Setup SMTP relay / smarthost with DirectAdmin

Estimated reading time: 1 min


If you want or need to setup your mailserver to send all outgoing mail to a specific server which will handle the delivery to the recipients you need to setup a SMTP relay or smarthost.


  • You need to know the hostname of the SMTP server which is going to relay the mail for your mailserver, which is in our case
  • This article assumes that no authentication is necessary on the SMTP relay server
  • This article is written for DirectAdmin with Exim
  • You need to be running exim.conf 4.5.7 or newer, please see this article if you need to update
  • You need to have the SSH login details of your server ready

Step 1) Login with SSH

Login as root. Please see this article for instructions if you don’t know how to connect.

Step 2) Configure the MTA

Copy/paste complete command:

cat <<'EOF' > /etc/exim.routers.pre.conf
  driver = manualroute
  domains = ! +local_domains
  ignore_target_hosts =
  condition = "${perl{check_limits}}"
  transport = remote_smtp
  route_list = !+local_domains

Step 3) Restart the mailserver

Restart the mailserver by issuing the following command:

service exim restart
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