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Tons of Fun 08-21-2005 09:30 AM

Unknown user when looking at top
I was looking at my processes this morning with top and noticed a user listed that I was unaware of. The user name was Debian-e and the command used is exim4. I am sure it is nothing, but what is exim4, and why would it come up as user Debian-e rather than root or my name?


darin3200 08-21-2005 09:49 AM


Exim is a message transfer agent (MTA) developed at the University of Cambridge for use on Unix systems connected to the Internet. In style it is similar to Smail 3, but its facilities are much more extensive. Exim is in use at many sites around the world.
So Exim4 is bascially a more advanced version of sendmail. Do you have any reasons to have a mail server running? You could always look in your /etc/passwd for a user called Debian-e

Tons of Fun 08-21-2005 10:33 AM

There is an entry in that list:


Does this mean it is a system user?

McCloud 08-21-2005 10:50 AM

Looks like a system user to me. My Exim4 process is also running under this user.

Exim4 is used on my system for internal mail (so mail from the system to my user). It is nothing to worry about.

By the way, the entry '/bin/false' means that this user that can't login via the command prompt or via an X-session (it can't do interactive logins). It also can't login from the outside (for example using SSH).

Tons of Fun 08-21-2005 11:40 AM

Thanks for the info. I am not using this machine for e-mail, but I do have all system messages going to root. Now I understand why I have an e-mail process running. I also appreciate the info on bin/false. That is the type of information that helps really understand what is going on with the system.

Thanks again.

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