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Use SMTP Authentication for XenServer Notifications

The default nature of Citrix XenServer is a little on the “WTF were they thinking” side sometimes.  A good example is setting up notifications for your pool of servers.  By default you get the following screen when setting up e-mail notifications:

Pool Notifications

This is great if your e-mail server allows relaying (if it does, you are crazy) or if you want to go edit configuration files on your mail server to allow relaying from certain hosts.  If you have a well configured mail server like the one at my organization, SMTP Authentication is enabled for all e-mails accounts that need to send through the server.  You can get XenServer to use SMTP auth as well, you just have to add a few lines to a configuration file to each server in the pool.  If you have a lot of servers, you WILL want to script this.

XenServer (we are talking Citrix here btw, not opensource Xen) uses sSMTP to send mail.  There are two extremely basic configuration files in /etc/ssmtp — only one of which you need to deal with.  With your favorite text editor, open /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf from the command line on your server and add or modify the following lines:

authUser=<receiving e-mail address>
authPass=<password for e-mail>
mailhub=<your mail server>

If your mail server supports it, you can also add these two options:

authMethod=cram-md5
useSTARTTLS=YES

That’s it! Save the file and copy it to all servers in the pool.  Pool notifications will now be sent using SMTP authentication to whatever server you specify.  Maybe Citrix will get their head out of their asses on this one eventually but until then…

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