Fix Logwatch Mail Delivery System Error

Logwatch is a fantastic tool, but if not configured correctly you receive a Logwatch Mail Delivery System Error. This How To Logwatch Mail Delivery System Error explains how to fix this.

The Logwatch Mail Delivery System Error could look like the below example:

Fix Logwatch Mail Delivery System Error

How To Logwatch Email Notification


  • Background
  • How To Fix Logwatch Mail Delivery System Error
  • Additional Information


This little how to assumes that you have a running Logwatch configuration and that you like to configure your Logwatch in a way it is sending you notifications by Emails. Unfortunately you get an error by the mail delivery software which is:

Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender. The message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:
<and then you get some very technical text>

Furthermore, this how to assumes that you have sendmail running on your system.

How To Fix Logwatch Mail Delivery System Error

To fix your Logwatch sending emails, you first like to find your logwatch.conf file. This is key, because this is the file in which you need to fix the configuration for Logwatch sending emails to you. Next to other options, below two options that you can use to find your logwatch.conf.

locate logwatch.conf

Alternative, use

find / -name logwatch.conf

Once you identified you found your logwatch.conf file, in my case it is “/usr/share/logwatch/default.conf/logwatch.conf”, than you can start editing it by executing

vi /usr/share/logwatch/default.conf/logwatch.conf 

Within your logwatch.conf config file, you need in a minimum to edit the following parameter correctly:


MailTo =
MailFrom =
Detail = SelectYourDetailLevel
mailer =  "/usr/sbin/sendmail -t"

As for the parameters:

  • MailTo: Select the email address to which you like Logwatch to send emails
  • MailFrom: Type the email address that should show up as the sender email address
  • Detail: Select the level of detail for the reporting. Can by “Low”, “Med” or “High”
  • Mailer: Select the mailer installed on your system. In my above example its “/usr/sbin/sendmail”. If you have a different mailer, then you need to update this line

Once you fixed the above in your /usr/share/logwatch/default.conf/logwatch.conf file, you like to restart logwatch in case you run it as a service. If not, and if you run it as a cron job or manual, then typically no other action should be necessary.

Additional Information

Install Logwatch by executing the following:

apt-get install logwatch

Install sendmail by executing the following:

apt-get install sendmail

To configure Logwatch for email notification you love to read the How To Logwatch Email notification!

Its highly appreciated if you have feedback to this how to or if you share this link. Furthermore, I would love to see if you link to this how to in another website.