sendmail Segmentation fault

Mike Bilow mikebw at
Wed Aug 12 11:56:00 EDT 1998

David Kramer wrote in a message to Mike Bilow:

 DK> When I try to run sendmail with any parameters (or none), I
 DK> get a Segmentation fault, sometimes with a core dump.

Sendmail certainly should be able to run as a standalone executable.  The most
likely causes of a core dump would be that there are non-standard hardcoded
paths in it, usually for "/etc/" as "/etc/mail/".  I do
not have experience with Red Hat, but some distributions (Debian) store all of
the real mail files in "/etc/mail" and create a symbolic link so that
"/etc/" -> "/etc/mail/".  While a missing configuration
file should not cause a core dump, a corrupt one could.

 DK> My setup is Redhat 5.1 i386 on a P133, 40MB RAM.  THis is a
 DK> firewall to a cablemodem, so sendmail would be nice ;)

If you really are running on a 386 chip, a lot of the packaged binaries will be
unsuitable becuase they are built for a 486.  However, a problem like this
would probably affect a lot more than just Sendmail, and you would end up
having to rebuild most of your binaries including the kernel.  You can always
get the Sendmail sources from "" and build your own.

 DK> I was having problems where mail was not getting delivered
 DK> to my box.  I noticed that a sendmail-8.9.1-2 rpm was
 DK> available (I had 8.8.something), so I grabbed it and tried
 DK> to upgrade.  I'm not sure if it failed or not but I got bad
 DK> vibes from it.

 DK> [root at kramer bin]# rpm -q sendmail
 DK> sendmail-8.9.1-2
 DK> [root at kramer bin]# rpm --verify sendmail-8.9.1-2
 DK> [root at kramer bin]# 

I can assure you that Sendmail 8.9.1 is a drop-in replacement for Sendmail
8.8.8 on Linux ordinarily.  You should get a complaint about the configuration
file format upgrading from V7 to V8, but that's minor and can be dealt with
later.  I built my 8.9.1 from source and had no problem, but I am not running
Red Hat, either.  My system is also a real mess in some ways, using a hybrid
libc5/libc6 installation because I needed libc6 for PostgreSQL.

 DK> I tried uninstalling then installing again,and it complained
 DK> about dependencies, but I overrode them because I was just
 DK> reinstalling anyway. There is a remote possibility that I
 DK> tried installing, not updating. Could that have done this?

Well, what did you expect?  Sendmail has dependencies such as the database
system, dbm/ndbm, and I can see this causing any number of problems.  I suggest
that you check on what the dependencies are and try to determine why you
overrode them.

 DK> I have NO idea how to proceed from here.  I'm very
 DK> technical, and pretty good with sysadmin type stuff, but how
 DK> do you even research a problem like this?

Start with the dependency issue.  You might also run "ldd" over the Sendmail
binary and make sure it is linked for the proper libraries on your system.
-- Mike

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