What is Qmail Mail Transfer Agent

Qmail is a Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) that runs on Unix that is more secure replacement of sendmail program. Source code of Qmail is publicly available as well as its a free software.


The important feature of Qmail is:

Security: Qmail was first MTA that was built by keeping security in mind while design the architecture. That was not available at the time of sendmail.

*Performance: It can handle large email queue than sendmail its faster as well in terms of performance.

*Simplicity: Qmail is easy to configure and deploy

*. Innovation: Qmail has done some innovation as well like maildir format which creates seperate file for emails. Because there are several other MTAs that stores all emails in a single file. The other innovation was done in terms of wildcard mailboxes in which was first time where specific wildcards got generated that allows users to publish multiple email address for mailing list.

How to view Messages in the Qmail Queue


In order to view the messages on email queue. You need to login to server using SSH and should have root level permission to access these details


Linux command to list out all messages currently in queue:



Linux command to count the number of messages in the queue currently, type



To read the entire contents of an email in queue, including headers, type


find /var/qmail/queue -name NNNN| xargs cat | less

Where NNNN is 8 digit like

20 May 2014 04:05:50 GMT #1435166 517 <[email protected]>

If we want to see the detail any specific mail then need to write

command like


find /var/qmail/queue -name 1435166| xargs cat | less


It will show complete detail of email like



[email protected]^@Received: (qmail 9874 invoked from network); 20 May 2014 04:05:50 -0400

Received: from 5e053af3.bb.sky.com (HELO psvobm) (

by ip-192-168-0-0.ip.secureserver.net with ESMTPA; 20 May 2014 04:05:50 -0400

Date: Tue, 20 May 2014 09:07:40 -0700


From: [email protected]

To: <[email protected]>

Mime-Version: 1.0

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-2




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Chandra Shekhar

GCP Architect
Chandra Shekhar Pandey is Google certified Cloud engineer, I am Magento2 Trained developer. Having huge experience in designing cloud solution. I have around 12 years of experience with world enterprise IT companies and fortune 500 clients. During my architecture design I am always caring about high availability, fast performance and resilient system. From the programmer background I have huge experience in LAMP stack as well. Throughout my carrier I have worked on Retail, E-Learning, Video Conferencing and social media domain. The motive of creating cutehits was just to share the knowledge/solutions I get to know during my day to day life so that if possible I can help someone for same problems/solutions. CuteHits.com is a really a very effort for sharing knowledge to rest of the world. For any query/suggestion about same you can contact me on below details:- Email: shekharmca2005 at gmail.com Phone: +91-9560201363

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