The sys admin’s daily grind: Swaks

For the Protocol

Author(s):

Searching for errors on an SMTP server via Telnet and test mails can seem like a never-ending obstacle course. The utility called Swaks helps bring the finish line within reach.

SMTP is a plain text protocol, which proves to be quite useful when searching for errors on the mail server. I can simply connect to port 25 via Telnet and then act like a mail client. By means of the server’s answers, I can quickly see where the problem is – theoretically, at least. In practice, as you may have already guessed, things don’t go that smoothly.

SMTP has become fatter and fatter over the years, not least because security functions were desperately needed. Although basic commands like HELO <FQDN> or RCPT are easy for me to type quickly, authentication with CRAM-SHA-1 no longer has anything to do with plain text as far as I am concerned, and any fun I might have been having is long gone.

Read full article as PDF:

052-052_charly.pdf (198.85 kB)

Related content

  • Table of Contents: 145

    Building a botnet doesn’t necessarily make you an outlaw; we show you how one programmer automated a timesensitive business application with a botnet. Next, get ready to hit the ground running with HTML5, and secure your websites with sound PHP programming principles.

  • Bot_Attack

    While going about his normal duties, Linux Magazine author Charly Kühnast was hit with a mean attack. Charly’s separate anti-spam server, which sits in front of his mail server, saved him from the mail storm.

  • Charly's Column

    Checking email for viruses is typically the domain of the SMTP gateway or a server directly downstream of it. In this month’s column, Charly decides to move this protection to the other side – that is, to the client connections
    with their SMTP and POP servers.

  • Introduction

    Charly has a web mailer on his server just for family and friends. Last weekend he ditched the overly simplistic SquirrelMail for a Web 2.0 program.

  • Charly's Column

    Without TinyURL.com and similar URL shortening services, many Twitter postings would only have enough space left for “Look at this.” But if you run a web server yourself, you might prefer to grow your own shortener.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

052-052_charly.pdf (198.85 kB)

News