Archive for August, 2011
Recently I’ve had this really nagging issue where I could no longer send email from Roundcube. Mail would send just fine from any email client. A review of the mail logs for the failed message being sent from Roundcube gave a puzzling error about an unbalanced “< ” proceeding the recipient’s name with the email address. I did find that removing the person’s name proceeding the email address from the “To” line allowed me to send the message. Basically, removing the name when the field looks like this:
John Doe <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I tried playing around with a few things including re-installations of Roundcube and did a really thorough glean of my sendmail config files comparing them to the defaults. Looking through the MySQL database showed no extra angle brackets in any of the stored contacts. I did find a post on the Roundcube forums about the same error but for an older version. I tried messing around with some of the PHP files as the fix mentioned in the article was no longer applicable due to filename changes, but had no change in behavior. Thinking that perhaps there was some bug in the PHP code itself I tried installing later versions but I still got the same error about the message failing to send. I had no issues with the 0.3.x releases. This issue cropped up in the 0.5.x branch.
Finally on a hunch I began to suspect that mini_sendmail-chroot was the culprit. It turns out that I was exactly right. A search of the OpenBSD mailing list archives pointed me to a replacement called femail-chroot which was described as being less problematic. I tried it out and problem resolved! I’m not sure what it was about mini_sendmail that breaks with newer PHP scripts. Unfortunately, the project is apparently no longer maintained with the last release being from 2005.
Femail is basically a drop-in replacement for mini_sendmail. The only work involved is to just point PHP to it in your php.ini and restart Apache. You can install femail-chroot as a package (run pkg_add femail-chroot as root) or from ports (mail/femail). If you install it from ports please note that the chrooted version is available as a flavor.