Sendmail Delays for Hours?

In my perl cgi script which does my order processing, I call sendmail to send me an email, and send the customer an acknowledgement, whenever the script processes an order.

Since I started with DreamHost a couple weeks ago, I’ve noticed that sometimes I get the email from my script an hour or more after receiving the payment notice from Paypal; and sometimes I receive them in bunches.

Also, for the last couple hours I’ve been testing a couple modified scripts which were sending emails to me yesterday, but sometime this morning, they seem to have quit sending emails, although otherwise they are working.

So, I just uploaded the following test script. When I hit it with my web browser, I get the response “Mail was sent”, but nothing shows up in my email box. It’s been over a couple hours now.

My site sendmails less than 20 messages per day, maybe a few more attempts this morning because I’m testing. So it’s not like I’m overloading any limit.

Does anyone know what might be going on?

Jerry Krinock

Please, go ahead and hit it if you want to:


Print “OK” reply back to client

print “content-type: text/plain\n\n”;
print "Status: ", 200, " ", “\n\n”;

open (MAIL, “|/usr/sbin/sendmail -t”) ;
print MAIL “From:\n”;
print MAIL “To:\n”;
print MAIL “Errors-To:\n”;
print MAIL “Content-Type: text/plain\n”;
print MAIL “Subject: Test of unix sendmail”;
print MAIL “\n\n”;
print MAIL “If you got this, it worked.\n\n” ;
close (MAIL);

print “Mail was sent.”, “\n” ;

exit ;

Well, I just checked my email, and that of one of my test “customers” (on the next desk), and, lo and behold, it looks like I got most or all of the messages from sendmail, all in one big deluge. One of them was created two and a half hours ago.

Is there any way to get this fixed? Two and a half hours is a long time for a customer to wait for an acknowledgement, and it makes testing sendmail scripts very frustrating when you think they are not working but they are.

For the time being, does anyone know what the parameters are – does sendmail work on any kind of schedule? What is the longest I might have to wait for a sendmail to be sent?

Hi there. You are getting them in one deluge because DH was having file server issues. You can check to see if something is wrong by going to They don’t always post stuff there, but usually if it’s something fairly major it’s there.

Angela Gann
CrimsonDryad Web Design Services
Web Design, Custom Software Development

This is unrelated to the recent filer problems and appears to be a consistent and erratic issue. Notice that this thread was posted on the 12th, well before the filer began puking.

See also, my recent thread : php mail() too slow, workarounds?

Anybody else? … This remains appears to remain an open question.

. … …… … .

I’m having this problem as well.

Funny this is, if I leave the “from” address off, I don’t get a delay at all. (But my “from” address is something goofy.)

Anyone else still getting this? This isn’t really acceptable; I’m setting up a script for email validation of a new account, but I don’t want the user to wait hours, obviously. (A few seconds would be a lot closer.)