Continuing sendmail problems

My client reports that email sent from their php app is still taking hours or days to arrive. I did post a ticket (yesterday), and received a reply indicating that they are still dealing with a spam problem. I would like to get a better idea about this problem (how about posting on Dreamhoststatus)? Problem started on Friday, would like to know when this will be fixed, or at least get more info on what’s going on. Beginning to think I need a backup hosting on another provider (which I never considered before). If Dreamhost is being targeted for some reason that is a big issue.


Dreamhost has been having sendmail problems for many many months now. I can give you the same advice tech support gave me, which is working really well for me… rather than using sendmail, use SMTP… (use your server). My sites use PHP, so I was able to find a PEAR package that will do it, and something similar may work for you. The thing is, when you use sendmail, you’re sending all your email, unauthenticated, to like 1 or 2 outgoing servers, which is a huge bottleneck if other sites are doing the same. If you use your SMTP server, it will have less traffic, and your email will make it out quickly (and be authenticated).

I’m still converting over to SMTP on my sites, and it’s interesting to see… email sent using SMTP delivers promptly, while email sent using sendmail takes up to a couple days, as you pointed out. Hope this helps… and isn’t too much trouble to get your site converted.

Hi Triggerx,

Thanks for your reply. Being in Canada, we don’t have free access to phone support, so in the past had relied with
success on the email support. However in this case I wasn’t offered the solution you mentioned. The code I am maintaining
includes several tries at email interfaces, one of which I believe is the SMTP PEAR method you talked about, so it might just
be a question of getting that one to work. I supposed there is something in the knowledge base about it, will have a look.


I too have been using sendmail for automated scripts, and over the past year it has been an ongoing problem. Sometimes it works, sometimes it is delayed…and now I am getting quite a few emails being returned as undelivered due to recipients having a “blocked” Dreamhost IPs due to excessive spam.

Obviously someone is sending spam using Dreamhost servers, and we’re getting punished for it.

Do you have any examples of scripts you can post that are using PEAR and SMTP on Dreamhost account?

How many emails are you sending out an hour/day?

using sendmail? not much. Probably less than a dozen , if that, per day. Using “mutt” you can see that some of these e-mails are never received and are “blocked” because Dreamhost’s IP has been blacklisted. And its not just one ISP, it is different ones. This is an increasing problem that basically will prevent me from using sendmail for anything.

I have found a link to this:

and seems simple enough to convert existing PHP code to use this…but what about PERL scripts? I’m not sure

GetF - The IP being blacklisted is a separate issue. You need to raise a support ticket for that, so we can help you fix it, and that’s likely to be a good part of why this is happening for you.

(Your scripts are using php_mail() right now, at least the contact forms are, so you should be able to use that)