exim_checkaccess IP-address [email protected] [more Exim options]


Exim's -bh command line argument allows you to run a fake SMTP session with debugging output, in order to check what Exim is doing when it is applying policy controls to incoming SMTP mail. However, not everybody is sufficiently familiar with the SMTP protocol to be able to make full use of -bh, and sometimes you just want to answer the question “Does this address have access?” without bothering with any further details.

The exim_checkaccess utility is a \(oqpackaged\(cq version of -bh. It takes two arguments, an IP address and an email address:

  exim_checkaccess [email protected]

The utility runs a call to Exim with the -bh option, to test whether the given email address would be accepted in a RCPT command in a TCP/IP connection from the host with the given IP address. The output of the utility is either the word \(oqaccepted\(cq, or the SMTP error response, for example:

    550 Relay not permitted

When running this test, the utility uses “<>” as the envelope sender address for the MAIL command, but you can change this by providing additional options. These are passed directly to the Exim command. For example, to specify that the test is to be run with the sender address “[email protected]” you can use:

  exim_checkaccess [email protected] \
                   -f [email protected]

Note that these additional Exim command line items must be given after the two mandatory arguments.


This manual page needs a major re-work. If somebody knows better groff than us and has more experience in writing manual pages, any patches would be greatly appreciated.

RELATED TO exim_checkaccess…

exim(8), /usr/share/doc/exim4-base/


This manual page was stitched together from spec.txt by Andreas Metzler <ametzler at>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system (but may be used by others).