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Wed, Oct 11, 2017 10:20 pm

Error stating Outlook OST file is in use and cannot be accessed

After I rebooted a Windows 10 PC subsequent to a software update on the system, when I attempted to reopen Microsoft Outlook 2016, I saw the message below:

Outlook Data File

Black exclamation
mark in yellow triangle The file C:\Users\jasmith1\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\ is in use and cannot be accessed. Close any application that is using this file, and then try again. You might need to restart your computer.

[ More Info ]

[/network/email/clients/outlook/2016] permanent link

Wed, Sep 06, 2017 11:57 pm

GoDaddy continues to show "Loading..." when composing email

Someone who uses GoDaddy for her email reported to me today that she couldn't send email. I logged into her account from another system and was able to send email to myself. When I notified her that I had been able to send email from her acount to myself, she sent an email to me, but reported it was still stating "loading" when she hit the send button. So tonight I logged into her system and opened the Firefox browser, since she uses that browser to send and receive email. When I clicked on Compose, I saw a "Loading..." message in the body of the email that wouldn't go away unless I clicked on the Plain Text tab to switch from "Rich Text", which allows one to format text in the message with bolding, font colors, etc., to "Plain Text". But when I switched back to "Rich Text", I had problems typing my email address in the "To" field with only one letter appearing in the "To" field no matter how many letters I typed.

[ More Info ]

[/network/email/godaddy] permanent link

Sun, Sep 03, 2017 10:36 pm

SORBS blocking email from AOL

I manage a Linux server that functions as an email server using the free and open source software (FOSS) package sendmail. I provide a mechanism through the server for someone who has Verizon as his Internet Service Provider (ISP) to send monthly newsletters by email to an organization that has about thirteen hundred members on its email distribution list, since he can't send to that number of people through his ISP-provided email service. I do so by providing an email alias on my server, e.g., that he puts in the BCC line of his email. The alias is stored in /etc/aliases and points to a text file containing the list of all members' email addresses. So his ISP-provided SMTP server sees only the one address,, which results in an email message to the server I manage that then translates that address into the approximately 1,300 email addresses of members and sends the newsletter to all members.

But this month the user reported he had sent the message, but it had not been delivered to recipients. I first checked the server's mail log, /var/log/maillog, for any occurrences of his email address for the day he reported the problem. I use several free DNS-based Blackhole List (DNSBL) services to reduce the amount of spam that reaches user's inboxes, so I suspected that one of those services had blocked email from the SMTP server through which he was sending his message, even though I had whitelisted his email address quite some time ago by adding a line like the following one to /etc/mail/access and then running the command makemap hash /etc/mail/access </etc/mail/access.	OK

I didn't find any references to his email address in the /var/log/mail file, so I asked him to resend the message. I still didn't see any references to his email address in the /var/log/maillog file, but I did see that SORBS had blocked email from an America Online (AOL) server at the time he sent the message.

[ More Info ]

[/network/email/spam/sorbs] permanent link

Tue, Aug 15, 2017 10:07 pm

Saving an email message to a file in mutt

Mutt is a text-based email client for Linux and Unix-like systems. If you want to save a particular message to a file in mutt, you can select the message then hit the v (the lowercase letter) key. In mutt, the letter is used for "view-attachments", but you can also use it to save the body of an email message to a file. If you hit the s key with the message selected or while viewing the message, you will see "<no description>" next to the number 1. If the email has any attachments they will be numbered from 2 upwards. With the first entry, i.e. the one labeled "<no description>" selected, if you hit the letter s (lowercase letter), you will see "Save to file:"

Mutt - save to file

Type the file name you wish the message to be saved under after "Save to file:" After saving the file, you can hit q several times to get back to the shell prompt. The message will be in the current directory. The file will only contain the contents of the message, not the message header, i.e., you won't see from, to, and subject lines.

[/network/email/clients/mutt] permanent link

Fri, Jul 28, 2017 5:39 pm

Dovecot not allowing logins to check email

A user reported that she was unable to get her email today and was receiving an error in Outlook when she attempted to download her email. I logged into the email server, which runs Dovecot. I tried establishing a telnet connection to the POP3 port on the server. I was able to successfully connect to the well-known port, TCP port 110, used for POP3 connections. I could then enter the user's username with the user command, but I never received a reponse from the server, i.e. from Dovecot. I eventually had to hit ctrl-], i.e., the Ctrl and "]" keys to return to the shell prompt.

$ telnet 110
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
user nell

telnet> quit
Connection closed.

[ More Info ]

[/network/email] permanent link

Fri, Jul 14, 2017 9:49 pm

Checking on whether email has gone to the spam folder and whitelisting in Gmail

If you suspect email that you wished to receive in the Inbox for your Gmail account has, instead, gone to the Spam folder, there are several ways to check the Spam folder in Gmail. If email you do want to read has gone into that folder, you can whitelist email from a particular sender or domain to ensure that future email from the sender(s) won't be routed to the Spam folder instead of the Inbox.

[/network/email/gmail] permanent link

Wed, Jun 21, 2017 10:09 pm

Adding an email address to Outlook Mail's Safe Sender list

If you use an or email address and are not receiving email from someone whose email you wish to see, you may need to add the address to your safe sender's list. Otherwise, email from the sender may not even be placed in your junk email folder, but may, instead, just be discarded by Outlook Mail.

To add an email address to Outlook Mail's safe sender list, click on the gear icon at the top of the Outlook Mail window you will see after logging into your account then take the following steps:

  1. Select Options from the drop down list.
  2. Select Safe Senders.
  3. Type the email address that you wish to add as a new safe sender in the field below the pencil and trash can icons, hit Enter then click on Save.

[ More Info ]

[/network/email/hotmail] permanent link

Sat, Jun 10, 2017 8:18 pm

Automated email for Let's Encrypt certificate expiration

The Let's Encrypt certificate I use for an email server again wasn't automatically renewed - see Let's Encrypt certificate expired. The Let's Encrypt certificates exipre every 90 days, so I wanted the system to automatically email me a message at least a week before the certificate expires. I manually renewed the certificate today by running the command letsencrypt renew from the root account and checked the new expiration date with the command openssl x509 -enddate -noout -i cert_pem_file_location where cert_pem_file_location is the location of the relevant cert.pem file.

# openssl x509 -enddate -noout -in /etc/letsencrypt/live/
notAfter=Sep  8 19:14:00 2017 GMT

Since the new certificate expiration date is September 8, 2017, I wanted an email notice sent to me on September 1. I can then manually renew the certificate, if needed. I would then want to be notified every 3 months again indefinitely. Since the mailx utility is a standard email program found on Linux and OS X/macOS systems, I use it for sending scheduled email messages.

[ More Info ]

[/network/email] permanent link

Fri, Jun 02, 2017 10:44 pm

Using nslookup to check an email blocklist

I was notified by someone today that yesterday he had sent an email to a mailing list on an email server I maintain, but the email had not been delivered to recipients. When I checked yesterday's email log, I didn't see any email from his email address, so I asked him to resend the message. He did so, but that email message was also not delivered and I didn't see any log entry for his email address in today's email log, /var/log/maillog. He has a email address and Verizon recently transitioned its email service to AOL. I remembered helping him make that transition last month, so I looked for any entries in the log file and found the entry below for an attempt by an AOL email server to deliver a message that was rejected at the time he told me he had sent the email today.

# grep aol /var/log/maillog
Jun  2 10:50:16 moonpoint sendmail[23955]: ruleset=check_relay, arg1=omr-a006e.m, arg2=, [], reject=55
0 5.7.1 Spam Block:mail from refused - see

[ More Info ]

[/network/email/spam/sorbs] permanent link

Mon, May 15, 2017 11:30 pm

Zooming in and out in an email message in Outlook 20016

If the text is too small for you to read or you want to see more text in a given area while editing an email message in the Outlook email client in Microsoft Office 2016 on an Apple laptop, such as a MacBook Pro runing the OS X/macOS operating system, you can do so without changing the font size for text in the message by holding down the control key on the keyboard while scrolling up or down with two fingers on the touchpad. If you run two fingers downwards on the touchpad while holding down the control key, you will zoom in, enlarging the text, while if you run two fingers upwards on the touchpad, you will zoom out, making the text smaller.

[/network/email/clients/outlook/2016] permanent link

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