extsmail releases


extsmail is released under a BSD / MIT style licence.

Available as pre-built packages:

Formal releases:

  • extsmail 2.1 (2017-11-25) (66K)
    • Build fix for more recent C compilers.
  • extsmail 2.0 (2014-11-12) (65K)
    • Reload configuration file when SIGHUP is received (thanks to Olivier Girondel).
    • Added -t flag to check a configuration file without running extsmaild.
    • Be more careful to free all file handles.

Previous releases are available.

Development of extsmail uses git. If you wish to contribute to extsmail, it is recommended that you work with a check-out of the repository. You can get a copy with the following command:

$ git clone git://github.com/ltratt/extsmail.git
You can also view extsmail's online git repository. Patches are always gratefully received.

60 second install instructions

If you don't like reading manuals, most per-user configurations of extsmail can be accommodated with the following commands:
$ ./configure
$ make
$ make install
$ mkdir -m 700 -p ~/.extsmail/spool_dir
$ echo spool_dir = \"~/.extsmail/spool_dir\" > ~/.extsmail/conf
Assuming you want to send e-mail to another machine via ssh, you then need to create the file ~/.extsmail/externals and put in the following configuration:
group {
    external mymachine {
        sendmail = "/usr/bin/ssh -q -C -l user mymachine.net /usr/sbin/sendmail"
where mymachine is a human-friendly name given to an external (it does not effect processing), and user is your username on the remote machine mymachine.net.

Finally you need to run extsmaild as a daemon so that it sends your mail:

$ extsmaild -m daemon
You might want to put this command in a start-up script.

You then need to configure whatever programs you're using to send mail to use extsmail instead of your normal sendmail binary.

And with that you're done. If you want to do something more complex you'll need to read the detailed instructions (extsmail comes with complete man page documentation), but the above works perfectly well for the majority of cases.


extsmail is a C application. It should be trivially portable to any POSIX compliant operating system. It can be installed as follows:
$ ./configure
$ make
$ make install
Please note that if, and only if, you are building from the git repository you will first need to execute make -f Makefile.bootstrap to build the configure script.