Linux Test Smtp Send Mail

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Sendmail is a very clear and simple MTA (Mail Transfer Agent) that implements SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) among other things and can be used to transfer emails, usually even on the cheapest KVM VPS running Linux. Although a commercial version called “Sendmail” is available, the sendmail we’re talking about in this hands-on article is the UNIX-based version that ships with virtually all Linux distributions, as well as *BSD (FreeBSD , OpenBSD , and variants). The sendmail command may be the easiest way to send email using the Linux shell’s command-line interface (CLI), with the exception of mailx, which can be used in conjunction with sendmail to make sending and mailing even easier. Receiving e-mail from the command line. As the name suggests, sendmail itself can only send e-mails, rather than storing received e-mails in POP or IMAP mailboxes.

Linux Test Smtp Send Mail

Linux Test Smtp Send Mail

The first interesting piece of information we might need to test sendmail is the path to the binary that is run when we issue the sendmail command on the command line. To understand this, we will use the what command as shown below:

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The output above indicates that the full path to our sendmail command binary is /usr/sbin/sendmail, which should be noted in the following steps.

If you want to edit the sendmail configuration files, you can usually find them in the /etc/mail/ directory on UNIX (FreeBSD, OpenBSD) and Linux (CentOS, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu) systems. The main sendmail configuration file is /etc/mail/, but editing is not part of this tutorial. A good place for more information is the sendmail man page, which can be viewed by running the man sendmail command. Now for the interesting part of this sendmail command line tutorial.

To quickly check if the sendmail command is working correctly and then use it for example in shell scripts via the command line or even from PHP scripts (PHP supports sendmail to send emails from PHP scripts – you can set the sendmail path in your php .ini ), you can run the following command on a UNIX or Linux system:

[email protected] is of course the email address you want to send the test email to. This sendmail command line example will send an empty email with the subject “sendmail test” to [email protected] if the test is successful. You can also send longer emails with a subject, body, and additional headers if you want, but just to test if sendmail is working, which isn’t usually necessary. However, here’s how to do it:

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1.) Create a file called mail.txt (or whatever you like) in ~/mail.txt using vim or nano or your favorite text editor.

2.) Paste the following, but obviously adjust the email addresses as these are just examples of sendmail commands:

That’s it – you can now test sendmail from the command line and even send complete emails including headers from a Linux/UNIX shell. Here’s an example of what a simple sendmail test might look like on a live system:

Linux Test Smtp Send Mail

One thing I’d like to add is that since PHP and other scripts can usually access the sendmail binaries, they can also be used to send spam and phishing emails, which can happen on shared servers where accounts are compromised using outdated or weak CMS. passwords. If you want to know which script or POSIX user is sending spam with sendmail, you can run the following command and pay close attention to the output:

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Although sendmail may present some risks on shared or insecure systems, it is an excellent lightweight MTA that can be used to send email from shell scripts, PHP applications, or even directly from the command line. It also automatically negotiates STARTTLS for encrypted email transmission if the remote SMTP server supports it, which is a useful security practice.

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SMTP relay is the process of routing email messages to the appropriate destination SMTP server. It is not a software or app, unlike the mail forwarding agents that participate in the mail delivery flow. Relay occurs between MSA and MDA when the sender and receiver are from different domains (managed by different SMTP servers). If an email is forwarded on the same domain without additional servers, it is not considered an email forward.

Some of you may already be familiar with the term from our blog post on SMTP Relay. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to check it out, we’ll give a brief explanation via the following infographic:

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In practice, the term SMTP relay often refers to an SMTP relay server, also known as a mail transfer agent (MTA). The MTA is the SMTP server that provides the transfer. Therefore, if you need to test the SMTP relay, you need to test the actual SMTP server relaying your emails. In this case, SMTP relay and SMTP server can be considered synonymous, and therefore Google considers them to be related terms.

In addition to checking your SMTP connection, you should also check if your server has an open relay. What does it mean? Your SMTP server must have an authentication mechanism that allows you to forward emails to another server. Generally, if a server requires credentials (username and password) to forward, it is NOT an open forwarder. Open forwarding makes your server available to unauthorized users. Spammers will be able to send unwanted emails from it. Such abuse will reduce the reputation of your IP address, which is critical for good email delivery. Your open relay server may be blacklisted and many SMTP servers will not accept email from it.

Using the MAIL FROM and RCPT TO commands, you can telnet to a server and send email to another domain. If the final response code is 250 and no authentication was requested, your server is an open relay.

Linux Test Smtp Send Mail

Telnet is the most common way to check if your mail server allows forwarding for a specific domain. We wrote about its use in How to test your SMTP server. In most cases, a telnet connection to the SMTP server will be sufficient to diagnose basic connection problems. However, Telnet has its drawbacks:

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With this in mind, we’ve decided to abandon Telnet and implement other ways to troubleshoot SMTP Relay.

This is an SMTP command line client. smtp-cli supports STARTTLS, SMTP-AUTH and many other advanced features. You can also use this powerful tool to test and debug SMTP servers. It is a good alternative to telnet because smtp-cli allows you to control the encryption settings of a TLS-enabled server with subsequent user authentication. Doing this with Telnet would be impractical.

You can download the latest version of smtp-cli from the GitHub releases page. You can also use a download utility like Widget and install it with the appropriate command:

Since some features of smtp-cli are optional, check for required Perl modules and install them. Dependencies are listed on the tool’s GitHub page. For example, Ubuntu users should install the following packages:

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Let’s see how smtp-cli works. First, we will check the local host. We’ll connect to the server and look at basic SMTP back and forth.

Now we will check the relay. We will try to send the email through a server that requires authentication. The SMTP session will look like this:

Here is another telnet alternative that allows you to easily perform SMTP relay tests. It is an SMTP server connection diagnostic tool created by SocketLabs. It has built-in authentication, supports open connections and SSL, and is more secure than telnet. Also, you don’t have to manually enter all the commands needed to test the transfer. The tool has a macro library that facilitates the test flow.

Linux Test Smtp Send Mail

In this case, the tool does not need to be installed. You just need to download and run it. So

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