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CageFS PHP mail not working

On CloudLinux server running sites under CafeFS, one of the customer can’t send email. I created a test PHP script, run on client site.

# cat mail.php

mail(""," Online booking", "this is onlinebooking email");

No mail is send out.

Nothing in exim mail server log (/var/log/exim_mainlog).

I disabled CageFS, mail started working properly. Re enabled CageFS, it failed to work.

I enabled SSH for this customer, then login to SSH, run the mail.php from SSH prompt, got following error

uzbekistanconsul@server20 [~/public_html]# php mail.php 
/bin/cat: /var/.cagefs/.cagefs.token: Permission denied
You are not authorized to run this command
uzbekistanconsul@server20 [~/public_html]#

NOTE: never run as user root, i know this warning is silly 🙂

This error shows up only if mail() is last line in the mail.php, for example, if you have an

echo "mail send";

Line after mail(), that does not shows up. I found out that by accident or i because i am lucky!

To fix this problem, you need to find the .csgefs.token for this site. So as user too, run

root@server20 [~]# find /var/cagefs -name "uzbekistanconsul"
root@server20 [~]# 

We found the cagefs skelton directory for the site is


I went to the .cafefs folder and checked file, it had a wrong owner.

root@server20 [/var/cagefs/46/uzbekistanconsul/.cagefs]# ls -la
total 12
drwxr-xr-x 2 root nobody 4096 Oct 27 05:33 ./
drwxr-x--x 6 root root   4096 Oct 27 05:33 ../
-r-------- 1 1646 nobody   16 Oct 27 05:33 .cagefs.token
root@server20 [/var/cagefs/46/uzbekistanconsul/.cagefs]#

Fixed it by running

chown uzbekistanconsul:nobody /var/cagefs/46/uzbekistanconsul/.cagefs/.cagefs.token

Posted in Cpanel Server