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Fake SMTP Server for email testing
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Fake SMTP Server

Fake SMTP Server is an email testing tool for QA & development teams. It allows manual testing in a web interface, and automated testing via an API.

Docker image



Listing all received emails

Received mails are listed on http://localhost:1080/api/emails, and looks like this:

    "attachments": [],
    "text": "Hi Bob!",
    "textAsHtml": "<p>Hi Bob!</p>",
    "subject": "Hi",
    "date": "2017-09-18T16:12:16.000Z",
    "to": {
      "value": [
          "address": "",
          "name": "Bob"
      "html": "<span class=\"mp_address_group\"><span class=\"mp_address_name\">Bob</span> &lt;<a href=\"\" class=\"mp_address_email\"></a>&gt;</span>",
      "text": "Bob <>"
    "from": {
      "value": [
          "address": "",
          "name": "Joe"
      "html": "<span class=\"mp_address_group\"><span class=\"mp_address_name\">Joe</span> &lt;<a href=\"\" class=\"mp_address_email\"></a>&gt;</span>",
      "text": "Joe <>"
    "messageId": "<1433879119.43.1505751136615@[]>",
    "html": false

You can filter emails with the following parameters:

  • from: filter sender
  • to: filter recipient
  • since: filter email date
  • until: filter email date


    GET http://localhost:1080/api/emails?
Viewing headers in responses

By default, fake-smtp-server will not capture custom headers in emails. To enable headers, start the server with the --headers flag. If enabled, headers will be serialized as an object type.

For reference for what headers look like, consult Nodemailer's documentation, but keep in mind that the HTTP endpoint returns plain JSON objects rather than Maps.

Removing all received email

To remove all emails without restarting the server:

    DELETE http://localhost:1080/api/emails

Web interface

Go to http://localhost:1080


  npm install -g fake-smtp-server


  fake-smtp-server [OPTIONS] [ARGS]

  -s, --smtp-port [NUMBER] SMTP port to listen on (Default is 1025)
      --smtp-ip [IP]       IP Address to bind SMTP service to (Default is
  -h, --http-port [NUMBER] HTTP port to listen on (Default is 1080)
      --http-ip [IP]       IP Address to bind HTTP service to (Default is
  -w, --whitelist STRING   Only accept e-mails from these adresses. Accepts
                           multiple e-mails comma-separated
  -m, --max [NUMBER]       Max number of e-mails to keep (Default is 100)
  -a, --auth STRING        Enable Authentication
      --headers            Enable headers in responses
  -k, --no-color           Omit color from output
      --debug              Show debug information

Configure fake-smtp-server to run as a service at startup

These instructions below were tested on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS but they should work out of the box (or close to it) on any distribution using systemd and rsyslog.

Systemd service

Create the fakesmtp.service service unit

  • sudo vim /etc/systemd/system/fakesmtp.service with the following content
Description=Fake SMTP service

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/fake-smtp-server  # You can add extra options and arguments here


Make the new service launch on startup

  • sudo systemctl enable fakesmtp.service

Start/Stop/Restart the service

  • sudo systemctl start fakesmtp.service
  • sudo systemctl stop fakesmtp.service
  • sudo systemctl restart fakesmtp.service

Logging using rsyslog

The output is recorded by default to /var/log/syslog but you can create a separate log file for your service (in this example, logs will be saved to /var/log/fakesmtp.log).

Create a new rsyslog config file

  • sudo vim /etc/rsyslog.d/fakesmtp.conf with the following content:
if $programname == 'fake-smtp-server' then /var/log/fakesmtp.log
& stop

Restart rsyslog and then restart your shiny new fakesmtp service

  • systemctl restart rsyslog.service
  • systemctl restart fakesmtp.service
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