"Relaying temporarily denied. Cannot resolve PTR record for IP address"

This error message means that sendmail encountered a "SERVFAIL" during the check_rcpt ruleset when attempting to resolve the DNS PTR record for IP address. This lookup is performed by the Relay_ok ruleset, called within the check_rcpt ruleset.

A DNS PTR record does not necessarily have to exist for an IP address to pass sendmail's check_rcpt ruleset; the lookup may produce an NXDOMAIN. However, if the lookup produces a SERVFAIL, the error is treated as a transient DNS error and sendmail will TEMPFAIL the session.


Feb 16 04:06:37 hostname sm-mta[27799]: [ID 801593 mail.notice] k1GA6Sn7027799: ruleset=check_rcpt, arg1=<SystemMessage@successfactors.com>, relay=[], reject=450 4.4.0 <SystemMessage@successfactors.com>... Relaying temporarily denied. Cannot resolve PTR record for

$ dig -x

;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: SERVFAIL, id: 877
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

To debug the DNS problem, run dig with the +trace option.

$ dig +trace -x
132.216.213.in-addr.arpa. 172800 IN     NS      pdns01.lndn01.exodus.net.
132.216.213.in-addr.arpa. 172800 IN     NS      ns2.nj.exodus.net.
;; Received 105 bytes from in 120 ms

dig: Couldn't find server 'pdns01.lndn01.exodus.net': node name or service name not known

In this case, the DNS A records could not be looked up for the authoritative name servers for 132.216.213.in-addr.arpa.

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Last modified: 02/03/2006