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Blocking delivery/read receipts?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by sclifford, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. sclifford

    sclifford Member

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    I just transferred a customer from an Ensim server over to one with cPanel, and as soon as it became official they started complaining that they were no longer receiving delivery receipts for their outgoing mail (they use Outlook/Outlook Express for their mail client). Now they tell me read receipts have stopped too, though those were working for about a week after the transfer. SpamAssassin is turned off for their domain, and they are not receiving any error messages. I have searched Google high and low and up and down this forum for similar problems and found nothing of any use. Can anybody give me an idea where to start on this problem?
     
  2. dezignguy

    dezignguy Well-Known Member

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    It's always best to start with your logs... that's what they're there for.

    It may take some work... but you should be able to find the answer to your problems there.
     
  3. sclifford

    sclifford Member

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    Since nobody else could answer this question, I'll post the answer I finally found here in case any future unfortunates should ask the same question. Exim does not support delivery status notification, so delivery receipts won't come through on a cPanel server. Sendmail does support them apparently, since I can get them to work on a server running that.


    Request to all posters: If you ask a question and nobody answers it, and you eventually find your own answer, please post it so that those of us searching for the same question can see how you solved it.
     
  4. dezignguy

    dezignguy Well-Known Member

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    Really? That's odd... they seem to come through on my server. I don't use them personally, but several of my users do and they haven't complained about not receiving them... and yet I've seen them in various places in the mailstream before.
     
  5. chirpy

    chirpy Well-Known Member

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    Delivery/read receipts are not part of the SMTP protocol. They rely on the MUA to answer them, not the MTA (which is why the settings for them are in your MUA) since you cannot know whether an email has been read until the client has read it.

    Either way, if you wanted an authoratitve question to this, it's best asked at the source over on http://www.exim.org since that's the MTA in question.
     
  6. sclifford

    sclifford Member

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    Read receipts do function in Exim apparently, and those are working on my server. It's delivery receipts that aren't supposed to work, and don't for me, at least according to the Exim FAQ page where I found this info. Here's the Q&A:

    Q0607: When I activate “return receipt” for example in Netscape Mailbox sending options, then I get an error message from Exim... something like not supported. Can I activate delivery confirmations?

    A0607: Exim does not support any kind of delivery notification.

    (1) You can configure it to recognize headers such as Return-receipt-to: if you wish.

    (2) Some people want MSN (message status notification). Such services are implemented in MUAs, and don't impact on the MTA at all.

    (3) I investigated the RFCs which describe the DSN (delivery status notification) system. However, I was unable to specify any sensible way of actually doing anything with the data. There were comments on the mailing list at the time; many people, including me, conclude that DSN is in practice unworkable. The killer problem is with forwarding and aliasing. Do you propagate the DSN data with the generated addresses? Do you send back a “reached end of the DSN world” or “expanded” message? Do you do this differently for different kinds of aliasing/forwarding? For a user who has a .forward file with a single address in, this might seem easy - just propagate the data. But what if there are several forwardings? If you propagate the DSN data, the sender may get back several DSN messages - and should the sender really know about the detail of the receiver's forwarding arrangements? There isn't really any way to distinguish between a .forward file that is forwarding and one that is a mini mailing list. And so on, and so on. There are so many questions that don't have obvious answers.
     
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