mail server bouncing emails...

Posted on 2004-10-07
Last Modified: 2013-12-17
we have a linux mail server and are using postfix.
when email is sent to us SOMETIMES the email bounces.

I did a traceroute on our domain
and below is the output.  What does this mean?
I have called our DSL provider because it seems that the problem would be with them...
any ideas?

TraceRoute to []

Hop (ms) (ms) (ms)  IP Address Host name
1 0 0 0
2 0 2 0
3 0 2 0
4 1 2 1
5 11 8 8
6 44 46 44
7 70 44 138
8 46 46 46
9 41 42 41
10 42 42 42
11 43 43 43
12 Timed out Timed out Timed out   -
13 Timed out Timed out Timed out   -
14 Timed out Timed out Timed out   -
15 Timed out Timed out Timed out   -

Trace aborted.

Question by:bionicblakey
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LVL 34

Assisted Solution

PsiCop earned 100 total points
ID: 12248461
"I did a traceroute on our domain and below is the output.  What does this mean?"

Absolutely nothing, really. traceroute uses ICMP packets, and many ISPs routinely block or drop them at their borders to prevent blackhats from probing their networks. Its not uncommon to see traceroute timeout like that.

What you need is the bounce messages. The complete bounce E-Mail, including fill headers. Have someone print and fax it to you, if that's whats needed to get your hands on it. Once you have that, THEN you will have the info you need to begin troubleshooting.
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

kenfcamp earned 200 total points
ID: 12277002
> when email is sent to us SOMETIMES the email bounces.

As PsiCop stated, to get any "useful" advise you should really get and provide header details.
(these will usually tell you what the problem is or atleast where to focus your attention)

With that aside there are 4 common reasons why this could.

1) The domain in which the email was sent from doesn't have reverse-DNS setup (or setup properly)
* some ISP's have been looking at this before accepting email (Earthlink, AOL, etc)

2) The domain in which the email was sent was either forged or is on the network and/or ISP's black list

3) Server configuration

4) Network failure (local or @ the ISP)

As I'm sure you can see, w/o specific information it will be hard to tell you where your issue is likely to be.

Accepted Solution

ChrisDrake earned 200 total points
ID: 12420879
If it is being bounced by your own mail server, the reason will be in you mail log file: check out /var/log/maillog to see.

If the remote servers cannot reach you, the reason is probably because you have not got your MX record set up properly.  Tell us your domain name and/or email address, we can check and tell you what is wrong.  You probably also want to go to - it can automatically check all your settings for you and tell you exactly waht to fix immediately.

Network failures do not cause email to bounce: it just queues up until the failure gets fixed, so tracert is irrelevant (and FYI - the "problem" you think you had is not really a problem - it's just some device in the middle has a firewall and doesn't repsond to your tracert request).

reverse-DNS is also not a problem for receiving emails - only for sending them.

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