Buffalo LinkStation and DreamHost Email

Over the holidays, I migrated from 1&1 to DreamHost, and I got almost everything to work. The only thing that didn’t work anymore were the email notifications from my Buffalo LinkStation NAS. Normally, they report once a day that everything is okay, or immediately if there is an error.

I had re-created the email account that I use for that in DreamHost, updated the SMTP server and credentials in the LinkStation admin interface, but it wasn’t sending any emails. It was saying “Test email sent.” when I tested the new settings, but nothing ever arrived. No combination of login mode and SSL/TLS/disable worked.

I had to figure out if there were logs anywhere. I know the NAS has SSH access, but I hadn’t done that in a really long time. It seems like somehow, it got disabled again. No problem, yesterday evening I ran an easy-to-use Java application called ACP Commander GUI to re-enable SSH access and set a new root password. Then I could SSH into the NAS.

The logs were fortunately easy to find in /var/log. The file messages contained the following line every time I sent a test message:

550 5.7.1 Sender domain not allowed

What in the world does that mean? It turns out DreamHost has a policy against spoofing the sender. But I don’t think I was doing that. All I was doing was sending it from nas.machine@domain.com (which had the email account set up with DreamHost) to personal.email@gmail.com. I wanted the sender to be nas.machine@domain.com, which shouldn’t be blocked, and I wasn’t setting a different sender email anywhere!

After searching a bit for the ssmtp.conf file, I found it at /etc/melco/ssmtp.conf, and it contained the following line:


Whenever I set it to NO, it got overwritten again and set to YES. I don’t know from where or why, but I assume this somehow sets the sender email to the destination email. So when I was trying to send to personal.email@gmail.com, the NAS was inadvertently also setting the sender to personal.email@gmail.com, which was prohibited by the DreamHost policy.

This means I can’t send to personal.email@gmail.com from the NAS. Instead, I have to send to an email account on my DreamHost domain (e.g. nas.forward@domain.com) and forward it from there.

Oh, I love troubleshooting my tech in my free time.


About Mathias

Software development engineer. Principal developer of DrJava. Recent Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Computer Science at Rice University.
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