So, I've just set up mail and mutt and I'm happily sending emails to a gmail.com address.

I am using EXIM as my MTA.

Now, when I reply to those emails (so they get send back to my domain) I see a record that they appeared in /var/spool/mail, but cat doesn't seem like a very clever way to read it.

How do I properly read mail that is sent to me at my server? How can I set up additional email addresses like me@myserver.com, perry@myserver.com, katy-is-my-wife@myserver.com

Links to resources would be helpful - I am searching now as I type but I'm not finding instructions just yet

4 Answers 4


I don't know exim very well, but by default it should deliver the e-mail to either a mailbox or a Maildir in the user's home folder. The simplest way to get additional e-mail account is to setup additional users on the server (there are other ways, and you can use aliases to send multiple e-mail addresses to the same user).

  • So, how do I know what the Maildir will be? And how do I change it? 'root' is running the exim process.
    – bobobobo
    Aug 20, 2010 at 19:40
  • If it's using Maildir, it will literally be a directory named "Maildir" in their home folder. If it's a mbox format, it'll be a file ~/mbox[o,rd,cl,cl2] or a file in /var/mail/$username.
    – Chris S
    Aug 21, 2010 at 3:09

It turns out it was /etc/aliases that held the answer.

That and /etc/email-addresses

I also learned a bit from this page.


Using exim as a POP server, the mail will be stored in ~/Maildir. If the email account is name@example.com, the mail for that account will be stored in ~/Maildir/name.

If the user is using exim and IMAP, the mail will instead be stored in: '~/imap/example.com/Maildir/name'.

If you are logged in as root you can't use ~ to find a user's home directory of course. On a Debian server, you'll find those directories at: '/home/username/Maildir/name' and '/home/username/imap/example.com/Maildir/name' respectively.


In my case (exim on Ubuntu 14.04), it's in /var/vmail/<domain>/<account>.

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