Eudora Internet Mail
Server (EIMS) is the most popular Internet mail server for the Macintosh. If you
need to handle email for a dozen users, or thousands of users, EIMS is a reliable
and easy to use solution. EIMS
3.2 now supports OS X.
EIMS 3.2 is available
for US$400.00, there are no limits on the number of users that can be added, and
free email support is included. Existing EIMS 3.1.x users can upgrade to EIMS 3.2
for US$60, existing EIMS 3.0.x users can upgrade to EIMS 3.2 for US$90, and existing
EIMS 2.x users can upgrade to EIMS 3.2 for US$180.
EIMS Light 3.2 is also available for US$200, and it supports all of the features
of the full version of EIMS 3.1, except it only supports one domain (with domain
aliases), has no IMAP server, no directory server (LDAP and Ph), no AppleEvent/AppleScript
support, and no Incoming Mail folder (used by 3rd party programs to pass mail to
EIMS). An upgrade from EIMS Light 3.1 to EIMS Light 3.2 is available for US$60, an
upgrade from EIMS Light 3.2 to the full version of EIMS 3.2 is available for US$210,
and an upgrade from EIMS Light 3.1 to the full version of EIMS 3.2 is available for
- Mac OS X Reqmts
- PowerMac G3 or later
- Mac OS X 10.3 or
- Full time internet
- Mac OS 7/8/9 Reqmts
- A Macintosh 68030
or higher (PowerMac recommended)
- Macintosh System
7.1 or later (9.x recommended)
- Open Transport 1.1.1
(1.3 or later recommended)
- Full time internet
This review is of
EIMS 3.2 running on Mac OS X 10.3, and the review machine is a G4 iMac.
New features in EIMS
- Completely rewritten
relay restrictions with an easier to use interface that gives finer control over
- New domain name resolver
(DNR), EIMS now has it's own DNR, which works around bugs in the Open Transport DNR
and performance problems with the OS X DNR. The new DNR does not currently support
- SMTP Submit port, this
is a second SMTP port running on TCP port 587 by default. It currently works exactly
the same as the standard SMTP port. This is handy for clients that are stuck behind
an ISP that blocks port 25 access.
- Sending Setup option
for maximum recipients per message.
- Expand SMTP Addresses
option, you can now turn this off, with EIMS 3.1 and earlier it was always on.
- The SMTP server (both
port 25 and 587) now reports Telnet connections and connections that look like port
scans (connections where no data is sent and it doesn't time out).
- Full name, last login
time, and last IP address are now shown in EIMS Admin, these update dynamically as
users log in.
- Sorting and type selection
in the Relay Restrictions and IP Range Restrictions, backup MXs are also sorted from
last label to first (all .com domains sort together, and all company.com domains
sort together), this is improved over EIMS 3.1.
- New IP Range Restrictions
for SMTP submit, and separate IP Range Restrictions for POP3 and IMAP.
- Separate Sending Error
log, you no longer have to wade through all those "connection timed out to domain.org"
errors looking for important stuff like filter hits and wrong passwords.
- Multiple addresses can
now be specified in the forwarding for a user by separating them with commas.
- The admin connection
is started separately before all other services, allowing connection from EIMS Admin
even if something is stopping other services from stating up (out of memory, port
still in use, not running as root on OS X with the OS X version, etc.)
- CPU usage is reduced
when EIMS is idle.
- HFS+ directory iterators
are used on OS 9 and OS X, this speeds up things like calculating disk space used
by a user, listing folders from IMAP, and a bunch of other things.
- Numerous other performance
EIMS is a breeze to setup on a Macintosh. Under OS 9, after downloading the server
software, simply run the server application on a Mac that has a live internet connection,
and your Mac is instantly an email server. The very first time you run the server,
you are prompted for an Admin password. This is the password you will use to access
that EIMS Admin application. Under OS X, there is just one extra step to take. EIMS
requires root privileges to function properly. EIMS 3.2 comes with a Terminal command
file, "Set EIMS root.command", that automatically sets this privilege for
you. You only have to run this once, and thereafter EIMS will run with root privileges.
By default, there are already settings in place to prevent your server from being
used as a relay server. To get the most out of EIMS, however, you will want to explore
and edit various settings using the EIMS Admin program (a separate application from
the EIMS server application).
The server application is the program that runs on the Mac you want to serve email,
and must be running in order for your users to access their accounts. The server
application itself does not provide the means to change server settings or modify
user accounts. There is a separate Admin application that allows you to manage the
EIMS server. The server application provides a few basic functions: Mail Log, Error
Log, Connection Statistics, Server Console, and toggles for enabling and disabling
incoming and outgoing SMTP mail. The most useful of these is the Server Console.
It allows you to monitor all the activiity on your server (incoming and outgoing
If you notice any problems going on with the server, or wish to instantly stop incoming
or outgoing email without shutting down the server, EIMS includes options for disabling
either the incoming or outgoing connections. This is advantageous to quitting the
server, because when you quit the server, incoming requests will not see the server;
hence, a bounce situation could occur. The disable options lets you effectively stop
the server without triggering the bounce errors.
The only issue I have with the Server Console is that EIMS does not maintain the
data it contains. That means there is no scrolling functionality, and if the window
gets blanked out (e.g., if you "Hide" the application, and then "Unhide"
it), the data that was once there is not restored. This isn't the behavior that is
expected from a Mac savvy application. Also, neither the EIMS Server application
nor the EIMS Admin application had the proper EIMS icons (both show up with the generic
application icon, making them difficult to tell apart at a glance).
In the admin program, you can add, modify and delete user accounts, setup your POP/IMAP
server preferences, your SMTP preferences, and a variety of other settings. When
starting up the Admin program, you are prompted to log into the server. A logon window
prompts you for the server address and password (the password is established with
the first run of the server application).
If your connection is direct to the internet, you can use your static IP address
or the DNS name of your server (if you registered one). If, however, you are running
a local network and are behind a router or firewall, you must specify the local IP
address of the server (the static IP does not route to the server during the logon
The advantage of having a login procedure for accessing the server is that it allows
you to access the server from a different computer, providing full remote administration.
The disadvantage of this method is that each time you want to make a change, you
are required to logon to the server (even when you are making changes directly on
the server itself). Given the few times it is required to perform administration
tasks, the extra logon step is insignificant.
EIMS 3.2 provides a powerhouse of functions and controls, and access to them is made
very simple with the streamlined Mac-savvy interface of the Admin application. After
running the Admin program and logging into your server, a "domain" window
displays automatically. It provides an option to setup any aliases (typically the
DNS names associated with your server's IP address), settings for bounce actions,
and quick access to the EIMS user accounts on your server.
EIMS Domain Window
One thing that is not quite intuitive is if you close the domain window, it's not
really obvious how to open it up again. My "Mac instinct" told me to go
under the File menu and look for an "Open Domain..." option, but EIMS wants
you to go under the Admin menu and choose the "Domains window" option.
This displays a list of domains (typically there's only one in the list), and after
double-clicking on the domain, the domain window opens up again. Also thrown under
the Admin window are the options for Preferences, Outgoing Mail, and Change Admin
The Outgoing Mail option is useful to monitor email being sent out from your server.
When connections to the recipient servers are unavailable, those emails remain in
the EIMS outgoing queue, and EIMS automatically retries to send after user-specified
The Change Admin Password
option is just that, an option to change the admin password.
The bulk of the goodies are to be found under Preferences. The Preferences window
displays a scrollable list of preference types in the left window pane: General,
SMTP Settings, Connection Settings, Sending Setup, Mail Routing, Backup MX domains,
Relay Security, and IP Range Restrictions. (NOTE: New to EIMS 3.2 for OS X are SMTP
Settings and Backup MX domains, and Relay Restrictions is now called Relay Security.)
Within each groupings are specific settings that can be altered in the right side
of the window.
EIMS General Preferences
options let you assign a default expansion domain, set maximum log sizes, expand
address headers, and more. The SMTP Settings includes 4 checkboxes that can be used
to toggle the following:
- Disable SMTP EXPN
- Disable SMTP VRFY
- Expand SMTP addresses
- Require AUTH on SMTP
The Connection Settings
let you set the TCP connection limits, timeout value, and TCP port for various server
functions: POP3, IMAP, Password, SMTP, SMTP submit, Ph, LDAP, and ACAP. It also lets
you set the number of simultaneous outgoing SMTP connections, and a NotifyMail port.
Sending Setup lets you add and remove domains, and provides options for domain timeout
and expiration. There are also options for the interval time for resending mail in
the outgoing queue, Send ETRN on connect toggle, and Max recipients per message limit.
Mail Routing lets
you setup the SMTP routing information for domains on your server. This is where
you would identify a host server that would be handling your outgoing mail, or you
could optionally have the mail saved to a file. Backup MX domains lets you establish
EIMS as a backup MX for domains you add to this list.
The next two preference groups are for establishing SPAM control on the server.
The first group, Relay Security, allows you to specify what domains to relay email
for. By adding domains to the list, you can allow unauthenticated relaying from these
domains. You can also specify to relay for local domains only, as well as specifying
the IP range for added domains.
Under IP Range Restrictions, you can deny or allow access for a range of IP addresses.
These range restrictions are entered seperately for the various services: POP3, IMAP,
SMTP, SMTP Submit, Password, Directory, Auto configure, and Anonymous directory access.
For this review, I setup the server to relay only for domains that are in a specified
list, local, or a valid IP address. I did not set any controls under IP ranges. I
then used ORDB.ORG to test the server to see if it would be considered an open relay.
My server passed the test, which is great news for administrators who want to stay
off of "black hole" lists.
In addition to the "Admin" menu, the EIMS Admin program includes a
Users & Groups menu that allows you to create, modify and delete individual user
accounts, as wells a groups of accounts. By creating a group with a list of users,
any email sent to that group name is routed to each account in the group. To create
an individual account, you use the New User menu option (or Command-U). The following
account window is displayed.
EIMS User Account Window
The Account Name is
first part of the user's email address (for example, an account called "peter"
on a server domain called "piper.com" would equate to an email address
of firstname.lastname@example.org). You establish the initial password (which the user can change
later), and enter their full name. For a standard account, you want to check the
"Login Enabled" and "Account Enabled" boxes. If you want to support
IMAP, you need to click that box as well (by default, all accounts are POP). There
are other options that you can set to control the user's account, including a "Mail
action". By default (mail action of "none"), the email resides on
the server until the user logs into their account and downloads their email. You
could also have automatic mail forwarding, which routes the email to another email
address (with the option to keep a copy). You can use the Mailing List action for
setting up mailing lists (EIMS works quite well with the freeware listserver program
called "Autoshare"), as well as saving email into files. There are also
options for Auto Reply and NotifyMail. The "Directory Info" button allows
you to input further information about the user, which can then be used by directory
searches (such as Ph and LDAP) on the server.
To modify an existing
account, you start from the Domains window that lists all the existing accounts,
and simply double-click on a user. That action opens up the account window, allowing
you to modify the information.
Stability in an application is, of course, always a good thing, but for an email
server, it is of the utmost importance. When someone goes to check their email on
your server, that last thing they want to see is "unable to reach server"
(and if they do receive that, may it be their ISP that's down, not your mail server).
I've run tests on versions of EIMS dating back to 2.0, and stability has always been
one of its strongest assets. I don't recall EIMS ever crashing. I'm glad to report
that stability is still present in EIMS 3.2 for OS X. The server runs reliably 24/7,
serving email accounts without any issues at all. Reliability equates to peace of
mind for server admins, and EIMS for OS X provides exactly that - peace of mind.
The EIMS web page indicates that slated for EIMS 3.3 is the ability to run without
a GUI interface so that you can startup the server without being logged in. Frankly,
I prefer the GUI interface, and cannot imagine running a server without being logged
in. What I would really like to see is built-in web-access to email accounts. Similar
to mail readers such as UebiMiau,
it would complete the package if users could access a web page and read their email.
This is especially useful for those behind restrictive firewalls. EIMS' latest addition
of the SMTP Submit port does provide a secondary port for accessing their email,
but most company firewalls are designed to only pass-thru specific ports (usually
allowing Web, FTP and Telnet only). Some services, such as Yahoo, provide access
to non-Yahoo POP accounts from their web sites, but that requires going through another
portal, and most of those services are known by firewall admins (aka, they are blocked).
Documentation & Support
Gone from EIMS for OS X is the Balloon help that exists for the Classic version.
There's also no Help menu or manual that comes with the software. There is good documentation
to be found in the EIMS 3 Administrator's Guide which can be downloaded for
free from the Eudora support web site. This PDF document includes
a lot of details not only about how to use EIMS, but general internet and email information
as well, providing a wealth of technical data.
Qualcomm provides the software and support for older versions of EIMS, starting from
2.0 up to and including 3.0.3. Starting from EIMS 3.1, the software and support is
provided by the original author of EIMS, Glenn Anderson. Although Glenn's web site
still does not provide an EIMS manual, it does include a support page that goes over some of the
more interesting aspects of EIMS, such as how to secure EIMS from relaying. Email
support is provided to those who purchased the full version of EIMS, and Glenn is
very helpful when responding to email correspondence.
EIMS 3.2 for OS X is a great server application for supporting POP and IMAP accounts,
controlled SMTP relaying, and other email related server features. The user interface
for managing the server and the accounts is simple to use, and the performance of
the server itself is outstanding. The throughput of the server feels improved over
the Classic version, and the stability of the server is rock solid. EIMS needs a
little bit of polishing in terms of its Server Console and application icons, and
having built-in web-access would really be a boost. In terms of value, EIMS for OS
X provides peace of mind with its stability and performance, making it worth the
high price of admission. For hobbyist server admins with a limited budget, you may
want to consider EIMS Light. Without IMAP, Ph and LDAP support, however, you may
prefer the free SIMS
(although SIMS is not currently OS X native, and therefore must be run in Classic
mode). If you have serious needs for email serving on the Mac, and you have the budget
to support those needs, then look no further than EIMS 3.2 for OS X. It provides
the best email server package in terms of performance, reliability, ease-of-use,
- Excellent performance
and rock solid stability
- Extensive feature
set, including anti-SPAM relay control
- IMAP and POP support
- Easy to use interface
- No built-in documentation
- Steep price (even
for the Light version)
- Poor handling of
server console, and no built-in web-access
4 1/2 out of 5 Mice