[Pkg-exim4-users] Exim4 EHLO/STARTTLS/AUTH and buggy client

Mark seatek at gmail.com
Sat Apr 21 17:54:43 UTC 2007

Hi --

I just asked this question on debian-user and was told by Greg Folkert that
it would probably be better to ask here, along with good words about Mark
and Andreas Metzler.

Here's what I wrote there - I'd love if someone might be able to shed a
little light on this for me... :

Just trying Exim, coming from a long time of Sendmail. Curious how this
might be handled, if it can be. I realize this is a buggy mail client
problem, but such is the way of the things.

Synopsis: Buggy client wants to relay a message via Exim server to a foreign
domain, authenticating to Exim with TLS/PLAIN

Client program initiates EHLO with Exim server.
Exim says Hello
STARTTLS and AUTH get advertised.
Buggy client likes STARTTLS and starts it.
Exim says TLS - go ahead!
Exim and buggy client happily chatting encryptically.
Buggy client does not say EHLO again, but instead AUTH LOGIN
Exim says, I didn't advertise that! And errors: AUTH command used when not

So, authorization fails, and the message cannot be relayed, and it is
rejected with relay not permitted since nothing else would allow it to relay
(which it shouldn't).

Now, I'm reasonably sure that the client is supposed to say EHLO again after
a STARTTLS. But it's buggy.

Does anyone know if there some way to make Exim be a little more forgiving,
and not error out of auth because it didn't advertise AUTH? Or, really, have
it not mind getting the second EHLO?

Sendmail doesn't seem to mind this behavior at all. But that's neither here
nor there.
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