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[EP-tech] ssmtp and eprints


I configured ssmtp on my Ubuntu box and it sends e-mails fine (via gmail) from the command line. However, whenever I try to send a test e-mail from Eprints (v. 3.3.15) on Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS I get an error saying:

The system is currently unable to send email. Please try again later. If this problem persists, please contact the administrator with details.

The apache error.log file gets the following entry written to it:

Failed to create SMTP connection to smtp
Wide character in print at (eval 477) line 44.
Failed to send mail.
To: ecorrado@ecorrado.us <>
Subject: Test email from http://codabox.org/

Does anyone have any idea what to configure for ssmtp? I tried some thing I found in various old e-mails, but nothing seems to work. 

The main things I have tried include: Defining my  smtp server in perl_lib/Eprint/SystemSeting.pm file.

> 'smtp_server' => 'smtphost.your.domain'

I tried localhost and a few other possibilities but no luck. 

I also checked that $c->{send_email} = \&EPrints::Email::send_mail_via_smtp; was uncommented in 
FWIW: After trying these things I did restart apache although I am not sure if it matters.

IS anyone using ssmtp with Eprints and has an idea what to look for? If not maybe I will need to try Exim4 or Postfix.