Taken from exim's spec.txt file "as it is" - ie this duplicates http://www.exim.org/exim-html-4.62/doc/html/spec_html/ch04.html#id2524758
Having installed Exim, you can check that the run time configuration file is syntactically valid by running the following command, which assumes that the Exim binary directory is within your PATH environment variable:
If there are any errors in the configuration file, Exim outputs error messages. Otherwise it outputs the version number and build date, the DBM library that is being used, and information about which drivers and other optional code modules are included in the binary. Some simple routing tests can be done by using the address testing option. For example,
exim -bt <local username>
should verify that it recognizes a local mailbox, and
exim -bt <remote address>
a remote one. Then try getting it to deliver mail, both locally and remotely. This can be done by passing messages directly to Exim, without going through a user agent. For example:
exim -v email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: Testing Exim This is a test message. ^D
The -v option causes Exim to output some verification of what it is doing. In this case you should see copies of three log lines, one for the message's arrival, one for its delivery, and one containing "Completed".
Admin users can test the malware scanning configuration (in Exim >=
4.73) with the
exim -bmalware <filename>
If you encounter problems, look at Exim's log files (mainlog and paniclog) to see if there is any relevant information there. Another source of information is running Exim with debugging turned on, by specifying the -d option. If a message is stuck on Exim's spool, you can force a delivery with debugging turned on by a command of the form
exim -d -M <exim-message-id>
You must be root or an "admin user" in order to do this. The -d option produces rather a lot of output, but you can cut this down to specific areas. For example, if you use -d-all+route only the debugging information relevant to routing is included. (See the -d option in chapter 5 for more details.)
One specific problem that has shown up on some sites is the inability to do local deliveries into a shared mailbox directory, because it does not have the "sticky bit" set on it. By default, Exim tries to create a lock file before writing to a mailbox file, and if it cannot create the lock file, the delivery is deferred. You can get round this either by setting the "sticky bit" on the directory, or by setting a specific group for local deliveries and allowing that group to create files in the directory (see the comments above the local_delivery transport in the default configuration file). Another approach is to configure Exim not to use lock files, but just to rely on fcntl() locking instead. However, you should do this only if all user agents also use fcntl() locking. For further discussion of locking issues, see chapter 26.
One thing that cannot be tested on a system that is already running an MTA is the receipt of incoming SMTP mail on the standard SMTP port. However, the -oX option can be used to run an Exim daemon that listens on some other port, or inetd can be used to do this. The -bh option and the exim_checkaccess utility can be used to check out policy controls on incoming SMTP mail.
Testing a new version on a system that is already running Exim can most easily be done by building a binary with a different CONFIGURE_FILE setting. From within the run time configuration, all other file and directory names that Exim uses can be altered, in order to keep it entirely clear of the production version.