfix/local pid 16593 exit status 1

Jan 3 18:24:17 li3-194 postfix/master[16579]: warning: /usr/libexec/postfix/local: bad command startup – throttling

Keeps coming up over and over again, no matter how may times I reinstall

and reconfigure postfix, even following the guides.

any ideas?


It looks like your aliases.db file is corrupted or nonexistent. Try running "newaliases" to rebuild it.

I'm had a similar problem using the small redhat distro.

I'm using zoneedit to set up the DNS, webmin to do the configuration & I see the sendmail processes running. I can email from linux but external mail is not getting through.

Is there a log file I can look at to see what is happening?


It looks like your aliases.db file is corrupted or nonexistent. Try running "newaliases" to rebuild it.

done that, serveral times…. it still won't work, even if I comepletely uninstall

postfix, run newaliases, reinstall, reconfigure and run, or if I

reinstall, reconfigure, rerun newalises, and rerun…..

I'm foxed by it.


Postfix behaves like this when it tries to open a db file created with a version of Berkeley db other than the one it was compiled to support. Check that you (or your package maintainer) are compiling and linking for the same db version. Use ldd on postfix and newaliases to check what version of libdb is being used.

I migrated to sendmail.

it was hard to configure and maintain though, I might just save my sendmail

settings, uninstall it, and reinstall/configure postfix right from sources,

to see if that works.

I used apt-get install postfix originally, maybe it got the wrong type for my OS

(I'm using redhat small 9.0)… or maybe it's just not compatible with RH?


RH9 ships with Postfix as the default MTA and I'm pretty sure it's in the big Linode distro so it's not a Postfix/RH problem.

RH9 ships with libdb 4.0. A lot of Debian style packages are created using older versions - a likely cause of your troubles.

Best solution is to build Postfix yourself and make sure you use the newaliases that Postfix installs.

Problems like this (and Red Hat's perverse decision to abandon RH9 so soon after release and make us choose between Fedora and the Enterprise stuff) are what made me switch to Gentoo for my Linode (and it's going on my home machine as well).

I am a newbie with sysadmin and I can't believe it's such a beetch to get mail.

I got my linode running with RH9 small and webmin with virtual servers.

I disabled sendmail, apt-get install postfix from webmin. I followed the light docs on and my server still can't receive mails. I get no message in my maillog.

My MX record is setup at with my Linode IP address.

can someone point me to step by step recipe for dummy..


This got me sorted out when postfix just sat there after installation, apparently doing nothing: … gging.html">


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