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I'm finally getting a better handle on what the envelope address is. It is not any of the (original) headers of an email, but is instead the address that the smtp transport mechanism uses (and develops).

You can find the envelope addresses (to and from) by looking at the oldest "Received" header in an email (do something like "View: Source" -- the Received headers are in reverse chronological order (i.e., newest on top, so you want to look for the bottom one)). References: CSG FAQ,

Example Received header (from [[http://its.med.yale.edu/email/headers.html][]]):

Received: by server2.SANS.ORG (rbkq) id QQF22223 for faith.mcgrath@yale.edu;Mon, 10 Jun 2002 08:34:39 -0600 (MDT)

The envelope from address is: server2.SANS.ORG

The envelope to address is: faith.mcgrath@yalePLEASENOSPAM.edu

See AboutThesePages.

See FightingSpam which, among other things, concerns itself with interpreting these headers to identify a possible open relay.



  • Question on virtual domains from the FAQ -- provides discussion about what the envelope address is and why you can't do certain things with procmail that you might expect to do. (On the other hand, it seems procmail is exactly the right tool to do what I want to do -- distinguish between emails addressed to User01 <user@a.domain> and User02 <user@a.domain>.)
  • Procmail FAQ -- Worth a read (I'm in the process) -- looks like it may be quite helpful for email in general.


  • RandyKramer - 22 Feb 2002
  • <If you edit this page, add your name here, move this to the next line>

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Topic revision: r3 - 2004-10-09 - RandyKramer
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