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dory550 lambertFlag for United States of America

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Error using MUTT

Hi Guys
I am running Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES release 4
mutt command is present on system (verified).
I am trying to use 'mutt' to send email using the command line but keep getting the following error:
Error sending message, child exited 72 (System file missing.).
Segmentation fault

This is the command I am using:
mutt -s "Sample" -a xx.txt sales@mycompany,com < msg.txt

Any help is appreciated

Avatar of woolmilkporc
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Check existence and permissions of /etc/ (or /etc/mail/

Make sure you have an MTA installed, sendmail, postfix, etc.
run mutt -v
Then see whether you have the file referenced as SENDMAIL="/usr/sbin/sendmail"
This file should be there whether you have sendmail or postfix or other mail servers setup.
This should be a link to  /etc/alternatives/mta if sendmail is not installed.

The other issue is you have a typo in the email address (a comma instead of a perid before the end of the email sales@mycompany,com)
Avatar of dory550 lambert


I run the same command again as root
Now I am not getting  an error
Emails don't reach their recipients
How do I troubleshoot that?

Did you define your relay host (DS or DH macros of

try this in the shell:
echo "To: <mytestemailaccount>
From: <my referenceemail>
Subject: This is a test

This is a test of a local mail server" | /usr/sbin/sendmail -oi -t

See if you get an error or whether you have the email go through.

segmentation fault is unclear whether the issue is that mutt is trying to pipe to sendmail or whether you have mutt configured to run an smtp session with a remote server.
mutt -v will provide the information I am looking for as far as the configuration.
look if you have a .muttrc file that might set different parameters overriding the system /etc/Muttrc configuration.


Running mutt -v  shows the referenced  SENDMAIL="/usr/sbin/sendmail"

'/etc/sbin/sendmail'   exists

Running your test script as root produced no error but recipient DID NOT receive email
running same test as non-root user produced the following error:
/etc/mail/ line 0: cannot open: Permission denied

Running 'locate' produced the following:

Thank you
Check the permissions on /etc/mail/
it should have 644 as well as /etc/mail should have 755 permissions.

run getfacl /etc/mail/

it should report that all have rights to read the contents.
#file: etc/mail/
# owner: root
# group: root

Corrected permissions on
ran getfacl which match your sample
/etc/mail has 755 permissions.

now all are as per instruction on your last post

Running your test from the previous post produces no error but email does  NOT reach recipient,
Now that that is working, you need to look at the /var/log/maillog to see what is happening with the messages.
Check also whether you have sendmail running ps -ef |grep sendmail.
Is it running in daemon mode -bd?
Run /usr/sbin/sendmail -q to let it process the queue.
At this point you are looking to see whether sendmail is configured correctly.

Depending on what the current setup of your sendmail is and whether you are open to using a different mail server, one to consider is postfix.

I will do all you suggested
I am using RHEL 4 ( on a Dell Poweredge 1800) to run a TBRED accounting system  the software is rather old (all text)  and usses dumb terminal . I mention all this to provide a bird's eye view.
I am totally not married to 'mutt'
I started to look at mutt only because  I need to send emails with attachments (invoices etc.)
to customers.
If you think that mutt is not the best choice. I am definetly open to any reccomendation?
Avatar of arnold
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Thanks for the time and effort you invested on this post.
This issue is taking too much of my time so I opted for phone support..