rtfm / exim

Exim is a rather nice MTA written by Dr Philip Hazel at the University of Cambridge

Here's a hacked up exim configuration that I find useful when testing applications/systems that have components that send email: Although I generally work with/build systems that are easily configured (usually by way of a machine specific configuaration file) to point at different data sources/urls/what-have-you, one set of components I've had to be very careful about is those that actuall send email - All the other systems can usually behave exactly as their live counterparts would, but this doesn't really apply to email.

The solution, (Ok: a solution), is to configure a dummy MTA which accepts email according to exactly the same rules as the real MTA (same restrictions on addresses, relaying, header syntax and so on), but delivers every single piece of email fed to it to a hierarchy of spool/domain/user files.

This way, I get to run the test system with real user email address data, send the email via smtp, and track each piece of email generated by the system(s) in question as it appears in the filesystem, with only the occasional panic attack triggered by a momentary paranoid notion that I'm actually spamming customers with real-looking but completely false notifications. [ These are, of course, easily dealt with by assuming a foetal position under my desk and rocking gently backwards and forwards, humming tunelessly as I do so. ]

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