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Thread: Deferred while performing the EHLO handshake

  1. #1
    joyfulway is offline New Member
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    Oct 2007
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    Default Deferred while performing the EHLO handshake


    our Zimbra server has been running for almost 2 years without major issue.

    Two days ago, we were unable to send outgoing mail.

    /var/log/zimbra.log gives:

    Oct 14 11:22:17 mailserver postfix/smtp[15130]: E98B0DA8153: to=<>, relay=41.204.XX.YY[41.204.XX.YY]:25, delay=0.16, delays=0.01/0.01/0.13/0, dsn=4.4.2, status=deferred (lost connection with 41.204.XX.YY[41.204.XX.YY] while performing the EHLO handshake)

    I'm using my isp smtp server for outgoing mail: 41.204.XX.YY 25 which used to work perfectly.

    My Zimbra server settup is:
    Web mail MTA Hostname :
    Relay MTA for external delivery : 41.204.XX.YY 25
    DNS lookups ticked

    Does anyone ever experienced this EHLO handshake issue ?


    Zimbra : Release 5.0.8_GA_2462.RHEL4_20080709163257 RHEL4 FOSS edition

  2. #2
    jwilke is offline Senior Member
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    Aug 2008
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    did you try telnetting to your relay server, to see if it is functioning when you type mail commands manually ?

    like this:

    SMTP Telnet

    could very well be a problem at your ISP

  3. #3
    joyfulway is offline New Member
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    thanks. Will try it.

    so far telnet smtp 25 works fine.

  4. #4
    y@w's Avatar
    y@w is offline Moderator
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    Jan 2008
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    I've seen something similar when going through an old Cisco PIX firewall, but typically it's when sending DATA.

    Was the ISP support any help? They may have a more helpful error on their end.

    It could also be an antivirus on the remote end.

    If sending a message via telnet works and all else fails, you could always try putting Postfix into debug mode for that host:
    Postfix Debugging Howto

  5. #5
    fhouston is offline Active Member
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    Feb 2008
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    I just setup a test server again (tried it out about a year or more ago and for various reasons we didn't move over then) and I'm having problems getting mail from our current server to the zimbra server. I don't recall that this was an issue before but perhaps I've forgotten something. Anyway, I'm getting the following error on my postfix/mail machine while trying to send to the zimbra install:

    status=deferred (conversation with [ZIMBRA] timed out while performing the EHLO handshake)

    Now if I manually telnet from the postfix/mail machine to the zimbra machine and use HELO that works fine and the email goes though. If I manually test w/ EHLO nothing ever happens. So IMHO it seems like zimbra is not recognizing EHLO for some reason.

    Any thoughts/hints/clues/suggestions would be appreciated...


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