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README

xstress version 0.38 beta - xk0derz SMTP Stress Tester

http://xstress.sourceforge.net

(c) Amit Singh, amit@xkoder.com

http://xkoder.com

This software and related files are licensed under GNU GPL version 2
Please visit the following webpage for more details
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html
or read the accompanying LICENSE file.

Special thanks to Bob Trower for the base64 utility he made
http://base64.sourceforge.net/
This utility is licensed under the MIT license
please see the b64.c source file for the complete license.



Introduction
~~~~~~~~~~~~

xstress is an SMTP Stress Testing Tool. Essentially xstress 
creates multiple connections to (your) mail server
and sends multiple mails repeatedly over all connections.

xstress understands only SMTP protocol. No authentication 
mechanism is supported at the moment.

xstress may be used to stress test normal SMTP servers,
test Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam softwares that accept 
or filter SMTP connections and the like.

using xstress you can specify a list of the following
to be used for sending mails
1) TO address list
2) FROM address list
3) SUBJECT list
4) list of BODY content files/directories
5) list of ATTACHMENT content files/directories

xstress randomly makes a combination from the available list and
sends mails to the configured SMTP server.

Building binary
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

uncompress the source archive using the following command

$ tar -zxvf xstress-src-n.nn-mmm-YYYYMMDD.tar.gz

where n.nn-mm-YYYYMMDD are the version and timestamp respectively.
example: xstress-src-1.00-stable-20010703.tar.gz

Now,
Switch user to root (using the su command) and type the following 
command from the directory where you have un-compressed the xstress
source archive and run the following command to build the xstress 
binary.

# make

The above command will create the xtress binary in the bin folder
and copy the default xstress.conf file to the bin folder. If
the file already exists you'll be aksed if you want to over-write it
or not.

The make command also creates the base64 utility used by xstress 
and copies it to the bin directory

** NOTE: base64 utility is required for xstress to send binary
         attachments properly.

If you get any error while doing a `make',
run the following command befor you do make.

# make clean

Alternatively you may run the build shell script by typing

# ./build

which runs `make clean' first and then does a `make'


Usage and command line options
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NOTE: xstress requires GNU GCC C/C++ compiler for source code compilation and
libc for execution.

Most linux distribution (like Fedora Core, Red Hat)
bundle these in their disribution, but distros like Ubuntu, normally do not have
these packages bundled. You'll need to download and install these packages to
compile the xstress source and run it properly.


To build the binary,
Move to the bin folder and type ./xstress to invoke the tool.

Syntax:
       $ xstress [options]

Here options are one or more of the following...

-v, --ver, --version           Display xstress version and exit.

-h, --help                     Display this help message

-t <value>, --threads <value>  Set number of threads to spawn.
                               Range for value is 1 to 100, inclusive.

-m <value>, --mails <value>    Set number of mails to send per thread.
                               range for value is 0 to 60000, inclusive.
                               * A Value of 0 for mails means unlimited mail.

-s <IP>, --server <IP>         Set the mail server IP
                               IP is in dotted decimal format

-p <value>, --port <value>     Set the mail server port
                               value is the port number of the mail server

-u <username>                  You SMTP server username.
--username <username>

-P <password>                  Password for the username you specified using
--password <password>          the -u or --username switch.
                                
                               * Username and password both have to be provided
                               for authentication to work.
                               If either is not specified, authentication will
                               be skipped.

-a <type>, --auth-type <type>  Authentication mechanism to use.
                               * Currently only PLAIN is supported.

--timeout <value>              Set connection timeout (in seconds)
                               values is a non zero positive integer

--conf <filename>              Configuration file to use, instead of the
                               default file 'xstress.conf'.
                               `filename` is the full path to the alternate
                               configuration file.

-d, --debug                    If this switch is specified, verbose debug messages
                               with complete traffic will be printed on screen.

--logfile <filename>           Set alternate log file to use, instead of the
                               default 'xstress.log' file.
                               `filename` is the full path to the alternate
                               log file.

**Note: command line options always override configuration file settings


Configuration file
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
By default xstress reads its configuration from the file 'xstress.conf'.
This file should be present from where you invoke the xstress program.

A typical configuration file consists of six sections. Out of these the
CONFIG section, TO section, SUBJECT section and FROM section are 
compulsory.

COMMENTS start with the hash (#) sign on the 'first column only'.
Blank lines are ignored. The parser is not designed to handle extra spaces
so don't play with them.

Var = Value :  will NOT work
Var=Val     : will work!
 Var=Val    : will NOT work

TO and FROM sections contains list of email addresses, one per line,
  to be used as recipent address and sender address respectively.

SUBJECT Section contains list of subject text, one per line,
  to used for e-mails being sent by xstress. 

BODY Section contains list of (text) files or directory. 
  The content of these files is used as the mail's body text.
  If a directory is specified, Content of all the files under 
  that directory is used as body text.

ATTACHMENT Sections contains list of (text) files or directory.
  The listed files will be  attached to the mails being sent out
  from xstress. If a directory is specified, all files present
  within that directory are used for attachment.

  The file list or directory name can be prfixed by an optinal 
  FILETYPE tag as follows.

  [ATTACHMENT]
  path/to/file!type
  path/to/directory!type

  The exclamation sign (!) separates the attachment file-name/directory
  from the type.   
  
  Following types ares understood by xstress.

  1) bin    - binary files
              eg: MS Word document, compressed archives, MP3 files etc.
              ** Whenever in doubt use this type
  2) plain  - Plain text files
              eg: Source Code, Text files, scripts etc.
  3) html   - HTML source
  4) image  - Image files 
            Any image file, treated as `bin' but disposition is inline.


CONFIG Section contains variables that configure the mail server
  to be used, number of threads and the like. 


Variables understood by xstress are described below

SERVER - Specify the SMTP Mail Server's IP here.
         Example: 172.16.0.1

PORT - Specify the SMTP Mail Server's port number here.
       This is typically 25.

USERNMAE - Your SMTP server username.
PASSWORD - Password for your username.

AUTH_TYPE - Authentication mechanism to use. 
            Currently only PLAIN is supported.

* To skip authentication comment out USERNAME or PASSWORD variable.

DEBUG - set to true if you want debug messages with complete traffic printed
        on scree. Default value is false.

THREADS - Specify number of threads to spwan
          The value can range from 1 to 60000
            
          A thread represents one connection to the Mails Server.  

          Higher the number of threads, more mails per second
          can be sent by xstress.

MAILS_PER_THREAD - Speciy the number of mails to be sent per 
                   thread. The value for this can range from
                   0 to 60,000.

                   value of ZERO means unlimited number of mails per
                   thread. You have to use ^C (control + C) to quit
                   xstress if you use ZERO for this variable.

REPORT_AFTER - Specify the number of mails, after which xstress will
              print a message on screen.

              A Value of ZERO means print no message.
              
              Message Printed is in the format

              Thread:: <id>: T: <num1>, S: <num2>, F: <num3>

              Where 
                id the thread ID
                num1 is [T]otal number of mails to be sent for that thread
                num2 is count of mails [S]ent succesfully
                num3 is count of mails [F]ailed

LOG_FILE - Set the log file to be used if you dont want to use the 
           default log file 'xstress.log'. After xstress finishes, a
           thread by thread report is append to this log file.

TIMEOUT - Specify connection timeout in seconds after which xstress
          will give up.

          TIP: If you are specifying ZERO for MAILS_PER_THREAD, put a low
          value here, as you would not like xstress to wait for too long before
          it sends a new mail. A low will timeout that session sonner and xstress
          will try sending a new mail (taking corrective action if possible).

          If you specify some amount of mails, you may like to put a large number
          for TIMEOUT, so that before calling it quit, xstress will wait to see
          if the server responds.

Example attachment and body files
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The bin directory contains some example body and attachment files.
The default configuration file xstress.conf lists these files to be
used as body and attachment for the mail.

Body Files:
  body1.txt - Plain Text file
  body_dir/body2.txt - Plain Text file

Attachment Files:
  attach_dir/images_dir/xstress.jpg - Image file
  attach_dir/attach1.htm - HTML File


* The source code has been tested with GNU C/C++ compiler version 4.1.2 20070502 
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