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Lists of Exim Mail Server Commands

Today I’ll post bunch of exim mail server commands to check mail queue, remove mails and grep/search email log. Exim is a mail transfer agent which is used on Unix-like operating systems for sending,receiving and routing the email messages. Exim is a free software distributed under the terms of the General Public License (GNU), and it aims to be a general and flexible mailer with extensive facilities for checking incoming mails. The mail transfer agent exim is developed in 1995 by Philip Hazel at the University of Cambridge.

If you’re using VestaCP or other similar configuration all exim logs can be found under /var/log/exim


1. To get counted message in the queue:

exim -bpc

2. Print a listing of the messages in the queue (time queued, size, message-id, sender, recipient):

exim -bp

3. Print a summary of messages in the queue (count, volume, oldest, newest, domain, and totals):

exim -bp | exiqsumm

4. Print what Exim is doing right now:


5. Testing how e-mail address is pointed:

exim -bt mail@domain.com

6. Run a pretend SMTP transaction from the command line, as if it were coming from the given IP address. This will display Exim’s checks, ACLs, and filters as they are applied. The message will NOT actually be delivered:

exim -bh XXX.XXX.XX.XX

7. Display all of Exim’s configuration settings:

exim -bP

Searching the queue with exiqgrep

Exim includes a utility that is quite nice for grepping through the queue, called exiqgrep.

1. Use -f to search the queue for messages from a specific sender:

exiqgrep -f @domaincom

2. Use -r to search the queue for messages for a specific recipient/domain:

exiqgrep -r @domain.com

3. Use -o to print messages older than the specified number of seconds. For example, messages older than 1 day:

exiqgrep -o 86400 [...]

4. Use -y to print messages that are younger than the specified number of seconds. For example, messages less than an hour old:

exiqgrep -y 3600 [...]

5. Use -s to match the size of a message with a regex. For example, 700-799 bytes:

exiqgrep -s '^7..$' [...]

Use -z to match only frozen messages, or -x to match only unfrozen messages. There are also a few flags that control the display of the output.

6. Use -i to print just the message-id as a result of one of the above two searches:

exiqgrep -i [ -r | -f ] ...

7. Use -c to print a count of messages matching one of the above searches:

exiqgrep -c ...

8. Print just the message-id of the entire queue:

exiqgrep -i

Managing the queue

1. Start a queue run

exim -q -v

2. Start a queue run for just local deliveries:

exim -ql -v

3. Remove a message from the queue:

exim -Mrm <message-id> [ <message-id> ... ]

4. Freeze a message:

exim -Mf <message-id> [ <message-id> ... ]

5. Throw a message:

exim -Mt <message-id> [ <message-id> ... ]

6. Deliver a message, whether it’s frozen or not, whether the retry time has been reached or not:

exim -M <message-id> [ <message-id> ... ]

7. Deliver a message, but only if the retry time has been reached:

exim -Mc <message-id> [ <message-id> ... ]

8. Force a message to fail and bounce as “cancelled by administrator”:

exim -Mg <message-id> [ <message-id> ... ]

9. Remove all frozen messages:

exiqgrep -z -i | xargs exim -Mrm

10. Remove all messages older than five days (86400 * 5 = 432000 seconds):

exiqgrep -o 432000 -i | xargs exim -Mrm

11. Freeze all queued mail from a given sender:

exiqgrep -i -f luser@example.tld | xargs exim -Mf

12. View a message’s headers:

exim -Mvh <message-id>

13. View a message’s body:

exim -Mvb <message-id>

14. View a message’s logs:

exim -Mvl <message-id>

Digging Into Exim Mail Logs With Exigrep

One single mail transaction will span multiple lines in the file, and not every line will have the search string you are looking for. The exigrep command works around this problem by finding your search string in transactions, and then helpfully gathering every log entry into separate, complete transactions.

1. Search for messages sent from a particular IP address:

exigrep '<= .* \[\] ' /path/to/exim_log

2. Search for messages sent to a particular IP address:

exigrep '=> .* \[\] ' /path/to/exim_log

This is how you search for outgoing messages with the “=>” symbol that are sent to “mail@domain.com”. The pipe to grep for the “<=” symbol will only match lines containing information on the sender, the From address, the sender’s IP address, the message size, the message ID, and the subject line if you have enabled logging the subject.

3. Generate and display Exim stats from a logfile:

eximstats /path/to/exim_mainlog

4. Same as above, with less verbose output:

eximstats -ne -nr -nt /path/to/exim_mainlog

5.To delete all queued messages containing a certain string in the body:

grep -lr 'a certain string' /var/spool/exim/input/ | \sed -e 's/^.*\/\([a-zA-Z0-9-]*\)-[DH]$/\1/g' | xargs exim -Mrm

Sandeep B.

I'm a system admin and php developer and currently working as System Admin In CWP Control panel, expertise in Linux and Windows administration RHEL certified admin.

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