I have a problem with sendmail (postfix is not installed) in my CentOS, the file /var/spool/mail/root is missing, I have tried to restart sendmail and send mail from shell with:

mail -s "test mail" root </dev/null


Apr  1 10:30:14 ip-172-31-41-71 sendmail[20477]: s31AUEPJ020477: to=root, ctladdr=root (0/0), delay=00:00:00, xdelay=00:00:00, mailer=relay, pri=302
19, relay=[] [], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (s31AUEN9020478 Message accepted for delivery

I also tried to create root file but nothing is written after test email is sent.

  • 1
    Maybe a silly question but do you have enough disk space?
    – Laurent C.
    Apr 1, 2014 at 12:18
  • Perhaps this tutorial might help: How to Setup a Mail Server on CentOS 5
    – slm
    Apr 1, 2014 at 13:49
  • That's "message accepted for delivery". Where is the line where sendmail tries to actually deliver? What is the output of sendmail -bp?
    – Jenny D
    Apr 1, 2014 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


First of all, /var/spool/mail/root is the mail spool file, where mail delivered to the local root user will be written. If this file doesn't exist when the first mail for root enter the system, it will be created automatically. So if the file doesn't exist yet, I see different cause to check :

  • Improprer permission in /var/spool/mail/root. Example permissions for mail : drwxrwsrwt to let anybody write in it, but not to touch file own by other (stiky bit - t)
  • The filesystem with /var/spool/mail may be full
  • The filesystem with /var/spool/mail is mounted read-only due, for instance, to some filesystem error at boot.
  • Sendmail is not configured to deliver local mail to /var/spool/mail. But you didn't share your Sendmail config, so I cannot tell for sure. For instance, if local mail is going to be delivered using procmail, the mail can be written in a totally different directory, depending of the procmail config (/etc/procmailrc or /root/.promailrc).
  • Disk space not a problem, is not read-only and it has always worked. I noticed this morning that there was no longer the file "root", i tried to recreate it with the same permissions as other files (eg ec2-user that is working properly)
    – stecog
    Apr 1, 2014 at 15:17
  • So other mail is getting delivered, but not mails to root? Check if anything has been changed in your sendmail config or aliases.
    – Jenny D
    Apr 1, 2014 at 17:42
  • Resolved!, i add "root" to file /root/.forward and work perfectly
    – stecog
    Apr 2, 2014 at 9:47
  • Don't add the execute flag, and assign user:group to be daemon:daemon Dec 27, 2021 at 2:22

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