How to Delete WHM Mail Queue through SSH sent from a particular sender

If your mail queue is full then don't worry and just use the following commands to get rid of the messages in the mail queue:

My analysis is that for some reason exiqgrep doesn't seem to work on large mail queues as the several commands I've tried including the ones you suggested seems to end with no measurable results. Most of the times I get the message "no message ids given after exim -Mrm" or I get an error along the lines of "invalid line in message...". Or the command executes to completion without doing anything.

1. Deletion of frozen messages using...
exim -bpru | grep frozen | awk {'print $3'} | xargs exim -Mrm
2. Deletion of null sender/bounce messages using...
exim -bpru | grep '<>' | awk {'print $3'} | xargs exim -Mrm
3. Deletion of specific sender domains using...
exim -bpru | grep '' | awk {'print $3'} | xargs exim -Mrm
I am selecting domains by manually viewing the output of
exim -bp
as I get some immediate output. The most common spam domains I found were the usual suspects like,, and also region specific domains like,,,, etc. For those with smaller mail queues it might be easier to just get the output of eximstats by sender domain and then run the above command. Which is what I plan to do once I get my Q down to a more manageable size. Right now eximstats would take several hours to run to completion on my Q.

Blindly deleting the entire queue is not an option for me and is not one I would recommend either.

By the way, I am running Exim 4.69. The exim cheatsheet I referred to in this thread can be found at

Here are some useful things to know for managing an Exim 4 server. This assumes a prior working knowledge of SMTP, MTAs, and a UNIX shell prompt.

Message-IDs and spool files

The message-IDs that Exim uses to refer to messages in its queue are mixed-case alpha-numeric, and take the form of: XXXXXX-YYYYYY-ZZ. Most commands related to managing the queue and logging use these message-ids.
There are three -- count 'em, THREE -- files for each message in the spool directory. If you're dealing with these files by hand, instead of using the appropriate exim commands as detailed below, make sure you get them all, and don't leave Exim with remnants of messages in the queue. I used to mess directly with these files when I first started running Exim machines, but thanks to the utilities described below, I haven't needed to do that in many months.
Files in /var/spool/exim/msglog contain logging information for each message and are named the same as the message-id.
Files in /var/spool/exim/input are named after the message-id, plus a suffix denoting whether it is the envelope header (-H) or message data (-D).
These directories may contain further hashed subdirectories to deal with larger mail queues, so don't expect everything to always appear directly in the top /var/spool/exim/input or /var/spool/exim/msglog directories; any searches or greps will need to be recursive. See if there is a proper way to do what you're doing before working directly on the spool files.

Basic information

Print a count of the messages in the queue:
root@localhost# exim -bpc
Print a listing of the messages in the queue (time queued, size, message-id, sender, recipient):
root@localhost# exim -bp
Print a summary of messages in the queue (count, volume, oldest, newest, domain, and totals):
root@localhost# exim -bp | exiqsumm
Print what Exim is doing right now:
root@localhost# exiwhat
Test how exim will route a given address:
root@localhost# exim -bt
  router = localuser, transport = local_delivery
root@localhost# exim -bt
  router = localuser, transport = local_delivery
root@localhost# exim -bt
  router = lookuphost, transport = remote_smtp
  host [] MX=0
Run a pretend SMTP transaction from the command line, as if it were coming from the given IP address. This will display Exim's checks, ACLs, and filters as they are applied. The message will NOT actually be delivered.
root@localhost# exim -bh
Display all of Exim's configuration settings:
root@localhost# exim -bP

Searching the queue with exiqgrep

Exim includes a utility that is quite nice for grepping through the queue, called exiqgrep. Learn it. Know it. Live it. If you're not using this, and if you're not familiar with the various flags it uses, you're probably doing things the hard way, like piping `exim -bp` into awk, grep, cut, or `wc -l`. Don't make life harder than it already is.
First, various flags that control what messages are matched. These can be combined to come up with a very particular search.
Use -f to search the queue for messages from a specific sender:
root@localhost# exiqgrep -f [luser]@domain
Use -r to search the queue for messages for a specific recipient/domain:
root@localhost# exiqgrep -r [luser]@domain
Use -o to print messages older than the specified number of seconds. For example, messages older than 1 day:
root@localhost# exiqgrep -o 86400 [...]
Use -y to print messages that are younger than the specified number of seconds. For example, messages less than an hour old:
root@localhost# exiqgrep -y 3600 [...]
Use -s to match the size of a message with a regex. For example, 700-799 bytes:
root@localhost# exiqgrep -s '^7..$' [...]
Use -z to match only frozen messages, or -x to match only unfrozen messages.
There are also a few flags that control the display of the output.
Use -i to print just the message-id as a result of one of the above two searches:
root@localhost# exiqgrep -i [ -r | -f ] ...
Use -c to print a count of messages matching one of the above searches:
root@localhost# exiqgrep -c ...
Print just the message-id of the entire queue:
root@localhost# exiqgrep -i

Managing the queue

The main exim binary (/usr/sbin/exim) is used with various flags to make things happen to messages in the queue. Most of these require one or more message-IDs to be specified in the command line, which is where `exiqgrep -i` as described above really comes in handy.
Start a queue run:
root@localhost# exim -q -v
Start a queue run for just local deliveries:
root@localhost# exim -ql -v
Remove a message from the queue:
root@localhost# exim -Mrm <message-id> [ <message-id> ... ]
Freeze a message:
root@localhost# exim -Mf <message-id> [ <message-id> ... ]
Thaw a message:
root@localhost# exim -Mt <message-id> [ <message-id> ... ]
Deliver a message, whether it's frozen or not, whether the retry time has been reached or not:
root@localhost# exim -M <message-id> [ <message-id> ... ]
Deliver a message, but only if the retry time has been reached:
root@localhost# exim -Mc <message-id> [ <message-id> ... ]
Force a message to fail and bounce as "cancelled by administrator":
root@localhost# exim -Mg <message-id> [ <message-id> ... ]
Remove all frozen messages:
root@localhost# exiqgrep -z -i | xargs exim -Mrm
Remove all messages older than five days (86400 * 5 = 432000 seconds):
root@localhost# exiqgrep -o 432000 -i | xargs exim -Mrm
Freeze all queued mail from a given sender:
root@localhost# exiqgrep -i -f luser@example.tld | xargs exim -Mf
View a message's headers:
root@localhost# exim -Mvh <message-id>
View a message's body:
root@localhost# exim -Mvb <message-id>
View a message's logs:
root@localhost# exim -Mvl <message-id>
Add a recipient to a message:
root@localhost# exim -Mar <message-id> <address> [ <address> ... ]
Edit the sender of a message:
root@localhost# exim -Mes <message-id> <address>

Access control

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