Sendmail Client Configuration

Client Configuration | Laptop Configuration

Methods to configure Sendmail as a client where all or most e-mail goes to a remote Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) server. This documentation assumes Sendmail 8.12 or higher; older versions do not have Mail Submission Agent (MSA) support, configured via the file. Clients splitting delivery between the local system and other hosts will need to run a localhost only SMTP daemon.

The Sendmail overview diagram illustrates where the MSA fits into E-mail flow. The Sendmail Configurations page on this site contains example client, server, and proxy configurations for Sendmail.

Client Configuration

Three possible client configurations are shown here. The no daemon option consumes the least resources, though requires crond to schedule a periodic queue run. The clientmqueue daemon option runs a daemon that drains the queue, requiring no crond runs. This option opens no network ports. The final option runs a daemon bound to the loopback interface, which allows submission of e-mail to in addition to the sendmail interface.

No Running Daemons

Set a remote server for the msp FEATURE in the configuration file, then rebuild Use a periodic script run under cron(8) to clean out /var/spool/clientmqueue. Message will pile up in the clientmqueue directory if the remote server is ever unavailable.

FEATURE(`msp', `')dnl

$ sudo crontab -l | grep sendmail
# sendmail clientmqueue runner
*/30 * * * * /usr/sbin/sendmail -L sm-msp-queue -Ac -q

This setup is well suited to systems that already use a crontab(5) job to call the queue run, such as OpenBSD.

Masquerading and other basic configuration can be done in; more complex configuration will require a SMTP daemon.

Vendors may ship with a configured to listen and run on various ports. If this is the case, consult the vendor documentation on how to disable the sendmail process, as no running daemons are required using the above method.

Daemon Clears clientmqueue

Set a remote server for msp as above, but run a daemon to periodically clean out clientmqueue instead of using a periodic script. Easier to setup on systems like RedHat Linux, where minimal configuration is required to start up the queue runner after has been rebuilt.

# cat /etc/sysconfig/sendmail
# chkconfig sendmail on
# service sendmail start

SMTP Daemon

Accept e-mail only on the localhost interface (via or ::1) from local programs. This configuration is possible using my Sendmail domain-client configuration, and suits programs that can only send e-mail via SMTP. Modern vendors often configure this as the default:

$ sudo lsof -i -nP | grep :25
sendmail- 6349 root 4u IPv4 83964593 TCP (LISTEN)
sendmail- 6349 root 5u IPv6 83964594 TCP [::1]:25 (LISTEN)

Laptop Configuration

For laptops or other systems not connected to the network, use the deferred delivery mode, and disable queue runs by default. Then only run the queue(s) should a network connection be available.

To run the queue(s), use one or both of the following, depending on whether a localhost only daemon is being used or not. The first flushes the default mail queue (/var/spool/mqueue used by, and the second /var/spool/clientmqueue (configured via

# sendmail -q
# sendmail -Ac -q

To check whether any e-mail is stuck in the clientmqueue directory, use mailq(1) as follows.

# mailq -Ac