I've got a CentOS 6 server that's not starting up. If I press ESC during the splash screen I can see it's getting as far as 'Starting sendmail: _'. Leaving it for 15+ minutes and it's still there.

There's a few online resources which suggest what the problem with 'sendmail' might be, however the problem is I cannot get pass this stage and am unable to login to the server. Is there a way I can skip trying to start the 'sendmail' service at startup so I can login?


Often delays starting sendmail are caused by hostname lookup problems, although in my experience sendmail would eventually timeout and allow the boot to continue.

You can always boot your system into single user mode (as in these instructions) and disable sendmail (e.g., by running chkconfig sendmail off).

Then you can continue to boot into multiuser mode, investigate your sendmail logs, and try to address the problem.

  • Cheers, appending 'single' to the end of the kernel line and booting in single user mode means I can now access the system. Alas disabling sendmail and checking the hostname file hasn't resolved the issue but I can now make progress on this.
    – MJF
    Oct 26 '16 at 15:42

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