Unable to check email?

I’m unable to check emails via my POP client or webmail. I believe I’m on the mail server sack. Anyone else having problems?

I’ve put in a support question, but haven’t heard anything yet so I thought I would see if I was the only one.


You’re not alone. I logged in via ssh and tried pine, same result - the mail server refuses to authenticate me. I submitted a support question about 4 hours ago, but no response yet.

“Well I can get the ‘a’. But how do I put the circle around it?”

Wow. Given the length of this outage, I figured I must be the only one. I’m pretty surprised that with multiple customer having no email (everyone on server sack?), that they are taking this long to fix the problem. I guess it is about time I stopped threatening to switch to another host provider and I actually did it… what a pain this will be.


My webmail seems to be working, but I’ve had multiple instances of “sd.dreamhost” being appended to the middle of email addresses that I’m mailing to.

Something isn’t working right.

In my experience, this will generally only happen if you’re sending to addresses which are improperly formatted or not fully qualified. I think sometimes webmail doesn’t do enough sanity checking.

If this is the problem I think it was, it only affected a small number of customers.

Yep, we’ve had trouble yesterday, too. We put in a report to DH and got a pat answer about how nothing was worng, and they have not been able to replicate it on the server. Blah blah. Then I come here to see what’s going on, and it seems we are not the only ones… It looks like we lost some email yesterday… did any of you?


I still can not check my email on sack after about 20 hours now. No luck with webmail either. I get “refused connection”, “dropped connection”, “server has gone down” error messages. Response from support so far (one response to my three messages) was “everything’s fine, here are the diagnostics I’ve done”. Thanks, but I still can’t get my mail and afaic, this is an unreasonable outage.

Pretty unhappy right now. Oh right and while I can ping the servers, I’m getting packet loss in the 80-90% range. Not sure if that impacts anything.

Anybody else still having trouble? Anybody know what the problem is/was and what the fix is?


I’m seeing a lot of packet loss to you (at your ISP’s end). Can you view our site / discussion forum OK? Are other sites (not hosted by us) responsive?

From my home machine, things look a lot better.I’d be interested in seeing traceroute and extended ping output from where you are - but from where I set the problems appear to be within Rogers. If you can send that stuff to me c/o support, that would be great. Unfortunately, because of so many ISPs blocking or rate-limiting certain types of ICMP, and because so many broadband users now have “home firewall” type machines with overly paranoid settings, it’s often hard to use tools like Ping and traceroute to disagnose these problems.

If the problem persists, I can try taking a different outbound route and see if that helps, but try contacting your ISP first. If they have any questions, they can reach us via the contacts in the ARIN whois for our IP block / ASN.

This is an extended ping session from our router - the bangs (!) are successful ones. Notice the stats at the bottom - 6% success rate.

Sending 200, 100-byte ICMP Echos to xxx, timeout is 2 seconds:
Success rate is 6 percent (12/200), round-trip min/avg/max = 80/88/112 ms

Count me as another who can’t use POP or webmail. Noticed and reported the issue to dreamhost at 8:00 AM EST this morning. Haven’t heard a thing.

On the other hand, my fiancee and housemate has a hosting account with Dreamhost, and she can access her mail just fine.

Are you on sack?

My frustration is that since I’ve clarified with support that I can see the server etc. I’ve heard nothing in 18 hours, and it is now 26 hours since I could get my mail. I am now looking at triage to reroute my mail to somewhere else because I have customer mail that I can’t access and well I needn’t get into what a pain that is.


Anyway, traceroute and ping stats sent to report fwiw, which I have
a feeling will be not much since I don’t think network performance is
the issue.

I also had problems checking email on sack.dreamhost.com for about the last 24 hours using Eudora, Outlook, Entourage, SquirrelMail, and pine. My customers on spork.dreamhost.com had no problems.

Looks like DH has fixed the IMAP authentication problem!

I am finally getting yesterday’s messages including my test messages from other ISP email accounts.

Which IMAP server is running on sack? What was the problem and the fix?

Thanks, Karen

Courier IMAP (as with all the customer mail machines). The problem wasn’t with IMAP itself. It’s kind of hard to explain the problem without a knowledge of how our system works, but I’ll try… As many of you may know, user data is stored on file servers which are separate from the actual web and mail machines. Unfortunately, a messed up database entry caused one of the mount points on this machine to get screwed up on the mail machines. This affected about 370 users or so (out of about 28,000 on that group of mail machines).

This problem affected a small percentage of users on that group of mail machines, and has now been fixed for good. Obviously it’s still ridiculous that it took so long for the problem to be corrected, and I apologize for that.

will, glad you got it all sorted out. I can reach my mail accounts now. This is a good thing.

I don’t know if you thought it was obvious, but it wasn’t obvious to me that you and the rest of DreamHost support were really on the case until just now.

I appreciate that the issue was a difficult-to-find issue, and I’m glad that you and your peers figured it all out in a relatively short period of time (I’ve personally been responsible for fixing outages of like kind that were a lot longer).

I’m just wondering if perhaps in instances like this where there are sporadic but significant reports of outages, it might not be profitable for all concerned if you’d make it a bit more explicitly clear that you’re aware there’s an issue, that user reports of issues are not isolated incidents and that you and your crew really are working diligently to solve whatever issue it may be?

I don’t know about you or the rest of us users, but I certainly would feel a bit more secure with an explicit statement to that effect. I mean next time something like this happens, of course.

Thanks for your efforts, though.


Hi, I’m running OS X 10.3 with Mail.app (on 2 computers) and I can’t seem to retreive my mail from dreamhost. Webmail shows the emails, but when I check from Mail.app, it acts like there is no mail to get. I don’t get error messages, I just don’t get mail either. This behavior began sometime yesterday (monday the 17th). This does not happen with Entourage X.

I have reinstalled my system, and the behavior has not changed, so I doubt this system related.

can anyone point me in the right direction?

// Ed

Yeah, we sent in a support request, and were told that nothing was wrong. Seemed like no one was dealing with it, or that the person who replied didn’t know of anything, then there was no follow up once obviously someone did know that something was wrong. Crappy support in my book. Frustrating. My client is starting to talk about finding another host, which would suck, because we have a shopping cart running here. Setting it up somewhere else would eb a lot of work.

The support around here could be better, that’s for sure.