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6 Invoking GNU Anubis

The anubis executable acts like a daemon, i.e. after a successful startup it disconnects itself from the controlling terminal(5) and continues its work in the background. The program reads its initial settings from the ‘CONTROL’ section of the site-wide configuration file (see section CONTROL Section) and from the command line options.

Command line options have higher priority than configuration file settings and can be used to temporarily override them.

The following command line options are understood:

--altrc file

Specify alternate system configuration file.

--bind [host:]port

Specify the TCP port on which GNU Anubis listens for connections. The default host value is ‘INADDR_ANY’, and default port number is 24 (private mail system).


Run the configuration file syntax checker. Optional level specifies the verbosity level. The following levels are allowed:


Display only errors. This is the default.


Print the syntax tree after parsing the file.


As ‘1’, but also prints the parser traces.


As ‘2’, but also prints the lexical analyzer traces.


Debug mode.


Foreground mode.


Print short usage summary and exit.

--local-mta file

Execute a local SMTP server, which works on standard input and output (inetd-type program). This option excludes the ‘--remote-mta’ option.

--mode mode-name
-m mode-name

Selects Anubis operation mode. Allowed values for mode-name are ‘proxy’, ‘transparent’ (the default), ‘auth’ and ‘mda’. See section Authentication, for the detailed discussion of Anubis operation modes.


Ignore system configuration file.


Do not check a user config file permissions.

--remote-mta host[:port]

Specify a remote SMTP host name or IP address, which GNU Anubis will connect and forward mail to. The default port number is 25.


Work silently.


Print the list of configuration options used to build GNU Anubis.


Use the SMTP protocol (OMP/Tunnel) as described in RFC 821 on standard input and output.


Work noisily.


Print version number and copyright.


$ anubis --remote-mta smtp-host:25

Run GNU Anubis on port number 24 (private mail system). Note that you must have root privileges to use port number lower than 1024. Make the tunnel between your localhost:24 and smtp-host:25.

$ anubis -f --remote-mta smtp-host:25

Same as above, but run GNU Anubis in a foreground mode.

$ anubis -f --local-mta /usr/sbin/sendmail -- sendmail -bs

Same as above, but create a tunnel between localhost:24 and a local program (local MTA). In this example local program is sendmail with ‘-bs’ command line option. The ‘-bs’ option forces sendmail to work on standard input and output.

$ anubis --norc --remote-mta smtp-host:25

Do not read the system configuration file, make the tunnel between localhost:24 and smtp-host:25.

$ anubis --bind localhost:1111 --remote-mta smtp-host:25

Create the tunnel between localhost:1111 and smtp-host:25.

$ anubis -i

Use the SMTP protocol (OMP/Tunnel) as described in RFC 821 on standard input and output.

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