When I send an email (using the mail command via command line) from a user on my VPS to any other address, I have noticed that exim logs a delivery to the user that is sending the email first, and then logs the delivery to the recipient.

I am creating an exim log parser, mainly so that I have a reason to dissect and better understand exim, and I am just trying to understand what is going on here.

Here are some of the tests that I have done and the resulting logs:

Sending an email from testlinuxuser@mydomain.com to externalemail@gmail.com

2013-08-13 02:32:02 1V94Ow-0006HC-Fx <= testlinuxuser@mydomain.com U=testlinuxuser P=local S=518
2013-08-13 02:32:02 1V94Ow-0006HC-Fx gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com [2607:f8b0:400d:c00::1a] Network is unreachable
2013-08-13 02:32:03 1V94Ow-0006HC-Fx => externalemail@gmail.com R=dnslookup T=remote_smtp H=gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com [] X=TLS1.2:RSA_ARCFOUR_SHA1:128 DN="C=US,ST=California,L=Mountain View,O=Google Inc,CN=mx.google.com"
2013-08-13 02:32:03 1V94Ow-0006HC-Fx Completed

Sending an email from testlinuxuser@mydomain.com to testlinuxuser@mydomain.com

2013-08-13 03:14:57 1V954T-0006LQ-3s <= testlinuxuser@mydomain.com U=testlinuxuser P=local S=506
2013-08-13 03:14:57 1V954T-0006LQ-3s => testlinuxuser <testlinuxuser@mydomain.com> R=local_user T=mail_spool
2013-08-13 03:14:57 1V954T-0006LQ-3s Completed

I could go on with the other scenarios, but I think you'll get the point.

I have tried searching for the local protocol that exim is referencing there,(P=local) but that has not resulted in anything for me.

The very first log always says that the message is delivered to the email account that is sending the message. I thought that maybe that is because it was saving a copy of the email to a list of sent emails or something. I checked and I have not been able to find that. I have read the exim docs and I have not found any mention of this yet. Does anyone know what that log is actually saying that exim is doing there?

Using Ubuntu 13.04 Server on an AWS EC2 instance with Exim4, installed with apt-get and configured with the dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config command for my domain.

  • Saving emails to a sent folder is most commonly done by the client program (for IMAP it actually uploads the mails to the appropriate folder after first sending them via SMTP). – Falcon Momot Aug 13 '13 at 7:56

I don't see any problem in your logs. Lines starting with <= do NOT mean the mail is delivered, they mean the mail has been received by exim (and queued for delivery in this case).

Lines starting with => are about deliveries. Check the exim documentation for more information:


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