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Fetchmail for SME Server

Warning.png Warning:
Since SME9.2 update and smeserver-qpsmtpd-2.4.0-34.el6.sme.noarch and qpsmtpd-0.96-10.el6.sme.noarch fetchmail is not filtered by spamassassin until a fix is deployed see Bug # 10290



Devel 9:
Contrib 9:
The latest version of smeserver-fetchmail is available in the SME repository, click on the version number(s) for more information.


Schirrm's Studio (software)


  • Fetchmail retrieve mails from external mailboxes with many options.

Step-by-step silly HowTo for installation of Fetchmail on SMEserver.

It's intended for Linux-newbies.


1. Log in (with username root) to the SMEserver console.

2. Install Fetchmail:

  • For SME8
yum --enablerepo=smecontribs install smeserver-fetchmail
signal-event console-save

You will get a y/N-question, answer y if it looks fine.

  • For SME9
yum --enablerepo=smecontribs install smeserver-fetchmail
signal-event console-save

You will get a y/N-question, answer y if it looks fine.

3. Instructions at the end of previous installation advices the following commands:
"signal-event post-upgrade" and "signal-event reboot"
But you can ignore that and move on

4. In the server-manager, part 'Collaboration' you should find a 'Mails Retrieval' option.

This let you access on the main page of the Fetchmail configuration.

Check installed version

yum info installed smeserver-fetchmail


yum remove smeserver-fetchmail

Additional information

For more info check Schirrm's HowTo here.

To enable detailed logging on a per account basis for troubleshooting purposes do the following:

From the Fetchmail management interface, select mail retrevial, select the required account, set the option for: Do you want to debug this account - YES

Look at the maillog log file a few hours later for possible clues.

To enable detailed logging in Fetchmail (and be able to monitor it after typing /etc/startmail), manually edit /etc/fetchmail and put fetchmail in verbose mode. Then start it with /etc/startmail and check the log with tail -f

Taken from this forum post.


if Fetchmail start to load multiple time the same emails, this might be a timeout problem, you should increase the default value (30 second):

/sbin/e-smith/db configuration setprop FetchMails timeout 30
/sbin/e-smith/expand-template /etc/fetchmail

If Fetchmail is unable to find te destination host, you can set it here:

/sbin/e-smith/db configuration getprop FetchMails fetchhost
/sbin/e-smith/expand-template /etc/fetchmail


Q: What do these strange mails with '#********' from cron mean?
A: If you enabled the debug option for an account in the Mail Retrieval panel in the server-manager you will possibly receive mail from Cron Daemon with the subject "Cron <root@YOURSERVER> /etc/startmail". The mail contains patterns like this: #********. You will stop receiving this mails if you disable debugging for all configured users in the Mail Retrieval panel in the server-manager.

E-mail Retrieval Error

If your ISP does not provide a custom sort field and you experience the following errors occuring when Multidrop is enabled and the "Select Sort Method (for multi-drop)" is set to Default:

fetchmail: warning: multidrop for pop3.mypopserver.com requires envelope option!
fetchmail: warning: Do not ask for support if all mail goes to postmaster!


fetchmail: warning: multidrop for my.isp.domain requires envelope option! 
fetchmail: warning: Do not ask for support if all mail goes to postmaster! 

Set "Select Sort Method (for multi-drop) to 'Received' or 'for' As described at bugzilla:5602 bugzilla:6483


Please raise bugs under the SME-Contribs section in bugzilla and select the smeserver-fetchmail component or use this link .

IDProductVersionStatusSummary (4 tasks)
10538SME Contribs9.2RESOLVEDEmails fetched with fetchmail are not scanned by spamassassin anymore
9131SME Contribs9.0UNCONFIRMEDfetchmail loop if one mail contains a virus
9107SME Contribs9.0UNCONFIRMEDtrouble fetching mails when one of the list is infected
5067SME Contribs7.4CONFIRMEDfetchmail is noisy in /var/log/messges due to pam_unix


Only versions released in smecontrib are listed here:

smeserver-fetchmail Changelog: SME 9 (smecontribs)
2017/05/26 Jean-Philipe Pialasse 1.6-10.sme
- added option field for sslfingerprint compatibility [SME: 8287]
2016/01/13 Daniel Berteaud 1.6-10.sme
- Update event handling (remove broken symlinks) [SME: 9185]
2016/01/08 Daniel Berteaud 1.6-9.sme
- Update iptables rules to prevent warning when starting masq [SME: 9180]

2015/09/24 Daniel Berteaud 1.6-8.sme
- Fix bounce looping each time mails are fetch in case of

permanent delivery failure [SME: 9074]
2015/08/22 stephane de Labrusse 1.6-7.sme
- Initial release to contribs9