I want to announce unverified.email – a hosted service to test emails. I have been running it for several weeks now, and I am quite happy with the result so far. With the service, one can use automated testing to verify that the email logic in your application is correct.
unverified.email is a catch-all SMTP server. You can use it programmatically via its API at https://api.unverified.email, and the article shows an example of its usage. To follow, you would need
curl  and
jq  installed (on Linux, use the package manager, and macOS supplies it via homebrew).
Setup of the test
First, in our automated test code, we should prepare the environment to point at the test SMTP server: smtp.unverified.email on port 25. That way, the test automation is ready to send emails to be captured and verified when ready.
Next, we can create a mailbox via
HTTP GET request to https://api.unverified.email/create and remember the
mailbox_id. The mailbox exists for 5 minutes and is deleted after, purging all the emails within:
The result should look something like this:
Sending the mail
mailbox_id from the above setup should be included somewhere in the text of the email, the subject, the bcc address, the headers, or any other field (even email address of the sender or recipient will do).
We can now send the email to the intended recipients, so it is captured by the smtp.unverified.email server for later retrieval by the test. The server does not forward it anywhere further, no matter which addresses you put in the recipient’s field.
For demonstration, we create a file
mail.txt with the X-Unverified-Mailbox header that contains our
And then send it away (using curl):
Fetching the email via API to verify the result
Now the test can retrieve the mail back via
HTTP GET request to
https://api.unverified.email/receive/ (if you follow this, please use the
mailbox_id that you have received in the setup step):
The result here should look something like this (I have cut off the
"full_content" field to make it more readable):
jq -r '. | .full_content' one can also see the full content (again using your
mailbox_id from the setup step, of course).
The result should be something like this:ss
Return-Path: firstname.lastname@example.org Delivered-To: email@example.com Received: from mail.txt (h-188.8.131.52.host.de.colt.net [184.108.40.206]) by api-01 (OpenSMTPD) with ESMTP id 10f97d91 for
; Thu, 20 Mar 2020 10:30:59 +0000 (UTC) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: This is a text message From: email@example.com Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf8" X-Unverified-Mailbox: 7bb1d8d0-7b00-4375-a3fd-d119b56042f2 A test email message created by the application
You can create as many mailboxes as you want, and they are deleted 5 minutes after creation.
/receive/ endpoint is waiting for emails to show up on the server for around 15 seconds, so you do not need to refresh the url repeatedly.
The code is available at https://github.com/ptek/api.unverified.email where you can also open issues if something needs attention. You can also run the service on your infrastructure if needed. Drop me a note if you do – I would be very interested to know if it is useful to anyone.