PHP Unable to send email from web application .. (but commandline works)

This issue seems to have popped up a couple times over the past couple weeks so I figure I would capture the resolution here in the event someone stumbles onto this post and it's able to help them. Security is rarely convenient and this is an example of that.


CentOS machine running current on patches and running a current version of PHP, let's say PHP 5.3 or higher. PHP script is able to sent email from the command line, but when trying to send an email with PHP through the web browser it fails. Actually it doesn't "fail" it just doesn't seem to ever send.


SELinux is running on the machine and is preventing the Apache process to send out emails. There are a couple approaches you can take for this. To quickly test and confirm that the problem is in fact SELinux, and not something else, you can temporarily disable SELinux.

  • First verify SELinux is running with the command (as root) getenforce
  • Next, if SELinux is running you can disable with the command, again as root, setenforce Permissive


SELinux with be disable until you reboot the machine or enable it with setenforce Enforcing. You can permanently disable SELinux is you so desire editing the file /etc/sysconfig/selinux and changing the setting SELINUX=

Test your PHP Mail functionality now from the web application. If it works then you need to have SELinux allow the apache process to send emails. In order to do this, run the commands

  • setsebool -P httpd_can_sendmail 1
  • setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect 1


You should now be able to re-enable SELinux and successfully send emails from your application in the browser.

Added photos to SCALE 12x – Southern California Linux Expo.

Added photos to SCALE 12x - Southern California Linux Expo.

Hanging out at #scale12x in Los Angeles today. Conference gets bigger and bigger every year.

Hanging out at #scale12x in Los Angeles today. Conference gets bigger and bigger every year. 

Scale11x Interview: Jorge Castro – Juju

I was asked if I would be interested in conducting some interviews of speakers who are going to speak at The Eleventh Annual Southern California Linux Expo (Scale11x) February 22-24, 2013 Hilton Los Angeles International Airport and needless to say I jumped at the opportunity.

This is my first interview with Jorge Castro of Canonical and we discuss Juju, MaaS, Ubuntu Cloud, and his upcoming presentations and workshop.

You can catch Jorge and learn more about Juju at the Eleventh Annual Southern California Linux Expo, February 22-24,

Getting some functionality back in the system tray on Ubuntu 11.04

Ubuntu 11.04 introduced a new, cleaner user interface called Unity. I'm not a huge desktop GUI guy, doing a large majority of my work in the command line, but I do like to try and stay current on the latest greatest interfaces.

I'm not overwhelmed with Unity. It's OK but not really earth shattering. You have the option to switch back to the "classic" Gnome interface if you wanted to but I haven't done that.

One huge annoyance I've noticed about the new Unity interface was a lack of a true "system tray". Many application in Ubuntu (or Linux in general) leverage a similar approach Windows machine do and allow applications to run in a System Tray, cleaning up any task bars you might have. In Unity, there were a couple applications that were visible, like Dropbox, the clock and Volume but several others were not such as Skype and Truecrypt.

This became a big problem for Truecrypt because once I closed the Truecrypt interface I couldn't figure out how to get back to it. If I tried to launch the application again the system would report that it the application was already running, which it was. In the past I would get back to the interface through the icon in the system tray but this icon would not display in Unity, at least not until I found a posting on Facebook

This simple command in a terminal window corrected my problem and life is good again

  1. gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist "['all']"

As you can see I got all my system tray icons back and I am now a little happier with Unity.




Posted via email from shocm

Nasty Bug – Ubuntu 10.04 on VMWare Fusion OSX

Came across a nasty little bug when I installed the latest Ubuntu 10.04 (LTS) into a virtual machine using VMWare Fusion 3.02 on my OSX box. This was a fresh install and the install itself went smooth, the problem occured when the initial login screen appeared. Although my mouse worked just fine and I was able to click on the user to log in, I wasn't able to type anything. My keyboard was completely unusable within the virtual machine. I was not able to type any input via the keyboard.

After doing some Googling I discovered that once you got past the login screen the keyboard would work fine. The only way to login was to initiate the on-screen keyboard and type in your password. You can bring up the on-screen keyboard by clicking on the Universal Access icon on the lower right hand side of the screen and choosing "Use on-screen keyboard". One side note here, when I first checked the box to use the on-screen keyboard, the keyboard would flash and disappear. What I needed to do was keep the box check and reboot the machine, when the login screen returned, the keyboard was there.

Once I logged in the physical keyboard worked fine. I was able to use it in all the applications and didn't notice any problems, but once I logged out and returned to the login screen, again no input from the physical keyboard. Now I needed to fix this.

What didn't work 🙁

At this point I go into basic trouble resolution mode and decided to start by reinstalling and upgrading the VMWare tools. Not going to get into a step by step here how to do that but the short of it is after reinstalling the VMWare tools and rebooting I was stuck in the same situation and needed to use the on-screen keyboard to log in. Next obvious step, apply all patches to the Ubuntu desktop, did this, rebooted, still no go.

What did work 🙂

Clearly, you are not reading this article to learn how not to fix it. Trust me after doing enough searches there are plenty discussion threads out there with "This doesn't work for me either, anyone fix this yet?" to keep you reading for hours. I found a couple good links that I will post at the end of this article that got things resolved. The short answer is I logged into the machine, fired up and console window, type in the command
sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup
For keyboard I selected "Apple" and then just selected the defaults for everything else. Once I exited the configuration wizard, I restarted the machine and all was right with the Ubuntu world again. Did a couple reboots to make sure and everything seems to be working fine now.

One more side note

This issue  occurred on a clean install of the current Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release. I had been previously running the beta version of the 10.04 release which worked fine and never had a problem with the keyboard input. However, after patching that box today, same issue occurred.

The Links

Two links basically lead me to my resolution

[Nagios] Error: Could not stat() command file ‘/var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd’!

System: Ubuntu 9.10 | Nagios 3.x

This is another post that is more of a note to myself than anything else. Been doing a lot of Nagios configuring and decided to implement the ability to push commands from the web interface. I followed the basic instructions to configure "External Commands" but after doing and going to the web interface to test it, I got the following error message;

Error: Could not stat() command file '/var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd'!

The external command file may be missing, Nagios may not be running, and/or Nagios may not be checking external commands. An error occurred while attempting to commit your command for processing.

The file was there so I did what any good geek should do, I did a quick google search. The closet thing I could find was some commands to fix the issue on Debian systems. Since I was running Ubuntu, which is for all intensive purposes Debian, I figured I would try it.  So I ran the following set of command;

sudo /etc/init.d/nagios3 stop
sudo dpkg-statoverride --update --add nagios www-data 2710 /var/lib/nagios3/rw
sudo dpkg-statoverride --update --add nagios nagios 751 /var/lib/nagios3
sudo /etc/init.d/nagios3 start

This worked like a charm and the web interface began accepting commands.