I've set up an e-mail server set up(MailEnable) and I'd like to be able to test it locally. That is, when I send an e-mail from my Outlook client, I want it to go directly to the server on the same machine without setting up DNS. Essentially the equivalent of pointing my browser at http://localhost/, but for e-mail.

2 Answers 2


Sure that's possible. You just won't be able to send a mail to your local server from, let's say Yahoo.

You can only send a mail to your local server from another machine on your LAN or your computer itself. To do so you would have to create a new account in Outlook that uses your localhost as the mail server. Then you could send mail to someone@localhost.

For that to work, your mail server has to be configured to accept mail for localhost though.

Personally, I feel like such a test will not tell you much about how well your mail setup will perform once you go life, because too many variables will change. Local mail exchange is very different from internet mail exchange in my opinion.

I'd just set up the required DNS records and test it properly, the way you want it to work.

  • I'm actually just testing out the features of the newest version, but I appreciate the advice. Whenever I try to send an e-mail to someone@localhost Outlook tells me it doesn't recognize that address. Aug 23, 2013 at 19:25
  • I am able to send an e-mail to [email protected] which works once I add as a domain in MailEnable. I don't know why it won't translate it or why Outlook won't either, but at least I got it to work. Aug 23, 2013 at 19:29

If you just want to test if the server is alive you could use telnet localhost 25.

jb@denen ~ $ telnet localhost 25
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 denen ESMTP Exim 4.80 Fri, 23 Aug 2013 22:54:32 +0200
HELO localhost
250 denen Hello localhost []
MAIL FROM: [email protected]
250 OK
RCPT TO: root@localhost
250 Accepted
354 Enter message, ending with "." on a line by itself
Subject: test
From: today

body text
250 OK id=1VCyO6-0002St-RP
221 denen closing connection
Connection closed by foreign host.

This example was from my linux box. But since it's plain SMTP you should reproduce something similar on your machine. Lines in this output that start with a number come from the server. The others were lines that I typed. The name at RCPT TO: should be an actual local user---or not, if you want to test reject. If you need to append a domain with an @ at the addresses depends on what you want to test and on the server's configuration.

Have fun!!

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