Configure sendmail in Ubuntu 12.04 and make it fast!

I got a server in DigitalOcean and installed WordPress.

To my surprise, sending mail was not something pre-configured so I had to find a way. I did not want to use SMTP solutions but use a simple Unix package such as sendmail or postfix.

It seems that sendmail is simpler, and good enough if you only want to send mails. That is my case, because I just want to receive notifications from WP, such as the ones that contact form 7 sends everytime a form is filled up and sent.

So I looked at tutorials, and the simplest thing to do was

1) If sendmail is not installed, do install it:
apt-get install sendmail
2) Configure hosts file correctly:
nano /etc/hosts
And make sure the line looks like this: localhost localhost.localdomain yourhostnamehere
3) Reload /etc/hosts, so that the previous changes take effect
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart that works but seems to be deprecated, better use:
/etc/init.d/networking stop
/etc/init.d/networking start

4) Run the sendmail config and answer ‘Y’ to everything:


Thanks to Colling Henderson for the help, which I also found when digging further about the sluggishness of sendmail, in his blog:

It is of utmost importance that you make sure the of point 2 string “localhost.localdomain” is in there. I did not take it seriously the first time I read it, but it does make a big difference. If you don’t change it, the php send function will be sooooo slow.

By the way, I also followed the instructions here: and I am not sure how much changing the line in the is affecting the speed. To me it was the fact that the string “localhost.localdomain” what really made the difference from some 1 minute to 2 seconds!!!!