Hello after two modifications on the server and on CiviCRM, it becomes impossible to send any mailing. All the email adresses are "burned" with all the email addresses being wrongly tagged as bounced. In the Report, the Bounce Type is for all emails indicated as Invalid.

Some symptoms : The table civicrm_mailing_event_bounce indicate for all mails adresses in the bounce_reason this problem :

Validation failed for: "(INVALID)" <(INVALID)>

The bounce_type_id in the is #6 which is Invalid : Email address is not valid Of course the setting in admin/options/from_email_address (From Email Address Options) have been verified, they are OK.

In the table civicrm_mailing_bounce_pattern there is 24 different patterns from the bounce_type_id #6.

There is then two clues : The server had been recently moved under PHP7.2 and CiviCRM had been enabled to handle the Multi Site Configuration with the extension CiviCRM Multisite (org.civicrm.multisite).

Did someone experimented and solved this trouble ?

Thanks for any help.

  • The CMS is Drupal 7 with CiviCRM 5.4.1 on a Debian 8 server
  • The bounce email boxe is located on a different Debian 8 server with Postfix Mail Server Postfix version 2.11.3
  • Hi Ichi - can you include more information on the actual bounce messages received to the bounce processing mailbox which is configured on your CiviCRM instance. Sep 7, 2018 at 12:08
  • Arg… the bounce processing mailbox is empty ! This user has no messages in
    – Ichi
    Sep 7, 2018 at 12:57
  • He bounce processing system may have deleted them - depending on mail system they may be in Deleted items or otherwise ‘recoverable’ Sep 7, 2018 at 12:58
  • Don't you think that this means that the bounce did happen before going outside of the server ?
    – Ichi
    Sep 7, 2018 at 13:03
  • No, an email can’t ‘bounce’ before leaving your mail server - that would be a delivery failure which is not the same thing. Have you checked this issue with whoever manages you email system(s) - you should rule out your email system first and then it will be easier to pin down a CiviCRM or Server cause. Sep 7, 2018 at 13:05

1 Answer 1


So I found the problem. Thanks to @HomoTechsual who lead me in the right direction.

The reason had been found in the Settings - Outbound Mail. It was set to mail() with a success message : Your SENDMAIL settings are correct. A test email has been sent to your email address. That looked good but in fact the message was never sent by the server ! Trusting this message, I did forget to check if the test email really arrived to email address. My mistake : always double check.

After I changed the setting to SMTP with all the right setting of the mail server, I still got the success message but the message arrived in the mailbox. After I removed the bounce tag for each email address, I could make a test mailing that went fine this time ;-)

So the issue was from the mail server. The issue was not with CiviCRM. Something probably related to the DNS is not working on the server. This made CiviCRM confused about the mailing. From now Civimail works well with the SMTP set in the Settings - Outbound Mail. I the case of my server this is the only option.

UPDATE : In this case it seems that a group of several issues happened. I found another thing that could be at the origin in the table civicrm_mailing : both from_name and from_email are set to (INVALID)

from_name From Header of mailing (INVALID)
from_email From Email of mailing (INVALID)

Yet I have no clue how this happened but there now a clear link with validation failed for <(INVALID)> I did not find why chosen email provoque that. It might be related with multi-site extension. Now I can manage the mailing with an another email address.

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