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Re: mail: Sending...failed with exit value 71

From: Glenn Morris
Subject: Re: mail: Sending...failed with exit value 71
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 2003 01:37:16 +0000
User-agent: Gnus (, GNU Emacs (

address@hidden wrote:

> At 19:45 (UTC-0000) on Mon, 8 Dec 2003 Glenn Morris 
> said:
> = Alright then, the crystal ball says:
> = 
> = You have a sendmail installation where the sendmail executable (eg
> = /usr/sbin/sendmail) is not suid root. Either make it so (chmod u+s
> = /usr/sbin/sendmail), or if you can't/don't want to do that, try
> I've already got that... and have had it.  It was set up that way from
> the original install/upgrade. 

Cheap lousy crystal ball. <thump>

>  As said, since mail works fine in 'pine', 'xemacs', 'mozilla', and
> 'mail' (that very basic email app which hardly anyone uses anymore),
> and fails only when using emacs, sendmail wouldn't seem to be the
> place to look for the problem, yes?

It's a sendmail error message and exit code. Caused by a
misconfigured Emacs, no doubt, but a sendmail error nonetheless.
I thought figuring out exactly what the sendmail error message meant
might point towards what to configure in Emacs. 

Anyway, let's not get sidetracked by semantics...

> Moreover, for simplicity's sake, I'd rather that emacs not even go
> to my local sendmail to send mail. Emacs can connect up to the
> (remotely located) mailserver all by itself, yes?

Yes, that's what the code I posted was intended to do. Did you try it?
What happened? What were the contents of the Trace buffer?

> Judging from the sendmail error cited in earlier posts, it's
> apparent that emacs is using sendmail. Though you couldn't tell from
> the aforementioned, I'd rather that emacs didn't do this. So which
> variable(s) control this?
> = 
> = (setq message-send-mail-function 'smtpmail-send-it  ; for Gnus
> =       send-mail-function 'smtpmail-send-it          ; for other things

Those two variables control it. The customize code you show below only
sets the one for Gnus. I don't see your Emacs version, or the mail
package you are using in your previous posts. Better post them both if
you still can't make things work.

> =       smtpmail-debug-info t    ; only while you sort out this issue
> =       smtpmail-smtp-server "your.mail.server")
> Here's what I've had in my .emacs (irrelevant customizations edited 
> out):
> (custom-set-variables
>  '(mail-default-reply-to "address@hidden")
>  '(mail-host-address "")
>  '(smtp-default-server "")

That variable does not appear in either Emacs 20.7 or 21.3, AFAICS.
smtpmail-default-smtp-server does though.

>  '(message-send-mail-function (quote smtpmail-send-it))

OK, but that's only for Gnus. Try sticking a:

'(send-mail-function (quote smtpmail-send-it))

in after that.

>  '(mail-send-nonascii nil)
>  '(smtp-server "")

Again, no such variable. smtpmail-smtp-server, yes.

>  '(user-mail-address "address@hidden")
>  '(gnus-secondary-servers (quote ("")))
>  '(smtp-fqdn "")

No such variable. Where did you get this? Is it XEmacs stuff or

>  '(smtpmail-queue-mail t)
>  '(user-full-name "ken")
>  '(mail-interactive t)
>  '(gnus-nntp-server ""))
> In addition, there's this item in Customize:
> ----------------------------------------------
> Smtpmail Queue Dir: [Hide] ~/Mail/queued-mail/
>    [State]: this option is unchanged from its standard setting.
> Directory where `smtpmail.el' stores queued mail.
> ----------------------------------------------
> Though I haven't found it documented anywhere, I'm guessing that this is 
> the directory used when emacs does it's *own* queuing, i.e., *not* using 
> sendmail.

Yes. Useful if you're not always on-line and want to store mail
before sending it in one go. By setting smtpmail-queue-mail to t as
you have done above, you indicate you want this behaviour.

All I can suggest is to try setting send-mail-function, other than
that, I don't know. Lots more info at:

PS I don't need a CC, as the Mail-Copies-To header tries to indicate.

PPS Your messages seem to be explicitly going to both the mailing list
and the newsgroup. This means they show up twice on the newsgroup (and
I guess the mailing list as well), since they are gatewayed and
essentially the same thing.

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