Exim's command line takes the standard Unix form of a sequence of options, each starting with a hyphen character, followed by a number of arguments. The options are compatible with the main options of Sendmail, and there are also some additional options, some of which are compatible with Smail 3. Certain combinations of options do not make sense, and provoke an error if used. The form of the arguments depends on which options are set.
If Exim is called under the name mailq, it behaves as if the option -bp were present before any other options. This is for compatibility with some systems that contain a command of that name in one of the standard libraries, symbolically linked to /usr/sbin/sendmail or /usr/lib/sendmail.
If Exim is called under the name rsmtp it behaves as if the option -bS were present before any other options, for compatibility with Smail. The -bS option is used for reading in a number of messages in batched SMTP format.
If Exim is called under the name rmail it behaves as if the -i and -oee options were present before any other options, for compatibility with Smail. The name rmail is used as an interface by some UUCP systems.
If Exim is called under the name runq it behaves as if the option -q were present before any other options, for compatibility with Smail. The -q option causes a single queue-runner process to be started.
If Exim is called under the name newaliases it behaves as if the option -bi were present before any other options, for compatibility with Sendmail. This option is used for rebuilding Sendmail's alias file. Exim does not have the concept of a single alias file, but can be configured to run a given command if called with the -bi option.
Some Exim options are available only to trusted users and others are available only to admin users. In the description below, the phrases ``Exim user'' and ``Exim group'' mean the user and group defined by EXIM_USER and EXIM_GROUP in Local/Makefile or set by the exim_user and exim_group options. These do not necessarily have to use the name ``exim''.
The trusted users are root, the Exim user, any user listed in the trusted_users configuration option, and any user whose current group or any supplementary group is one of those listed in the trusted_groups configuration option. Note that the Exim group is not automatically trusted.
Trusted users are always permitted to use the -f option or a leading ``From '' line to specify the envelope sender of a message that is passed to Exim through the local interface (see the -bm and -f options below). See the untrusted_set_sender option for a way of permitting non-trusted users to set envelope senders. For a trusted user, there is never any check on the contents of the From: header line, and a Sender: line is never added. Furthermore, any existing Sender: line in incoming local (non-TCP/IP) messages is not removed.
Trusted users may also specify a host name, host address, interface address, protocol name, ident value, and authentication data when submitting a message locally. Thus, they are able to insert messages into Exim's queue locally that have the characteristics of messages received from a remote host. Untrusted users may in some circumstances use -f, but can never set the other values that are available to trusted users.
The admin users are root, the Exim user, and any user that is a member of the Exim group or of any group listed in the admin_groups configuration option. The current group does not have to be one of these groups.
Admin users are permitted to list the queue, and to carry out certain operations on messages, for example, to force delivery failures. It is also necessary to be an admin user in order to see the full information provided by the Exim monitor, and full debugging output.
By default, the use of the -M, -q, -R, and -S options to cause Exim to attempt delivery of messages on its queue is restricted to admin users. However, this restriction can be relaxed by setting the prod_requires_admin option false (that is, specifying no_prod_requires_admin).
Similarly, the use of the -bp option to list all the messages in the queue is restricted to admin users unless queue_list_requires_admin is set false.
The command options are described in alphabetical order below.
This is a pseudo-option whose only purpose is to terminate the options and therefore to cause subsequent command line items to be treated as arguments rather than options, even if they begin with hyphens.
This option just causes Exim to output a few sentences stating what it is.
This is a Sendmail option for selecting 7 or 8 bit processing. Exim is entirely 8-bit clean; it ignores this option.
This option runs Exim as a daemon, awaiting incoming SMTP connections. Usually the -bd option is combined with the -q<time> option, to specify that the daemon should also initiate periodic queue runs.
The -bd option can be used only by an admin user. If either of the -d (debugging) or -v (verifying) options are set, the daemon does not disconnect from the controlling terminal. When running this way, it can be stopped by pressing ctrl-C.
By default, Exim listens for incoming connections to the standard SMTP port on all the host's interfaces. The port can be varied by means of the daemon_smtp_port option. The daemon can also be restricted to specific interfaces by setting the local_interfaces option in the configuration file. This option is also able to specify a different port for each interface it lists, making it possible to listen on multiple ports. The -oX command line option can be used to override local_interfaces.
When a listening daemon is started without the use of -oX (that is, without overriding the normal configuration), it writes its process id to a file called exim-daemon.pid in Exim's spool directory. This location can be overridden by setting PID_FILE_PATH in Local/Makefile. The file is written while Exim is still running as root.
When -oX is used on the command to start a listening daemon, the process id is not written to the normal pid file path. However, -oP can be used to specify a path on the command line if a pid file is required.
The SIGHUP signal can be used to cause the daemon to re-exec itself. This should be done whenever Exim's configuration file, or any file that is incorporated into it by means of the .include facility, is changed, and also whenever a new version of Exim is installed. It is not necessary to do this when other files that are referenced from the configuration (for example, alias files) are changed, because these are reread each time they are used.
This option has the same effect as -bd except that it never disconnects from the controlling terminal, even when no debugging is specified.
Run Exim in expansion testing mode. Exim discards its root privilege, to prevent ordinary users from using this mode to read otherwise inaccessible files. If no arguments are given, Exim runs interactively, prompting for lines of data. Long expressions can be split over several lines by using backslash continuations. Each argument or data line is passed through the string expansion mechanism, and the result is output. Variable values from the configuration file (for example, $qualify_domain) are available, but no message-specific values (such as $domain) are set, because no message is being processed.
This option is the same as -bf except that it assumes that the filter being tested is a system filter. The additional commands that are available only in system filters are recognized.
This option runs Exim in filter testing mode; the file is the filter file to be tested, and a test message must be supplied on the standard input. If there are no message-dependent tests in the filter, an empty file can be supplied. If a system filter file is being tested, -bF should be used instead of -bf. If the test file does not begin with the special line
# Exim filter
then it is taken to be a normal .forward file, and is tested for validity under that interpretation. The result of this command, provided no errors are detected, is a list of the actions that Exim would try to take if presented with the message for real. More details of filter testing are given in the separate document entitled Exim's interface to mail filtering.
When testing a filter file, the envelope sender can be set by the -f option, or by a ``From '' line at the start of the test message. Various parameters that would normally be taken from the envelope recipient address of the message can be set by means of additional command line options. These are:
|-bfd||<domain>||default is the qualify domain|
|-bfl||<local_part>||default is the logged in user|
|-bfp||<local_part_prefix>||default is null|
|-bfs||<local_part_suffix>||default is null|
The local part should always be set to the incoming address with any prefix or suffix stripped, because that is how it appears to the filter when a message is actually being delivered.
This option runs a fake SMTP session as if from the given IP address, using the standard input and output. The IP address may include a port number at the end, after a full stop. For example:
exim -bh 10.9.8.7.1234 exim -bh fe80::a00:20ff:fe86:a061.5678
Comments as to what is going on are written to the standard error file. These include lines beginning with ``LOG'' for anything that would have been logged. This facility is for testing configuration options for blocking hosts and/or senders and for checking on relaying control.
Warning: You cannot test features of the configuration that rely on ident (RFC 1413) callouts, because these are not done when testing using -bh.
Messages supplied during the testing session are discarded, and nothing is written to any of the real log files. There may be pauses when DNS (and other) lookups are taking place, and of course these may time out. The -oMi option can be used to specify a specific IP interface and port if this is important.
The exim_checkaccess utility is a ``packaged'' version of -bh whose output just states whether a given recipient address from a given host is acceptable or not. See section 45.6.
Sendmail interprets the -bi option as a request to rebuild its alias file. Exim does not have the concept of a single alias file, and so it cannot mimic this behaviour. However, calls to /usr/lib/sendmail with the -bi option tend to appear in various scripts such as NIS make files, so the option must be recognized.
If -bi is encountered, the command specified by the bi_command configuration option is run, under the uid and gid of the caller of Exim. If the -oA option is used, its value is passed to the command as an argument. The command set by bi_command may not contain arguments. The command can use the exim_dbmbuild utility, or some other means, to rebuild alias files if this is required. If the bi_command option is not set, calling Exim with -bi is a no-op.
This option runs an Exim receiving process which accepts an incoming, locally-generated message on the current input. The recipients are given as the command arguments (except when -t is also present - see below). Each argument can be a comma-separated list of RFC 2822 addresses. This is the default option for selecting the overall action of an Exim call; it is assumed if no other conflicting option is present. The return code is zero if the message is successfully accepted. Otherwise, the action is controlled by the -oex option setting - see below.
The format of the message must be as defined in RFC 2822, except that, for compatibility with Sendmail and Smail, a line in one of the forms
From sender Fri Jan 5 12:55 GMT 1997
From sender Fri, 5 Jan 97 12:55:01
(with the weekday optional, and possibly with additional text after the date) is permitted to appear at the start of the message. There appears to be no authoritative specification of the format of this line. Exim recognizes it by matching against the regular expression defined by the uucp_from_pattern option, which can be changed if necessary. The specified sender is treated as if it were given as the argument to the -f option, but if a -f option is also present, its argument is used in preference to the address taken from the message. The caller of Exim must be a trusted user for the sender of a message to be set in this way.
If this option is given with no arguments, it causes the values of all Exim's main configuration options to be written to the standard output. The values of one or more specific options can be requested by giving their names as arguments, for example:
exim -bP qualify_domain hold_domains
However, any option setting that is preceded by the word ``hide'' in the configuration file is not shown in full, except to an admin user. For other users, output such as
mysql_servers = <value not displayable>
is used. If configure_file is given as an argument, the name of the run time configuration file is output. If log_file_path or pid_file_path are given, the names of the directories where log files and daemon pid files are written are output, respectively. If these values are unset, log files are written in a sub-directory of the spool directory called log, and the pid file is written directly into the spool directory.
If -bP is followed by a name preceded by +, for example,
exim -bP +local_domains
it searches for a matching named list of any type (domain, host, address, or local part) and outputs what it finds.
If one of the words router, transport, or authenticator is given, followed by the name of an appropriate driver instance, the option settings for that driver are output. For example:
exim -bP transport local_delivery
The generic driver options are output first, followed by the driver's private options. A list of the names of drivers of a particular type can be obtained by using one of the words router_list, transport_list, or authenticator_list, and a complete list of all drivers with their option settings can be obtained by using routers, transports, or authenticators.
This option requests a listing of the contents of the mail queue on the standard output. If the -bp option is followed by a list of message ids, just those messages are listed. By default, this option can be used only by an admin user. However, the queue_list_requires_admin option can be set false to allow any user to see the queue.
Each message on the queue is displayed as in the following example:
25m 2.9K 0t5C6f-0000c8-00 <email@example.com>
The first line contains the length of time the message has been on the queue (in this case 25 minutes), the size of the message (2.9K), the unique local identifier for the message, and the message sender, as contained in the envelope. For bounce messages, the sender address is empty, and appears as ``<>''. If the message was submitted locally by an untrusted user who overrode the default sender address, the user's login name is shown in parentheses before the sender address. If the message is frozen (attempts to deliver it are suspended) then the text ``*** frozen ***'' is displayed at the end of this line.
The recipients of the message (taken from the envelope, not the headers) are displayed on subsequent lines. Those addresses to which the message has already been delivered are marked with the letter D. If an original address gets expanded into several addresses via an alias or forward file, the original is displayed with a D only when deliveries for all of its child addresses are complete.
This option operates like -bp, but in addition it shows delivered addresses that were generated from the original top level address(es) in each message by alias or forwarding operations. These addresses are flagged with ``+D'' instead of just ``D''.
This option counts the number of messages on the queue, and writes the total to the standard output. It is restricted to admin users, unless queue_list_requires_admin is set false.
This option operates like -bp, but the output is not sorted into chronological order of message arrival. This can speed it up when there are lots of messages on the queue, and is particularly useful if the output is going to be post-processed in a way that doesn't need the sorting.
This option is a combination of -bpr and -bpa.
This option is a combination of -bpr and -bpu.
This option operates like -bp but shows only undelivered top-level addresses for each message displayed. Addresses generated by aliasing or forwarding are not shown, unless the message was deferred after processing by a router with the one_time option set.
This option is for testing retry rules, and it must be followed by up to three arguments. It causes Exim to look for a retry rule that matches the values and to write it to the standard output. For example:
exim -brt bach.comp.mus.example Retry rule: *.comp.mus.example F,2h,15m; F,4d,30m;
See chapter 31 for a description of Exim's retry rules. The first argument, which is required, can be a complete address in the form local_part@domain, or it can be just a domain name. The second argument is an optional second domain name; if no retry rule is found for the first argument, the second is tried. This ties in with Exim's behaviour when looking for retry rules for remote hosts - if no rule is found that matches the host, one that matches the mail domain is sought. The final argument is the name of a specific delivery error, as used in setting up retry rules, for example ``quota_3d''.
This option is for testing address rewriting rules, and it must be followed by a single argument, consisting of either a local part without a domain, or a complete address with a fully qualified domain. Exim outputs how this address would be rewritten for each possible place it might appear. See chapter 30 for further details.
This option is used for batched SMTP input, which is an alternative interface for non-interactive local message submission. Exim reads SMTP commands on the standard input, but generates no responses. If any error is encountered, reports are written to the standard output and error streams, and Exim gives up immediately. The return code is 0 if no error was detected; it is 1 if one or more messages were accepted before the error was detected; otherwise it is 2.
If the caller is trusted, or untrusted_set_sender is set, the senders in the SMTP MAIL commands are believed; otherwise the sender is always the caller of Exim. The SMTP commands HELO and EHLO act as RSET; VRFY, EXPN, ETRN, and HELP act as NOOP; QUIT quits. More details of input using batched SMTP are given in section 42.9.
This option causes Exim to accept one or more messages by reading SMTP commands on the standard input, and producing SMTP replies on the standard output. SMTP policy controls, as defined in ACLs (see chapter 37) are applied. Some user agents use this interface as a way of passing locally-generated messages to the MTA. The option is also used to run Exim from inetd, as an alternative to using a listening daemon, in which case the standard input is the connected socket. Exim can distinguish the two cases by checking whether the standard input is a TCP/IP socket.
If the caller of Exim is trusted, or untrusted_set_sender is set, the senders of messages are taken from the SMTP MAIL commands. Otherwise the content of these commands is ignored and the sender is set up as the calling user.
This option runs Exim in address testing mode, in which each argument is taken as an address to be tested for deliverability. The results are written to the standard output. If no arguments are given, Exim runs in an interactive manner, prompting with a right angle bracket for addresses to be tested. Each address is handled as if it were the recipient address of a message (compare the -bv option). It is passed to the routers and the result is written to the standard output. The return code is 2 if any address failed outright; it is 1 if no address failed outright but at least one could not be resolved for some reason. Return code 0 is given only when all addresses succeed.
Warning: -bt can only do relatively simple testing. If any of the routers in the configuration makes any tests on the sender address of a message, you can use the -f option to set an appropriate sender when running -bt tests. Without it, the sender is assumed to be the calling user at the default qualifying domain. However, if you have set up (for example) routers whose behaviour depends on the contents of an incoming message, you cannot test those conditions using -bt. The -N option provides a possible way of doing such tests.
This option causes Exim to write the current version number, compilation number, and compilation date of the exim binary to the standard output.
This option runs Exim in address verification mode, in which each argument is taken as an address to be verified. During normal operation, verification happens mostly as a consequence processing a verify condition in an ACL (see chapter 37). If you want to test an entire ACL, see the -bh option.
If no arguments are given, Exim runs in an interactive manner, prompting with a right angle bracket for addresses to be verified. Verification differs from address testing (the -bt option) in that routers that have no_verify set are skipped, and if the address is accepted by a router that has fail_verify set, verification fails. The address is verified as a recipient if -bv is used; to test verification for a sender address, -bvs should be used.
If the -v option is not set, the output consists of a single line for each address, stating whether it was verified or not, and giving a reason in the latter case. Otherwise, more details are given of how the address has been handled, and in the case of address redirection, all the generated addresses are also considered. Without -v, generating more than one address by redirection causes verification to end sucessfully.
The return code is 2 if any address failed outright; it is 1 if no address failed outright but at least one could not be resolved for some reason. Return code 0 is given only when all addresses succeed.
If any of the routers in the configuration makes any tests on the sender address of a message, you should use the -f option to set an appropriate sender when running -bv tests. Without it, the sender is assumed to be the calling user at the default qualifying domain.
This option acts like -bv, but verifies the address as a sender rather than a recipient address. This affects any rewriting and qualification that might happen.
This option causes Exim to read the run time configuration from the given file instead of from the file specified by the CONFIGURE_FILE compile-time setting. When this option is used by a caller other than root or the Exim user, and the file name given is different from the compiled-in name, Exim gives up its root privilege immediately, and runs with the real and effective uid and gid set to those of the caller.
The facility is useful for ensuring that configuration files are syntactically correct, but cannot be used for test deliveries, unless the caller is privileged, or unless it's an exotic configuration that does not require privilege. No check is made on the owner or group of the file specified by this option.
This option can be used to override macro definitions in the configuration file (see section 6.4). However, like -C, if it is used by an unprivileged caller, it causes Exim to give up its root privilege. This option may be repeated up to 10 times on a command line.
This option causes debugging information to be written to the standard error file. It is restricted to admin users because debugging output may show database queries that contain password information. Also, the details of users' filter files should be protected. When -d is used, -v is assumed. If -d is given on its own, a lot of standard debugging data is output. This can be reduced, or increased to include some more rarely needed information, by following -d with a string made up of names preceded by plus or minus characters. These add or remove sets of debugging data, respectively. For example, -d+filter adds filter debugging, whereas -d-all+filter selects only filter debugging. The available debugging categories are:
|deliver||general delivery logic|
|dns||DNS lookups (see also resolver)|
|dnsbl||DNS black list (aka RBL) code|
|exec||arguments for execv() calls|
|hints_lookup||hints data lookups|
|host_lookup||all types of name-to-IP address handling|
|interface||lists of local interfaces|
|lists||matching things in lists|
|load||system load checks|
|lookup||general lookup code and all lookups|
|process_info||setting info for the process log|
|receive||general message reception logic|
|resolver||turn on the DNS resolver's debugging output|
|uid||changes of uid/gid and looking up uid/gid|
|verify||address verification logic|
|all||all of the above, and also -v|
The default (-d with no argument) omits filter, interface, load, memory, and resolver. Unfortunately, debugging output from the DNS resolver is written to stdout rather than stderr.
If the debug_print option is set in any driver, it produces output whenever any debugging is selected, or if -v is used.
The RFCs that define Internet mail apply only to messages in transit between hosts. They specify that lines of text should be terminated by the two-character sequence CR, LF. When a message is within a host system, the software that processes it may use any method it likes for terminating lines. The natural assumption is to use the host's normal convention. Most software on Unix-like systems uses a single LF character, which is the Unix standard.
When a non-SMTP message is passed to Exim via its command line, LF termination is assumed. Any CR characters in the message, wherever they appear, are treated as data characters.
Unfortunately, not all software writers take the same view. At least one MUA (dtmail) terminates each line with CR, LF, and the Cyrus message store behaves in the same way. There is also some UUCP software which does this. To support these callers, Exim has the -dropcr option, which causes it to discard a CR character if it immediately precedes an LF. Any other CR characters are treated as data. For example, a sequence such as CR, CR, LF is treated as one data CR, followed by the end of the line. The drop_cr configuration file option can be used to force -dropcr for all non-SMTP input.
This option specifies that an incoming message is a locally-generated delivery failure report. It is used internally by Exim when handling delivery failures and is not intended for external use. Its only effect is to stop Exim generating certain messages to the postmaster, as otherwise message cascades could occur in some situations. As part of the same option, a message id may follow the characters -E. If it does, the log entry for the receipt of the new message contains the id, following ``R='', as a cross-reference.
There are a number of Sendmail options starting with -oe which seem to be called by various programs without the leading o in the option. For example, the vacation program uses -eq. Exim treats all options of the form -ex as synonymous with the corresponding -oex options.
This option sets the sender's full name for use when a locally-generated message is being accepted. In the absence of this option, the user's gecos entry from the password data is used. As users are generally permitted to alter their gecos entries, no security considerations are involved. White space between -F and the <string> is optional.
This option sets the address of the envelope sender of a locally-generated message (also known as the return path). The option can normally be used only by a trusted user, but untrusted_set_sender can be set to allow untrusted users to use it. In the absence of -f, or if the caller is not allowed to use it, the sender of a local message is set to the caller's login name at the default qualify domain.
The use of -f is not restricted when testing a filter file with -bf or when testing or verifying addresses using the -bt or -bv options. There is also no restriction of the use of the special setting -f <> to send a message with an empty sender; such a message can never provoke a bounce.
Allowing untrusted users to change the sender address does not of itself make it possible to send anonymous mail. Exim still checks that the From: header refers to the local user, and if it does not, it adds a Sender: header, though this can be overridden by setting no_local_from_check.
White space between -f and the <address> is optional (that is, they can be given as two arguments or one combined argument). The sender of a locally-generated message can also be set (when permitted) by an initial ``From '' line in the message - see the description of -bm above - but if -f is also present, it overrides ``From ''.
This is a Sendmail option which is ignored by Exim.
This option is accepted for compatibility with Sendmail, but at present has no effect. (In Sendmail it overrides the ``hop count'' obtained by counting Received: headers.)
This option, which has the same effect as -oi, specifies that a dot on a line by itself should not terminate an incoming, non-SMTP message. I can find no documentation for this option in Solaris 2.4 Sendmail, but the mailx command in Solaris 2.4 uses it.
This option requests Exim to run a delivery attempt on each message in turn. If any of the messages are frozen, they are automatically thawed before the delivery attempt. The settings of queue_domains, queue_smtp_domains, and hold_domains are ignored. Retry hints for any of the addresses are overridden - Exim tries to deliver even if the normal retry time has not yet been reached. This option requires the caller to be an admin user. However, there is an option called prod_requires_admin which can be set false to relax this restriction (and also the same requirement for the -q, -R, and -S options).
This option requests Exim to add the addresses to the list of recipients of the message (``ar'' for ``add recipients''). The first argument must be a message id, and the remaining ones must be email addresses. However, if the message is active (in the middle of a delivery attempt), it is not altered. This option can be used only by an admin user.
This option is not intended for use by external callers. It is used internally by Exim to invoke another instance of itself to deliver a waiting message using an existing SMTP channel, which is passed as the standard input. Details are given in chapter 42. This must be the final option, and the caller must be root or the Exim user in order to use it.
This option is not intended for use by external callers. It is used internally
by Exim in conjunction with the -MC option. It signifies that the connection
to the remote host has been authenticated.
This option is not intended for use by external callers. It is used internally by Exim in conjunction with the -MC option. It signifies that the server to which Exim is connected supports pipelining.
This option is not intended for use by external callers. It is used internally by Exim in conjunction with the -MC option when the original delivery was started by a queue runner. It passes on the process id of the queue runner, together with the file descriptor number of an open pipe. Closure of the pipe signals the final completion of the sequence of processes that are passing messages through the same SMTP channel.
This option is not intended for use by external callers. It is used internally by Exim in conjunction with the -MC option, and passes on the fact that the SMTP SIZE option should be used on messages delivered down the existing channel.
This option is not intended for use by external callers. It is used internally by Exim in conjunction with the -MC option, and passes on the fact that the host to which Exim is connected supports TLS encryption.
This option requests Exim to run a delivery attempt on each message in turn, but unlike the -M option, it does check for retry hints, and respects any that are found. This option is not very useful to external callers. It is provided mainly for internal use by Exim when it needs to re-invoke itself in order to regain root privilege for a delivery (see chapter 47). However, -Mc can be useful when testing, in order to run a delivery that respects retry times and other options such as hold_domains that are overridden when -M is used. Such a delivery does not count as a queue run. If you want to run a specific delivery as if in a queue run, you should use -q with a message id argument. A distinction between queue run deliveries and other deliveries is made in one or two places.
This option requests Exim to change the sender address in the message to the given address, which must be a fully qualified address or ``<>'' (``es'' for ``edit sender''). There must be exactly two arguments. The first argument must be a message id, and the second one an email address. However, if the message is active (in the middle of a delivery attempt), its status is not altered. This option can be used only by an admin user.
This option requests Exim to mark each listed message as ``frozen''. This prevents any delivery attempts taking place until the message is ``thawed'', either manually or as a result of the auto_thaw configuration option. However, if any of the messages are active (in the middle of a delivery attempt), their status is not altered. This option can be used only by an admin user.
This option requests Exim to give up trying to deliver the listed messages, including any that are frozen. A delivery error message is sent, containing the text ``cancelled by administrator''. However, if any of the messages are active, their status is not altered. This option can be used only by an admin user.
This option requests Exim to mark all the recipient addresses in the messages as already delivered (``mad'' for ``mark all delivered''). However, if any message is active (in the middle of a delivery attempt), its status is not altered. This option can be used only by an admin user.
This option requests Exim to mark the given addresses as already delivered (``md'' for ``mark delivered''). The first argument must be a message id, and the remaining ones must be email addresses. These are matched to recipient addresses in the message in a case-sensitive manner. If the message is active (in the middle of a delivery attempt), its status is not altered. This option can be used only by an admin user.
This option requests Exim to remove the given messages from the queue. No bounce messages are sent; each message is simply forgotten. However, if any of the messages are active, their status is not altered. This option can be used only by an admin user or by the user who originally caused the message to be placed on the queue.
This option requests Exim to ``thaw'' any of the listed messages that are ``frozen'', so that delivery attempts can resume. However, if any of the messages are active, their status is not altered. This option can be used only by an admin user.
This option causes the contents of the message body (-D) spool file to be written to the standard output. This option can be used only by an admin user.
This option causes the contents of the message headers (-H) spool file to be written to the standard output. This option can be used only by an admin user.
This option causes the contents of the message log spool file to be written to the standard output. This option can be used only by an admin user.
This is apparently a synonym for -om that is accepted by Sendmail, so Exim treats it that way too.
This is a debugging option that inhibits delivery of a message at the transport level. It implies -v. Exim goes through many of the motions of delivery - it just doesn't actually transport the message, but instead behaves as if it had successfully done so. However, it does not make any updates to the retry database, and the log entries for deliveries are flagged with ``*>'' rather than ``=>''.
Because -N discards any message to which it applies, only root or the Exim user are allowed to use it with -bd, -q, -R or -M. In other words, an ordinary user can use it only when supplying an incoming message to which it will apply. Although transportation never fails when -N is set, an address may be deferred because of a configuration problem on a transport, or a routing problem. Once -N has been used for a delivery attempt, it sticks to the message, and applies to any subsequent delivery attempts that may happen for that message.
This option is interpreted by Sendmail to mean ``no aliasing''. It is ignored by Exim.
This option is used by Sendmail in conjunction with -bi to specify an alternative alias file name. Exim handles -bi differently; see the description above.
This is a debugging option which limits the maximum number of messages that can be delivered down one SMTP connection, overriding the value set in any smtp transport. If <n> is omitted, the limit is set to 1.
This option applies to all modes in which Exim accepts incoming messages, including the listening daemon. It requests ``background'' delivery of such messages, which means that the accepting process automatically starts delivery process for each message received, but does not wait for the delivery process to complete. This is the default action if none of the -od options are present. It overrides a setting of queue_only in the configuration file.
This option requests ``foreground'' (synchronous) delivery when Exim has accepted a locally-generated message. (For the daemon it is exactly the same as -odb.) A delivery process is automatically started to deliver the message, and Exim waits for it to complete before proceeding.
This option is synonymous with -odf. It is provided for compatibility with Sendmail.
This option applies to all modes in which Exim accepts incoming messages, including the listening daemon. It specifies that the accepting process should not automatically start a delivery process for each message received. Messages are placed on the queue, and remain there until a subsequent queue-runner process encounters them. The queue_only configuration option has the same effect. This option overrides any setting of queue_smtp_domains or -odqs.
This option is a hybrid between -odb and -odq. A background delivery process is started for each incoming message, the addresses are routed, and local deliveries are done in the normal way. However, if any SMTP deliveries are required, they are not done at this time, so the message remains on the queue until a subsequent queue-runner process encounters it. Because routing was done, Exim knows which messages are waiting for which hosts, and so a number of messages for the same host can be sent in a single SMTP connection. The queue_smtp_domains configuration option has the same effect for specific domains. See also the -qq option.
If an error is detected while a non-SMTP message is being received (for example, a malformed address), the error is reported to the sender in a mail message. Provided this error message is successfully sent, the Exim receiving process exits with a return code of zero. If not, the return code is 2 if the problem is that the original message has no recipients, or 1 any other error. This is the default -oex option if Exim is called as rmail.
This is the same as -oee, except that Exim always exits with a non-zero return code, whether or not the error message was successfully sent. This is the default -oex option, unless Exim is called as rmail.
If an error is detected while a non-SMTP message is being received, the error is reported by writing a message to the standard error file (stderr). The return code is 1 for all errors.
This option is supported for compatibility with Sendmail, but has the same effect as -oep.
This option is supported for compatibility with Sendmail, but has the same effect as -oem.
This option, which has the same effect as -i, specifies that a dot on a line by itself should not terminate an incoming, non-SMTP message. This is the default if Exim is called as rmail.
This option is treated as synonymous with -oi.
A number of options starting with -oM can be used to set values associated with remote hosts on locally-submitted messages (that is, messages not received over TCP/IP). These options can be used by any caller in conjunction with the -bh, -bf, -bF, -bt, or -bv testing options. In other circumstances, they are ignored unless the caller is trusted.
The -oMa option sets the sender host address. This may include a port number at the end, after a full stop (period). For example:
exim -bs -oMa 10.9.8.7.1234
An alternative syntax is to enclose the IP address in square brackets, followed by a colon and the port number:
exim -bs -oMa [10.9.8.7]:1234
See -oMa above for general remarks about the -oM options. The -oMaa option sets the value of $sender_host_authenticated (the authenticator name). See chapter 32 for a discussion of SMTP authentication.
See -oMa above for general remarks about the -oM options. The -oMai option sets the authenticated id value. It overrides the default value (the caller's login id) for messages from local sources. See chapter 32 for a discussion of authenticated ids.
See -oMa above for general remarks about the -oM options. The -oMas option sets the authenticated sender value. It overrides the sender address that is created from the caller's login id for messages from local sources. See chapter 32 for a discussion of authenticated senders.
See -oMa above for general remarks about the -oM options. The -oMi option sets the IP interface address value. A port number may be included, using the same syntax as for -oMa.
See -oMa above for general remarks about the -oM options. The -oMr option sets the received protocol value. However, this applies only when -bs is not used. For interactive SMTP input, the protocol is determined by whether EHLO or HELO is used, and is always either ``local-esmtp'' or ``local-smtp''. For -bS (batch SMTP) however, the protocol can be set by -oMr.
See -oMa above for general remarks about the -oM options. The -oMs option sets the sender host name.
See -oMa above for general remarks about the -oM options. The -oMt option sets the sender ident value. The default setting for local callers is the login id of the calling process.
In Sendmail, this option means ``me too'', indicating that the sender of a message should receive a copy of the message if the sender appears in an alias expansion. Exim always does this, so the option does nothing.
This option is ignored. In Sendmail it specifies ``old style headers'', whatever
This option is useful only in conjunction with -bd or -q with a time value. The option specifies the file to which the process id of the daemon is written. When -oX is used with -bd, or when -q with a time is used without -bd, this is the only way of causing Exim to write a pid file, because in those cases, the normal pid file is not used.
This option sets a timeout value for incoming non-SMTP messages. If it is not set, Exim will wait forever for the standard input. The value can also be set by the receive_timeout option. The format used for specifying times is described in section 6.9.
This option sets a timeout value for incoming SMTP messages. The timeout applies to each SMTP command and block of data. The value can also be set by the smtp_receive_timeout option; it defaults to 5 minutes. The format used for specifying times is described in section 6.9.
This option has exactly the same effect as -v.
This option is relevant only when the -bd option is also given. If it is followed by a single number, it specifies the default TCP port for the listening daemon, overriding daemon_smtp_port. If local_interfaces is set, and specifies ports as well as IP addresses, -oX followed by a single number has no effect, because it changes only the default port.
An alternate form for -oX is to follow it with a list of interfaces (and optionally ports) on which the daemon is to listen. In this case, the data is in the same format as the value of local_interfaces, and it overrides that option.
This option applies when an embedded Perl interpreter is linked with Exim (see chapter 12). It overrides the setting of the perl_at_start option, forcing the starting of the interpreter to be delayed until it is needed.
This option applies when an embedded Perl interpreter is linked with Exim (see chapter 12). It overrides the setting of the perl_at_start option, forcing the starting of the interpreter to occur as soon as Exim is started.
This option is normally restricted to admin users. However, there is a configuration option called prod_requires_admin which can be set false to relax this restriction (and also the same requirement for the -M, -R, and -S options).
The -q option starts one queue-runner process. This scans the queue of waiting messages, and runs a delivery process for each one in turn. It waits for each delivery process to finish before starting the next one. A delivery process may not actually do any deliveries if the retry times for the addresses have not been reached. Use -qf (see below) if you want to override this. If the delivery process spawns other processes to deliver other messages down passed SMTP connections, the queue runner waits for these to finish before proceeding.
When all the queued messages have been considered, the original queue-runner process terminates. In other words, a single pass is made over the waiting mail, one message at a time. Use -q with a time (see below) if you want this to be repeated periodically.
Exim processes the waiting messages in an unpredictable order. It isn't very random, but it is likely to be different each time, which is all that matters. If one particular message screws up a remote MTA, other messages to the same MTA have a chance of getting through if they get tried first.
It is possible to cause the messages to be processed in lexical message id order, which is essentially the order in which they arrived, by setting the queue_run_in_order option, but this is not recommended for normal use.
The -q option may be followed by one or more flag letters that change its behaviour. They are all optional, but if more than one is present, they must appear in the correct order. Each flag is described in a separate item below.
An option starting with -qq requests a two-stage queue run. In the first stage, the queue is scanned as if the queue_smtp_domains option matched every domain. Addresses are routed, local deliveries happen, but no remote transports are run. The hints database that remembers which messages are waiting for specific hosts is updated, as if delivery to those hosts had been deferred. After this is complete, a second, normal queue scan happens, with routing and delivery taking place as normal. Messages that are routed to the same host should mostly be delivered down a single SMTP connection because of the hints that were set up during the first queue scan. This option may be useful for hosts that are connected to the Internet intermittently.
If the i flag is present, the queue-runner runs delivery processes only for those messages that haven't previously been tried. (i stands for ``initial delivery''.) This can be helpful if you are putting messages on the queue using -odq and want a queue runner just to process the new messages.
If one f flag is present, a delivery attempt is forced for each non-frozen message, whereas without f only those non-frozen addresses that have passed their retry times are tried.
If ff is present, a delivery attempt is forced for every message, whether frozen or not.
The l (the letter ``ell'') flag specifies that only local deliveries are to be done. If a message requires any remote deliveries, it remains on the queue for later delivery.
When scanning the queue, Exim can be made to skip over messages whose ids are lexically less than a given value by following the -q option with a starting message id. For example:
exim -q 0t5C6f-0000c8-00
Messages that arrived earlier than 0t5C6f-0000c8-00 are not inspected. If a second message id is given, messages whose ids are lexically greater than it are also skipped. If the same id is given twice, for example,
exim -q 0t5C6f-0000c8-00 0t5C6f-0000c8-00
just one delivery process is started, for that message. This differs from -M in that retry data is respected, and it also differs from -Mc in that it counts as a delivery from a queue run. Note that the selection mechanism does not affect the order in which the messages are scanned. There are also other ways of selecting specific sets of messages for delivery in a queue run - see -R and -S.
When a time value is present, the -q option causes Exim to run as a daemon, starting a queue-runner process at intervals specified by the given time value (whose format is described in section 6.9). This form of the -q option is commonly combined with the -bd option, in which case a single daemon process handles both functions. A common way of starting up a combined daemon at system boot time is to use a command such as
/usr/exim/bin/exim -bd -q30m
Such a daemon listens for incoming SMTP calls, and also fires up a queue-runner process every 30 minutes.
When a daemon is started by -q with a time value, but without -db, no pid file is written unless one is explicitly requested by the -oP option.
This option is synonymous with -R. It is provided for Sendmail compatibility.
This option is synonymous with -S.
The <rsflags> may be empty, in which case the white space before the string is optional, unless the string is f, ff, r, rf, or rff, which are the possible values for <rsflags>. White space is required if <rsflags> is not empty.
This option is similar to -q with no time value, that is, it causes Exim to perform a single queue run, except that, when scanning the messages on the queue, Exim processes only those that have at least one undelivered recipient address containing the given string, which is checked in a case-independent way. If the <rsflags> start with r, <string> is interpreted as a regular expression; otherwise it is a literal string.
Once a message is selected, all its addresses are processed. For the first selected message, Exim overrides any retry information and forces a delivery attempt for each undelivered address. This means that if delivery of any address in the first message is successful, any existing retry information is deleted, and so delivery attempts for that address in subsequently selected messages (which are processed without forcing) will run. However, if delivery of any address does not succeed, the retry information is updated, and in subsequently selected messages, the failing address will be skipped.
If the <rsflags> contain f or ff, the delivery forcing applies to all selected messages, not just the first; frozen messages are included when ff is present.
The -R option makes it straightforward to initiate delivery of all messages to a given domain after a host has been down for some time. When the SMTP command ETRN is permitted (see the smtp_etrn_hosts option), its default effect is to run Exim with the -R option, but it can be configured to run an arbitrary command instead.
This is a documented (for Sendmail) obsolete alternative name for -f.
This option acts like -R except that it checks the string against each message's sender instead of against the recipients. If -R is also set, both conditions must be met for a message to be selected. If either of the options has f or ff in its flags, the associated action is taken.
When Exim is receiving a locally-generated, non-SMTP message on its standard input, the -t option causes the recipients of the message to be obtained from the To:, Cc:, and Bcc: header lines in the message instead of from the command arguments. The addresses are extracted before any rewriting takes place.
If the command has any arguments, they specify addresses to which the message is not to be delivered. That is, the argument addresses are removed from the recipients list obtained from the headers. This is compatible with Smail 3 and in accordance with the documented behaviour of several versions of Sendmail, as described in man pages on a number of operating systems (e.g. Solaris 8, IRIX 6.5, HP-UX 11). However, some versions of Sendmail add argument addresses to those obtained from the headers, and the O'Reilly Sendmail book documents it that way. Exim can be made to add argument addresses instead of subtracting them by setting the option extract_addresses_remove_arguments false.
If a Bcc: header line is present, it is removed from the message unless there is no To: or Cc:, in which case a Bcc: line with no data is created. This is necessary for conformity with the original RFC 822 standard; the requirement has been removed in RFC 2822, but that is still very new.
If there are any Resent- headers in the message, an error is generated, and
Exim gives up. RFC 2822 talks about different sets of Resent- headers (when
a message is resent several times), and it is not at all clear how -t should
operate in this situation. Experiments with Sendmail have shown that it
amalgamates multiple sets of Resent- headers when -t is used. This does
not seem to be in the spirit of RFC 2822.
This option is available when Exim is compiled with TLS support. It makes it possible to support legacy clients that do not support the STARTTLS command, but instead expect to start up a TLS session as soon as a connection to the server is established. These clients use a special port (usually called the ``ssmtp'' port) instead of the normal SMTP port 25. The -tls-on-connect option can be used to run Exim in this way from inetd, and it can also be used to run a special daemon that operates in this manner (use -oX to specify the port). However, although it is possible to run one daemon that listens on several ports, it is not possible to have some of them operate one way and some the other. With only a few clients that need the legacy support, a convenient approach is to use a daemon for normal SMTP (with or without STARTTLS) and inetd with -tls-on-connect for the legacy clients.
Sendmail uses this option for ``initial message submission'', and its documentation states that in future releases, it may complain about syntactically invalid messages rather than fixing them when this flag is not set. Exim ignores this option.
This option causes Exim to write information to the standard error stream, describing what it is doing. In particular, it shows the log lines for receiving and delivering a message, and if an SMTP connection is made, the SMTP dialogue is shown. Some of the log lines shown may not actually be written to the log if the setting of log_selector discards them. Any relevant selectors are shown with each log line. If none are shown, the logging is unconditional.
AIX uses -x for a private purpose (``mail from a local mail program has National Language Support extended characters in the body of the mail item''). It sets -x when calling the MTA from its mail command. Exim ignores this option.