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Aleksandr 09-28-2017 12:00 AM

ISPManager 5 | Exim returns EMail messages to antispam server
The situation is:
  • domain.tld has an MX mx.anti-spam-operator.tld;
  • there are no other MX records;
  • server mx.anti-spam-operator.tld sends EMail messages to (EMail accounts at domain.tld are here);
  • software: Ubuntu 14.04.1, ISPmanager Lite 5.104.5, Exim 4.82...

...But there are no EMail messages in mailboxes.

Here is the simplest test

====$ telnet 25
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
220 ESMTP Exim 4.82 Ubuntu Wed, 27 Sep 2017 12:01:17 +0300
ehlo Hello []
250-SIZE 52428800
250 HELP
mail from:
250 OK
rcpt to: walter_white@domain.tld
250 Accepted
354 Enter message, ending with "." on a line by itself
Subject: Test
250 OK id=1dx8Dw-000CZC-KI
221 closing connection
Connection closed by foreign host.


2017-09-27 12:02:10 1dx8Dw-000CZC-KI <= [] P=esmtp S=1379 from <> for walter_white@domain.tld
2017-09-27 12:02:10 1dx8Dw-000CZC-KI ** walter_white@domain.tld R=dnslookup T=remote_smtp: SMTP error from remote mail server after initial connection: host mx.anti-spam-operator.tld []: 550 Connection refused
2017-09-27 12:02:11 1dx8EN-000Caf-0B <= <> R=1dx8Dw-000CZC-KI U=Debian-exim P=local S=2298 from <> for
2017-09-27 12:02:11 1dx8Dw-000CZC-KI Completed


Anti-spam operator's support confirm that messages are sent to and accepted by

I have logs from mx.anti-spam-operator.tld of transfer of messages from external servers, other domains, etc. (not from localhost to localhost like in the example above, it's a simplest example I've achieved).

That logs are normal, here are first three and last five lines

Wed 2017-09-27 10:57:15: Session 27; child 1
Wed 2017-09-27 10:57:13: Parsing message <c:\mdaemon\remoteq\pd50013882648.msg>
Wed 2017-09-27 10:57:13: * From:...

Wed 2017-09-27 10:57:13: Transfer Complete
Wed 2017-09-27 10:57:15: <-- 250 OK id=1dx7DW-0009qG-Ea
Wed 2017-09-27 10:57:15: --> QUIT
Wed 2017-09-27 10:57:15: <-- 221 closing connection
Wed 2017-09-27 10:57:15: SMTP session successful (Bytes in/out: 376/4528)

The result is the same: "R=dnslookup T=remote_smtp: SMTP error from remote mail server after initial connection: host mx.anti-spam-operator.tld []: 550 Connection refused".


You can copy to your favorite search system long requests:

when the server is going to send a email exim makes a nslookup and get the higher priority (lower value) MX record and tries to send the mail to the asigned address

MX records of equal priority are sorted by Exim into a random order. Exim then looks for address records for the host names obtained from MX or SRV records. When a host has more than one IP address, they are sorted into a random order, except that IPv6 addresses are always sorted before IPv4 addresses.


The question is predictable: how to make just to put messages in mailboxes (without making DNS requests, selecting MX and forward EMail messages)?

I have been searching the answer about ten hours with no success.

Aleksandr 09-28-2017 01:15 AM


Sorry, I've got it!

We made it!

driver = accept
domains = domain.tld
transport = local_delivery

Aleksandr 09-28-2017 01:39 AM

And this
/etc/exim4/exim4.conf.template line 35
domainlist dummy_domains = domain.tld

ksenya 10-04-2017 04:49 AM

Hello Alexander

I am really sorry for not answering you for so long!
It's great that you managed to resolve the issue yourself.

In urgent cases, please contact us at

My colleagues and me will be happy to help you!

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