Context Based E-Mail Handling


This info applies to PHP based installations who do not alter the sendmail_path setting only.

Depending on the selected context, e-mails get either sent to their designated recipient, or get saved into the users ~/tmp/ directory. This prevents you from accidental deliveries within non-PROD contexts.


  • on websites with the “PROD” context setting, e-mails are delivered directly trough our SMTP cluster

  • on websites with the “STAGE” or “DEV” context setting, e-mails are saved as file into the ~/tmp/ directory

Analyze e-mails saved as file

Within all “STAGE” and “DEV” contexts, e-mails are saved as file into the ~/tmp/ directory. The file name used is “mail.%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S..eml”. You can access those e-mails trough different means:


$ cat ../tmp/mail.2015-06-26_10-11-06.ZuQ.eml
Subject: test
X-PHP-Originating-Script: 0:test.php

Hi there, this is the content.

Hint: Instead of cat, use other commands like less or vi to analyze more complex e-mails

E-Mail client

To analyze more complex e-mails, or even check things like HTML rendering, it is more feasible to open those e-mails within the client application of your choice. You can either copy the file to your local workstation, or just forward the whole e-mail to a given e-mail address.

Copy file

Copy the desired file(s) (e.g. mail.2015-06-26_10-11-06.ZuQ.eml) to your local workstation. Use your desired client such as Thunderbird to open this file directly.

Forward e-mail

To forward a saved e-mail 1:1 (To, Cc, and Bcc within the file are evaluated), use the following command:

$ cat ~/tmp/mail.2015-06-26_10-11-06.ZuQ.eml | mail -t

To forward a saved e-mail to another recipient, use the following command:

$ cat ~/tmp/mail.2015-06-26_10-11-06.ZuQ.eml | mail -t -a


With this command, only the To header will be overridden. If your mail does also bear Cc and/or Bcc headers, you have to remove them or override them with another -a param to mail.