Mail Transfer Agent#

An MTA is a software application with the purpose to send e-mail messages from a server to another one. This section of the Carbonio Admin Panel allows to configure how Carbonio CE manages and interacts with the e-mails and is organised in Inbound Flow & Security, Outbound Flow, and Antivirus & Antispam.

Inbound Flow & Security#

In this page, it is possible to configure options related to incoming e-mail traffic and security checks.


After you have configured and saved any options, it is necessary to reboot the node on which the MTA runs.


The first few options allow to define a custom list of file extensions that will be used to block all attachments. Use the ADD COMMONLY BLOCKED EXTENSIONS button on the right-hand side as a shortcut to add a number of common file extensions that are blocked. You can also manually add any other file extension.


Entries in the list are separated by a space, so type an extension (e.g., exe) and press the space bar to add exe to the list.

Whenever an attachment is blocked, you can enable notifications for both the administrator and the recipient of the e-mail using the respective switch.


The next options allow to reject e-mails: when the e-mail appears to have no sender or recipient, or in case the sender is not authenticated. This last option is useful to prevent remote forged connections to access the MTA and send e-mail without being authenticated.

Protocol Checks

With the third batch of options, a couple of routine checks of the SMTP protocol used by the MTA can be enabled, including for the IP and domain of a client, the presence of a FQDN in the address, and HELO greetings upon a connection is established.

Postscreen Tuning#

This section allows to tweak some MTA parameters using postscreen, a Postfix’s feature to enhance performances by filtering out unwanted incoming connections to the STMP server.

The available Actions

In the Postscreen Tuning section an Action is an operation made on an incoming e-mail whenever a test reaches a given threshold. That is, for example, when the incoming e-mail is marked as coming from a blacklisted source or contains some unwanted features.

There are three values that the various Actions listed in this section (Blacklist Action, DNS Blacklist Action, Bare Newline Action, NonSMTP Command Action, and Pipelining Action) can assume:

  • Ignore. This is the default action: simply ignore the result of the test, but allow other tests to be carried out on the e-mail. Tests will be executed again in case the client connects again in the future


    This option is useful for testing and collecting statistics without blocking mail.

  • Enforce. The e-mail is rejected (with an SMTP 550 reply) and some of the e-mail’s data (helo, sender, and recipient) are logged. Other tests will be carried out on the e-mail, and tests will be executed again in case the client connects again in the future

  • Drop. The incoming connection is immediately dropped (with an SMTP 521 reply). Tests will be executed again in case the client connects again in the future.


The two settings allow to define a range of IP addresses and the policy to apply to them. The default is to Ignore addresses in the permit_mynetworks range (which is the one defined in Postfix configuration). This means that only these IP addresses are allowed.

DNS Blacklisting

Settings in this section allow to implement on the Carbonio CE infrastructure Realtime BlackLists (RBLs) to help reducing unsolicited e-mails (i.e., e-mails containing spam, phishing, viruses, and other malware) from remote servers that are known to send this kind of e-mail. These options are available:

DNS Blacklist Sites

Takes an URL that provides blacklists


Multiple URLs can be provided as a comma-separated list or URLs, for example,,

The other options determine how the blacklist treats the scanned e-mails and how often the RBLs are updated. In particular:

DNS Blacklist Threshold

The lower score that will fire the Action on the e-mail.

DNS Blacklist Whitelist Threshold

This option allows an incoming connection to skip some tests related to the protocol if its IP address is not included in one the configured blacklists.

DNS Blacklist Min TTL, DNS Blacklist Max TTL, DNS Blacklist TTL

The Time To Live values allow to define for how long an incoming client, which is not present in any blacklist, is allowed to skip the tests.


This part contains some advanced options. For each of them you can also specify the action to be carried out and the TTL.

Bare Newline

A Bare New Line is a line from an e-mail that ends with an <LF> sequence, instead of the standard <CR><LF>. While this is not a problem or a threat, it may enable SMTP smuggling (see for more information).

NonSMTP Command

Define what to do when the client sends commands that violate the standard SMTP protocol.


Pipelining is formally defined in RFC 2920 and refers to the ability of an SMTP server to process multiple commands send by a connecting client, as opposed as the standard process in which the client must wait for a reply or answer from the server before being allowed to send another command. Enabling this option is resource-consuming, because a client that passes this test is required to disconnect and reconnect to be able to communicate with the SMTP server.

Outbound Flow#

The Outbound Flow page controls which options are applied to the messages sent from the local domain.


These options allow on the one side, to add the client’s IP and username to the e-mail header and to require authentication to send e-mails; while on the other, to define a few parameters used by the MyNetworks section of the MTA’s configuration.

Relay Host allows to route all outgoing e-mail to a server different from Carbonio CE’s. Fallback Relay Host will be used in case the Relay Host is unreachable.


Setting a Relay Host impacts the whole Carbonio CE’s infrastructure: all outgoing e-mails from all configured domains will be forwarded to the Relay Host.


The bottom part off the page shows information about the enabled services on the mail servers configured on the Carbonio CE installation: Antispam and Antivirus, Authentication and DKIM.

Antivirus & Antispam#

Options that appear here concern the Antispam and Antivirus engines.


Whenever an e-mail is marked as spam, its subject can be prefixed with a given string ([SPAM] or ***SPAM*** among the most popular) and can be either discarded (which means the e-mail is deleted and the recipient will never receive it) or it will be delivered anyway.

The two options on the left-hand side control when the email should be simply marked as spam or deleted immediately. The values for both options (Low, Medium, and High) are relative to the spam score assigned by SpamAssassin: a score of 20 represents 100%. The Tolerance for Spam Delivery tolerance is by default (i.e., the Medium value) 33%, while the Tolerance for Spam Blocking is 75%. This means that a e-mail with a spam score of ~6.6 will be marked as spam email, while with spam score 15 will be immediately be deleted. Changing the value to Low or High will reduce or raise the threshold to mark or delete spam e-mails.

For further security, you can check also the outbound traffic and verify DKIM: If a domain is configured with DKIM, e-mails originating from that domain which miss a DKIM signature are considered to have been forged and therefore illegitimate.

See also

The procedure to configure DKIM on Carbonio CE is described in Section Add a DKIM Record to Carbonio CE Installation.

Antivirus Definitions

The default mirror used to download signatures is; it can be supported by other servers or mirrors by writing their URL in the left-hand side textfield, then click the ADD button. Existent mirrors can be deleted by selecting them and clicking the REMOVE button.

Similarly, you can manually add or remove a file containing custom virus signatures using the textfield on the right-hand side and then click the ADD or REMOVE button.


The syntax of the file must comply with the syntax of any ClamAV-supported signature formats. See ClamAV official signature documentation for more information.

Frequency of signatures update from the mirror can be defined next, and tuned from a few seconds to several weeks.


In this section you can configure logging and some advanced options.


Options in the logging section allow to define the verbosity (log level) for Amavis and TLS activity of SMTP and LMTP clients. For the SAS Log level for Amavis, choose either to log only informative (INFO) messages or all messages, while for the other the lower the value, the less messages will be saved.


These options concern the threads used by antivirus, LMTP, and MILTER processes, and the maximum size of an e-mail message.


This page lists statistics about the messages managed by the MTA system, according to their status. The timestamp of the last update appears, as well as two button that allow to RESTART SCAN or to manually FLUSH QUEUES.

When clicking a server, a dialog opens, containing the content of the queue, that is, all the messages grouped by their status (Queued, Corrupted, Deferred, Incoming, and On Hold). Also here you can FLUSH QUEUES.

Clicking either of the status, a detailed vision of the queued messages appears. Selecting a messages allows to carry out some actions: put it on HOLD; RELEASE, REQUEUE, or DELETE it.

Single Server#

Options in this section are configured on each server separately.


The first option is to enable authentication for the MTA server. It should always be active, because otherwise anyone can access it and use it to send email, without the need for an account.

The My Network option is the same used by postfix: Clients connecting from from the subnets that are specified in this option will be allowed to send e-mails skipping some checks (antivirus and Antispam). Clients connecting from outside these subnets will be allowed to send e-mail using this server only after passing these checks.

It is then possible to provide a Relay Host: Carbonio CE will then forward all the e-mails to this server, which will then take care of all checks and of the actual delivery of the e-mail to the recipients.

In case the server does not deliver e-mails to other remote servers on the Internet (i.e., it is used only for local e-mail delivery), junk and Spam levels can be reduced, while some checks can be disabled: the outbound messages, DKIM status and Antivirus.

The Logging option are the same that are defined in MTA ‣ Advanced (See Advanced).