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Sending email with Joomla with MAMP

Several years ago now I switched from a windows/linux computer to a Mac and since then I've always been using MAMP as my local development web server.

MAMP is great as it lets me do all the initial development of a web site on my laptop before ever going near a live server.

The one thing I've really been missing is that it is not possible to send emails so any functionality that requires that, such as user registration, contact forms or notifications, can't be tested until I upload the site to a live server.

Last night I sat down to try and resolve this and to my suprise it took me about 10 minutes of searching to find two posts which together solved this.

I'm writing the instructions down here more for my own records than for you. You use them at your own peril and risk and they are definitely not for beginners. They work for me, and others according to the links, but I can not guarantee they will work for you.

Step 1 - MAMP

Before we can proceed with anything we must stop all the MAMP servers. When you have done that you need to find and edit the php.ini file.

For me the file was located at /Applications/MAMP/bin/php/php5.3.6/conf

Now search for "For Unix only" and change it from

; For Unix only. You may supply arguments as well (default: "sendmail -t -i"). ;sendmail_path =


; For Unix only. You may supply arguments as well (default: "sendmail -t -i").
sendmail_path =/usr/sbin/sendmail -t -i -f This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Make sure to put your own email address in there instead of the example. Save the file and close it.

Source Solved:Enabling sendmail on localhost for MAMP free version

Step 2 - The Mailserver

You now need to open a terminal window (see I told you this wasn't for beginners) and copy and paste the code below EXACTLY as written.

sudo mkdir -p /Library/Server/Mail/Data/spool

This will now prompt you for your root password which of course you will need to enter. Once you have done that copy and paste the code in this text file file EXACTLY as written, there should be exactly 6 lines.

Source Sendmail Error on OS X Mountain Lion

Step 3 - Restart MAMP and Test

Now you should be ready to go. Restart MAMP load your joomla web site and test a mail function. I usually use a contact form for ease.

Good Luck

I hope this worked for you as well as it worked for me - if not sorry. Don't forget to check your spam folder before deciding this doesn't work!!!


J o o m l a !

Brian Teeman

Brian Teeman

Who is Brian?

As a co-founder of Joomla! and OpenSourceMatters Inc I've never been known to be lacking an opinion or being too afraid to express it.

Despite what some people might think I'm a shy and modest man who doesn't like to blow his own trumpet or boast about achievements.

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