Mail aliases in config/aliases

Problem Description

In Sympl 11, email aliases in /srv/ are not working.
The domain has no mailboxes. Exim should look for a redirect in the aliases file. It doesn’t seem to be doing so.
The domain has been copied over from a Sympl 10 system. Others are failing to redirect in a similar way.

(Edited to add) I can create a mailbox directory with a forward file in it, and that works. I seem to remember a similar problem back in the symbiosis days, but can’t recall the details.

Any Error Messages

The only relevant message in /var/log/exim4/mainlog seems to be this, when I sent a test message.

failed to open /srv/ for directory search: No such file or directory


  • Sympl Version 11
  • Sympl Testing Version? No
  • Debian Version bullseye
  • Hardware Type? Virtual
  • Hosted On? Bitfolk

Further information that might be related:
From exim4/paniclog, several lines like this:

failed to open /srv/ for
directory search: No such file or directory

failed to expand "${lookup{$local_part}dsearch{/srv/$domain_data/mailboxes}}" while checking a list: failed to open /srv/ for directory search: No such file or directory
There are no mailboxes, and no mailbox directory, but that was never a problem before.
There are entries in the aliases file.
This suggests that exim needs to see a mailbox directory, even if there are no mailboxes in it. Is this a quirk of the latest version of exim, or a misconfigration, or am I doing something wrong?
I’ll try creating an empty mailbox directory and creating an alias that forwards to me, to see if that works.
Edit: yes, it does. The alias entry seems to work after I added an empty mailbox directory

This looks to be a new bug due to the fairly thorough changes in the Exim configuration, as it now needs to do a lot more lookups to ensure that the information being passed is validated.

I’ve created an issue to investigate, but as mentioned, creating the /srv/ directory should do the job as a temporary workaround if anyone else is seeing the same issue.

This should now be fixed on the testing branch, and I’ll push it to the stable branch in a few days.

Thanks Paul - that seems to have done the trick!

No worries, that’s pushed to live earlier today, and should auto update everywhere soon.