Plesk Error: "Failed to open sendmail [/var/qmail/bin/sendmail] for execution".

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  • Applies to: Legacy DV & VPS Hosting
    • Difficulty: Medium
    • Time Needed: 20
    • Tools Required: SSH, root or sudo access

Please keep in mind that troubleshooting the configuration/functionality of third-party applications is not covered by our statement of support. These resources were provided as a courtesy to assist you to the extent of our abilities. For more information on our statement of support, feel free to click here.


I am trying to send a message from Webmail but the following error appears:

Failed to open sendmail [/var/qmail/bin/sendmail] for execution.

The same error is also seen in the log file located at /var/log/psa-horde/psa-horde.log.


Before you start, this article has the following dependencies:

This article is provided as a courtesy. Installing, configuring, and troubleshooting third-party applications is outside the scope of support provided by (mt) Media Temple. Please take a moment to review the Statement of Support.


There can be two reasons for this problem. Please check them:
- Make sure that *exec* or *open* functions are not disabled, i.e. not in listed in "disable_functions" directive in php.ini files. You can search for this using the grep command:

# grep -i disable_functions /etc/php.ini /etc/php.d/* /usr/local/etc/php.ini

To make sure that disable_functions do not affect webmail, you can comment out this line by putting a # symbol at the beginning of this line. Then restart Apache and try to send an email again. If this works, try disabling functions one by one, restarting Apache and checking mail sending through webmail each time.