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I have a development Ubuntu Server (12.04.1) VM that I use to develop php sites and e-commerce sites (like Magento etc).

Because this is for development purposes, and I need to test with e-mail addresses other than my own, I need a way for the sendmail command to accept a mail but not actually deliver it, but rather archive is somewhere where I can look at it.

What is the easiest way to install a mail server such that the sendmail command routes ALL mail to a local directory? i.e. I do NOT want any mail to be delivered to the internet.

I tried the steps discussed in this question ( SMTP server to deliver ALL mail to user@localhost), but it doesn't seem to work - I get an error message in my (local) mailbox telling me that it cannot deliver my test message (e.g. someone@gmail.com)

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2 Answers 2

To answer my own question, using postfix this is possible. You have to do two things:

  1. Add the configuration options discussed in SMTP server to deliver ALL mail to user@localhost, add the following to your /etc/postfix/main.cf file:

    luser_relay = MYLOCALUSER@localhost
    local_recipient_maps =
  2. Using the following answer on serverfault ( http://serverfault.com/questions/133190/host-wildcard-subdomains-using-postfix), I added the following (note that you need the postfix-pcre package installed):

    In /etc/postfix/main.cf:

     mydestination = pcre:/etc/postfix/mydestinations

    In /etc/postfix/mydestinations

    /.*/         ACCEPT

This will deliver ALL mail that postfix handles to the configured local user defined in #1, so don't use this for anything other than development.

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See another cool approach here http://martinvalasek.com/blog/how-to-catch-emails-sent-with-php-on-your-local-server

$ sudo mkdir /var/log/mail
$ sudo nano /usr/local/bin/sendmail

Add following PHP script to this new "sendmail" file:

$input = file_get_contents('php://stdin');
preg_match('|^To: (.*)|', $input, $matches);
$filename = tempnam('/var/log/mail', $matches[1] . '.');
file_put_contents($filename, $input);

Add sendmail_path = /usr/local/bin/sendmail to /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini.

$ sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/sendmail
$ sudo chmod 777 /var/log/mail
$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Now all your mail are in /var/log/mail folder.

P.S. Also you might want to add shell_exec("chmod 777 /var/log/mail/ -R"); to /usr/local/bin/sendmail

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The only problem with this solution is that you cannot use whatever mail client you have installed to read the mail as the script just dumps the mail in a directory. Being able to serve the mail up via pop3 or imap for example, lets you test your mail in actual mail clients. –  Gareth Jan 25 at 13:32
Thank you. I tried your solution too. It worked, thanks! But when I used it I was able to see only emails of user with hostname of MYLOCALUSER. But I wanted to test emails that sent do different accounts. –  milkovsky Jan 25 at 15:26

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