[Mailman-Users] Unknown user- what am I missing?

John W. Baxter jwblist at olympus.net
Thu Dec 2 07:49:20 CET 2004

On 12/1/2004 22:02, "Zain Memon" <hellbender at gmail.com> wrote:

> If it was being bounced back by Speakeasy servers since the email
> isn't right, I would expect the maillog entry to at least have a
> speakeasy relay.
> I know for sure that the speakeasy email address is correct. I can get
> regular email on it.
> Since this is a production server, I can't really have some addresses
> that don't work; what can I do to get mail through to speakeasy?
> On Wed, 1 Dec 2004 10:58:20 +0100, Brad Knowles
> <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org> wrote:
>> At 6:48 PM -0800 2004-11-30, Zain Memon wrote:
>>>  The log entry for the speakeasy one looks like this:
>>>  to=<....speakeasy.net>, relay=virtual, delay=0, status=bounced
>>>  (unknown user: "....speakeasy.net")

For an invalid username, the speakeasy.net mail server returns an error at
the moment the RCPT TO: command is issued during the SMTP conversation.  As

mx01.speakeasy.net.     3600    IN      A
mx02.speakeasy.net.     3600    IN      A

;; Query time: 32 msec
;; WHEN: Wed Dec  1 22:29:26 2004
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 147

[root at solduc namedb]# telnet 25
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
220 mail11.speakeasy.net ESMTP
ehlo fox.olympus.net
250-SIZE 20971520
mail from:<jwblist at olympus.net>
250 ok
rcpt to:<iverymuchdoubtthisaddressisvalid at speakeasy.net>
554 Sorry, no mailbox here by that name. (#5.1.1)

For an invalid address (which doesn't seem to be the case here), I would
expect your log entry to look the way it does.

Perhaps your mailing list server is not liked by Speakeasy (you sent your
message to the list via gmail, so we don't know what your server is).  Many
servers reject at RCPT TO: time if they dislike the connecting server (IP
address or behavior), and may well claim there is no such mailbox in that
situation (to avoid giving away information).

[It might seem more logical to reject the connection from a disliked server
at connection time, but...
    a.  even if they dislike the server, they should accept mail for
Postmaster (and, these days, also abuse at example.com as well) and at connect
time they can't know that's coming
    b.  the sending mail server is apt to try again on the assumption that
the refusal to connect is temporary.  In fact, it really should do so for
several days (a significant number of Washington state school districts shut
down their mail servers over the weekend...or at least long weekends, for

Or, they could reject after the EHLO (or for an old-fashioned mail transfer
agent HELO) command), but argument a above still applies, and there are many
broken mail transfer agents out there which refuse to take no for an answer
at EHLO time and try again.]


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