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How to configure ML Server to send Alert Notifications by mail?

3537 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Jul 6, 2013 4:11 PM by MrHoffman RSS
D.R.C. Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
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Jun 27, 2013 11:50 AM

Is it possible to configure Mountain Lion Server to send out Alert notification by e-mail without enabling full Mail services?


I don't want to run the Mail service on the Server. I'm quite happy with my ISP's mail service. Besides, I have a dynamic public IP address, hence no rDNS entry (so I couldn't run Mail if I wanted to).  And I don't have the expertise to configure and maintain the Mail service.  But I would like to get the Server to send me any important alert notifications by e-mail.


I have access to an authenticated SMTP server I can use to relay the outbound alert notification emails. But I don't know how to coerce the alert service into using it.  Is it possible to do so, or does one need the full-blown Mail service to be configured (with both dovecot and postfix running) in order to get Alerts to be e-mailed?


Thanks for any help.

  • MrHoffman Level 6 Level 6 (11,720 points)

    Nope.  You'll have to relay.

  • MrHoffman Level 6 Level 6 (11,720 points)

    You have to configure your mail server to relay to your ISP.


    The notifications and various other services all expect to go to the local mail server.


    I don't have a Mountain Lion 10.8 server box handy to check the exact syntax, but it should be via a "Relay outbound mail via ISP" setting in the Mail section of  (It's also possible to set up the relay via Postfix commands, but I'm guessing you don't want to go that route.)


    Which is unfortunately exactly what you have said you didn't want to do here.  Rock, meet Hard Place. 

  • MrHoffman Level 6 Level 6 (11,720 points)

    If the mail server is started and the relay is not working, then there's some sort of configuration issue with the specification fo the relay (did you specify the target port required by your ISP?  Are the ISP mail server login credentials correct?) or there's an error with the operation mail server itself. 


    Check the logs and for any problems related to the mail server startup, too.  Various errors can be logged there.


    As for another potential trigger, it's very common to skip DNS set-up with OS X Server systems, and that can cause weird errors with services that require network authentication, and that's most services.  To confirm DNS is correct, launch and issue the command


    sudo changeip -checkhostname


    That'll report no changes are required, or potentially diagnostics related to any network configuration errors detected.  (Why DNS?  The mail server can get confused if it can't determine its host name, for instance.)


    To secure the local mail server against remote access (which seems to be at the core of your plan), you could choose to block the in-bound mail server ports at your gateway-firewall-NAT device at the edge of your network, which would prevent all but local users from accessing the mail server.  That'll block remote access, but should not disrupt local mail server activity.  If in-bound ports are blocked at the edge of your network, your server will only be able to send outbound mail, so only your internal systems should be able to send mail.)

  • MrHoffman Level 6 Level 6 (11,720 points)

    Somebody else might be able to better assist with this question and your concerns.  (This given I'm increasingly confused around what's happening here, and the requirements, and my responses clearly aren't moving you forward.)


    As for DNS, OS X Server doesn't care where the DNS translations are acquired, so long as there are translations available for the local (usually NAT'd network) addresses and domain names, and assumg the local network DNS is not in .LOCAL or similar domain you don't have registered.   Your Tomato router DNS server would be the source for the MX record for the mail server.


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