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    email server providing imap and smtp

    quick start

    Let's set up an email server that sounds like a fun thing to do why not.

    start a server as root

    We can start a server as root so that it can listen on low ports (25 and 143) used by smtp and imap:

    $ sudo eelmail server -d ./maildb

    This isn't so great for security, so you probably want to drop privileges inside the server with --uid and --gid:

    $ sudo eelmail server -d ./maildb --uid=$UID --gid=$GROUPS

    add accounts

    Once the server is running, create a user account:

    $ eelmail -d ./maildb users create substack \
      --login.basic.username=substack --login.basic.password=beepboop

    You can also pass in the datadir with $EELMAIL_DATADIR.

    If it worked, eelmail users list should now show your username:

    $ eelmail users list

    Repeat for additional user accounts you wish to configure.

    sanity check

    Now that the server is running and accounts are configured, let's send a test email. Here I'm using but you should replace that with your own domain.

    Make sure you have netcat installed then do:

    $ nc 25 <<END
    > helo localhost
    > mail from:
    > rcpt to:
    > data
    > subject: yo
    > beep boop
    > .
    > quit
    > END
    220 beep
    250 localhost
    221 Bye!

    Now make sure you have an email server (like postfix on linux) running locally and do:

    $ fetchmail -p imap -u substack
    Enter password for 
    1 message for substack at
    reading message of 1 (17 header octets) (9 body octets) flushed

    Enter the password that you configured and if it worked, you should now have mail in your local inbox.

    Type mail to read your email:

    $ mail
    "/var/mail/substack": 1 message 1 new
    >N   1 Fri Sep 26 09:51  18/728   yo
    ? n
    Return-Path: <>
    Received: from beep (beep [IPv6:::1])
        by beep (Postfix) with ESMTP id 5C06D740061
        for <>; Fri, 26 Sep 2014 09:51:41 -0700 (PDT)
    Received: from localhost.localdomain [::1]
        by beep with IMAP (fetchmail-6.3.21)
        for <> (single-drop); Fri, 26 Sep 2014 19:51:41 +0300 (IDT)
    Received: from localhost.localdomain [::1]
        by beep with IMAP (fetchmail-6.3.21)
        for <> (single-drop); Fri, 26 Sep 2014 19:47:56 +0300 (IDT)
    subject: yo
    Message-Id: <20140926165141.5C06D740061@beep>
    Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 09:51:41 -0700 (PDT)
    beep boop

    api example

    You can also create your own server from the api:

    var eelmail = require('eelmail');
    var level = require('level-party');
    var db = level('./data/db');
    var em = eelmail(db, { dir: './data' });

    Here we use level-party so that the user accounts can be modified while the server is running with the eelmail users command. Just make sure that -d matches the data dir.


    Usage: eelmail COMMAND...
      eelmail {OPTIONS} users ...
        Manage eelmail user accounts.
        Run `eelmail users -h` for the list of commands.
      eelmail server {OPTIONS}
        Start an imap and smtp server.
        --ports.smtp  port to use for smtp (default: 25)
        --ports.imap  port to use for imap (default: 143)
        To use ssl for imap, specify one of:
        --imap.cert / --imap.key  paths of tls cert and key files
        --imap.pfx                path of pfx file
      eelmail help
        Show this message.
    Global options:
      -d, --dir  directory to use to store data
                 default: $EELMAIL_DATADIR or ./eelmail.db


    var eelmail = require('eelmail')

    var em = eelmail(db, opts)

    Create an eelmail instance em from a db and opts.

    var server = em.createServer(type, opts)

    Create a server for type:

    • 'imap' - service to fetch saved emails
    • 'imaps' - imap over ssl
    • 'smtp' - service to receive emails
    • 'smtps' - smtp over ssl

    For 'imaps', 'smtp', and 'smtps' you'll need to supply opts.key/opts.cert or opts.pfx.


    Close the database.


    With npm, to get the eelmail command, do:

    npm install -g eelmail

    and to get the library, do:

    npm install eelmail




    npm i eelmail

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