OJS PHPMailer email delivery problem


I recently upgraded to OJS However, after the upgrade the emails that I send from the journal, both of PHP mail() and SMTP, are not delivering to recipients.

The error log complains about smtp auth:

/var/log/exim_mainlog-20181118.gz:2018-11-17 08:05:56 1gNufz-0007Hq-V8 <= [receiver@hotmail.com](mailto:receiver@hotmail.com) U=ejersorg P=local S=1937 [id=b046328d0b52ad687c44b34feaeb69fd@www.ejers.org](mailto:id=b046328d0b52ad687c44b34feaeb69fd@www.ejers.org) T="[EJERS] From Site" for [receiver@hotmail.com](receiver@hotmail.com)
/var/log/exim_mainlog-20181118.gz:2018-11-17 08:05:56 cwd=/var/spool/exim 3 args: /usr/sbin/exim -Mc 1gNufz-0007Hq-V8
/var/log/exim_mainlog-20181118.gz:2018-11-17 08:05:58 1gNufz-0007Hq-V8 unable to open private key file for reading: /var/cpanel/domain_keys/private/hotmail.com
/var/log/exim_mainlog-20181118.gz:2018-11-17 08:05:58 1gNufz-0007Hq-V8 ** [receiver@hotmail.com](receiver@hotmail.com) R=send_via_mailchannels T=mailchannels_smtp H=smtp.mailchannels.net [] X=TLSv1.2:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:256 CV=yes: SMTP error from remote mail server after end of data: 550 5.7.1 [BFD] Sender prohibited by SPF
/var/log/exim_mainlog-20181118.gz:2018-11-17 08:05:58 cwd=/var/spool/exim 7 args: /usr/sbin/exim -t -oem -oi -f <> -E1gNufz-0007Hq-V8
/var/log/exim_mainlog-20181118.gz:2018-11-17 08:05:58 1gNug2-0007LW-OV <= <> R=1gNufz-0007Hq-V8 U=mailnull P=local S=3405 T="Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender" for [receiver@hotmail.com](receiver@hotmail.com)
/var/log/exim_mainlog-20181118.gz:2018-11-17 08:05:58 1gNufz-0007Hq-V8 Completed

while my configuration seems correct.

; Email Settings ;


; Use SMTP for sending mail instead of mail()
 smtp = On

; SMTP server settings
 smtp_server = "mail.ejers.org"
 smtp_port = 465

; Enable SMTP authentication
; Supported mechanisms: ssl, tls
 smtp_auth = ssl
 smtp_username = editor@ejers.org
 smtp_password = "(removed)"

In addition, I contacted my hosting company about the SPF issue. They told me that they tested to send emails with their own PHP script and, apparently they are able to do it.

I found also a thread similar to the problem I am currently having. The problem was solved by changing the PHP mailer library.

Could you please help me to solve this problem.

Hi @zaratushtra,

Does the email address for the journal’s Principal Contact have the same domain as the SMTP username address?

Amanda Stevens
Public Knowledge Project Team


Is there any way to confirm the domain of SMTP username address?