A few tips to help diagnose Kerio Mailserver problems:
There are only a very few things that will completely prevent
Kerio Connect Mailserver from starting. Usually this would come from
a confused or mangled configuration file, but there are other conditions
that can cause Kerio to refuse to start.
By the way, the easiest way to find out what is stopping the startup
is to look in Kerio's error log. On a Mac, you'll find mailserver/store/logs
under /usr/local/kerio, on Linux it will be under /opt/kerio, and on
Windows it's Program Files/Kerio. The error log is "error.log" and it
is plain text.
However, there's one condition where that won't help you. If Kerio's
"store" directory isn't where the config file says it is, Kerio
won't be able to start and also won't be able to find its log directory
to write the error. However, if you try starting Kerio from the
command line, you will see the error.
bash-3.2# cd /usr/local/kerio/mailserver
Kerio MailServer failed to start: Store directory
/usr/local/kerio/mailserver/store does not exist. Please create
it before you start the server.
It's mailserver.exe on Windows under Program Files/Kerio
I had this happen with a customer just this week. He was doing some
maintenance unrelated to Kerio but when he rebooted, Kerio failed to
start. The reason was that Windows changed drive letter assignments:
the Kerio store had been configured on the F: drive, but got moved
to H: as a result of the maintenance.
The fix for that was to edit the mailserver/mailserver.cfg file
manually and change the drive letter. The config file is
just an XML text file; the "StoreDir" variable is what you'd need to
# this is from a Mac;
Every public mailserver needs to accept connections on port 25 (SMTP).
If another mailserver (Sendmail, Exchange) is already running when
Kerio starts, obviously Kerio won't be able to start its SMTP service.
You'll find this in the error log:
[13/May/2008 06:34:36] socklib.cpp: Bind to port 25 failed: (48)
Address already in use
[13/May/2008 06:34:36] services.cpp: Cannot start service SMTP on port 25,
unable to bind service to all IP addresses
Of course that's true for any service you need. A running webserver
will prevent HTTP or HTTPS from starting and leave you with the
same problem: identify the process that is conflicting, stop it, and
prevent it from starting up again. How you do that is operating
system specific and even then there can be odd circumstances that
could make it difficult to track down the offending process or application.
If you can't easily identify the problem, give me a call and I will
help you track it down.
The mailserver needs to go out on port 25 (unless you use a SMTP relay at some other server). Some ISP's block 25 and other mail ports; make sure you can
use the ports you need.
Scanners and so on
You may have a scanner or some other device that wants to use the mailserver. Usually that's trivial, but it can be more complicated. Most problems I've seen are simple mistyping errors or incorrect DNS.
Other problems usually involve delivery (or non-delivery) of mail.
Why can't I send mail to Mary Jones? Why can't Mary send to me?
Usually the logs (mail.log, error.log, security.log and spam.log)
will show the reason: you mistyped Mary's address, Mary's domain
is on a blacklist..
A couple of things to keep in mind in this area: if there is
no record in any log of a connection from samplesite.com, then whatever
mail they tried to send to you simply never got to your server. Maybe it's
their DNS, maybe there is a bad router between you and them, but whatever
it is, it never got to you. There would ALWAYS be a log entry
of some sort if the mail got to your server. The same is true for outgoing
mail. If a user says they sent mail to maryj@samplesite,com, but you
can't find any such thing in the Kerio logs, the problem is back
at their machine, not within Kerio.
Of course there usually will be a log entry, and that will show you
where the problem is. In the case of sending mail, look
in the Message Queue (Under "Status" in your Kerio Administration Console).
If the message is stuck in the queue, the other server may just not
be up and running right now or there may be routing problems preventing
your server from reaching it. That assumes that the original message
was correctly addressed: many times I have found log entries showing
that the user tried sending to "[email protected]" when the real
address was "[email protected]" or was simply mispelled.
Note that when you see "Delivered" in the mail log, that's followed by
Usually the logs tell the story completely, but sometimes you
need more information. You can turn on extended debugging by
selecting the Debug log and then Right-Clicking in the log
area as shown here:
That will bring up a window that can turn on extra debugging for
a number of functional areas. Usually you'd only do this at the
request of a support technician, but there's no harm experimenting
with this yourself if you are technically minded and curious.
Outlook Connector Problems
Outlook is a complicated product and adding Kerio's Outlook Connector
doesn't make it any less so. Recent versions are actually two separate
processes: the Connector itself (KoffBackend.exe) and the "Updater" service (ktupdaterservice.exe).
If you are experiencing difficulty, stop Outlook and the Updater service in Services) and try reinstalling. That sometimes fixes strange problems, as does simply creating a new profile. Remember, everything is stored on the server, so the only thing you lose is time.
The usual problem here is that the account you told Kerio to use to get information from the Active Directory Server doesn't have sufficient privilege or (on Linux and Mac) that there is in error in Kerberos configuration. The logs can show you what server it is trying to talk to and what went wrong:
Unless something really is sending the same message more than once, this indicates a network problem - the recieving server accepted the message, but the sender never saw the packet that acknowledged the receipt.
Most mail problems are easily identified and quickly solved. Of
course there is always the possibility that your problem is
an actual Kerio bug. That hasn't happened very often, but you
never know when some odd combination of circumstances may bring
a bug to the surface. Kerio's Product Forums often
contain late breaking news and discussions that may be helpful. For
example, Microsoft patches can sometimes have unpleasant results -
you'll often find out about this kind of thing in the Forums.
The Knowledge Base is also a good place to look for help. Your issue
may be well known and a simple fix may be found here.
You can open a Kerio support ticket on-line or just call them directly.
If you need help and you are one of my customers, of course you can
call me. Actually, I'd like to know about any problems even if you
choose to go directly to Kerio support. It may be that I
know the answer and can react more quickly, but even if I do not,
I want to be involved and on top of the situation.
You may not ever have any real problems with Kerio Mailserver, but
if you do, I hope this article helped.
Kerio®, and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of Kerio Technologies, Inc. and are registered and/or used in the U.S. and other countries. Used under license from Kerio Technologies, Inc.