Reading an E-mail Source

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An e-mail source will display its true content, the raw message code prior to interpreting. Inspecting it may serve to:

  • analyze e-mail deliverability,
  • gain some information on the sender and the path taken by the message.

You can retrieve it via any mail client. For example, via webmail, you will find it in … Plus > Show source

Roundcube: display the source
Roundcube: display the source

The e-mail source comprises:

  • the path taken by the message:

    Return-Path: <>
    Received: from ([2a00:b6e0:1:42:1::1])
        (using TLSv1.2 with cipher ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256 (128/128 bits))
        by (Dovecot) with LMTP id CmIDBvaxwl1rVwAA37iJ7g
        for <>; Wed, 06 Nov 2019 12:43:50 +0100
    Return-path: <>
    Delivery-date: Wed, 06 Nov 2019 12:43:50 +0100
    Received: from ([2a00:b6e0:1:40:1:0:10:1])
        by with esmtps (TLS1.2:ECDHE_RSA_AES_128_GCM_SHA256:128)
        (Exim 4.89)
        (envelope-from <>)
        id 1iSJj3-0002iV-Ih
        for; Wed, 06 Nov 2019 12:43:49 +0100
    DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; q=dns/txt; c=relaxed/relaxed;; s=default; h=Message-ID:Subject:To:From:Date:
         bh=YQoEy7AqzMBW43UhSGwdwOMGy0oQSsXVrnHBfRPYaBI=; b=c2XgGNOxBOho5IeU+hJUcZ+Q1
    Received: from
        ([2a00:b6e0:1:210:1::1] ident=ad-roundcube)
        by with esmtpsa (TLS1.2:ECDHE_RSA_AES_128_GCM_SHA256:128)
        (Exim 4.89)
        (envelope-from <>)
        id 1iSJj2-0002F2-Fq
        for; Wed, 06 Nov 2019 12:43:48 +0100
    Received: from (2a00:b6e0:1:84:1::1)

    The mail transited a number of our servers to reach the target server The DKIM public key is shown.

  • Various information relating to the message itself and the user agent is shown.

    with HTTP (HTTP/1.1 POST); Wed, 06 Nov 2019 12:43:48 +0100
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII;
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    Date: Wed, 06 Nov 2019 12:43:48 +0100
    Subject: Test sources
    Message-ID: <>
    User-Agent: Roundcube Webmail/1.3.10
  • Elements linked to antivirus, antispam software:

    0.00 TO_EQ_FROM - To address matches the From address
    0.00 TO_DN_NONE - None of the recipients have display names
    0.00 RCVD_VIA_SMTP_AUTH - Authenticated hand-off was seen in Received headers
    0.00 RCVD_TLS_LAST - Last hop used encrypted transports
    0.00 RCVD_COUNT_THREE [3] - Message has 3-5 Received headers
    0.00 RCPT_COUNT_ONE [1] - One recipient
    0.00 MIME_TRACE [0:+]
    0.00 MID_RHS_MATCH_FROM - Message-ID RHS matches From domain
    0.00 FROM_NO_DN - From header does not have a display name
    0.00 ARC_NA - ARC signature absent
    -0.10 MIME_GOOD [text/plain] - Known content-type
    -1.00 NEURAL_HAM [-0.998] - Neural network ham
    X-alwaysdata-Spam-Score: -1.10

    The e-mail does not contain any virus detected by ClamAV and Rspamd gives a low score allowing the message to be sent.