Lightmeter 1.7: Email tracing for mailbox users

Sam Tuke May 31 2021 Share

Find out what happened to any given email using the new, and much requested, Message Detective – available for mailops admins and mailbox end-users alike. Finally Postfix email tracing is possible.

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88 Merge requests and 562 commits (a new record! ?) went into this release. Check the Roadmap to see what features are coming next.

Note that Lightmeter is still in early development and intended for small scale deployments. Known issues are documented in README.

The Message Detective: email tracing for everyone

Email vanished, was late, or bounced? Finding out how and why takes time, and for mailops admins with many email end-users, it’s an expensive problem.

Lightmeter’s new Message Detective introduces another unique feature for Open Source mailservers: message tracing for mailops admins to quickly find the fate of any given email. Additionally, it can be enabled for end-users to check the status of their own mail directly, thus saving the time of both Tech Support staff and themselves.

Lead Developer Leandro Santiago introduces the Message Detective in Lightmeter 1.7

When self-service mode is enabled, end-users are given a public web address where they can see the status of any message for which they know the sender, recipient, and date it was sent. When a message they’ve checked failed, they can request investigation and assistance from the admin by escalating the issue. This results in a new Lightmeter Insight being generated and notification to admins sent, including relevant technical details.

Rate limiting is applied to both searching and escalation to prevent abuse.

Screenshots of the Message Detective showing obfuscated email addresses in Lightmeter 1.7

What else is new?

Four tweaks and fixes are also included:

  1. Make Discoverability of Lightmeter by Plesk easier by making the workspace volume part of the Dockerfile
  2. Allow admins to pass custom Postfix log filename patterns to Lightmeter env variable LIGHTMETER_LOG_FILE_PATTERNS=mail.log:mail.warn
  3. Improvements to Postfix log parsing, fixing multiple crash-causing events
  4. Remove the compromised ‘Solid Clues’ blocklist results from RBL scanning

The full list of merge requests and commits is on GitLab.

Get involved

Join us in making email peaceful and transparent — request or add what you’re missing to make your own mail server steadfast and efficient:

Go to the GitLab repo, fork it, build it, and submit your first pull request (there are many open issues to choose from if you’d like inspiration, including some quick wins). And if you get stuck at any point, drop by the forum, the Fediverse, Telegram, Twitter, or, of course, email ??


Missing your favourite packaging system? Request it in the comments.

Supported by

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme within the framework of the NGI-POINTER Project funded under grant agreement No 871528.

NGI Pointer logo and EU flag symbol

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