This document contains details about rule processing.
In general, messages forwarded by rules are also affected by rules. For example, if you set up a global rule which forwards all email to firstname.lastname@example.org, a new message is created with email@example.com as recipient address. When this new email is sent, this email is also affected by the rule and another copy of the message is created. This results in a loop which generates new messages.
hMailServer has built-in functionality to stop this rule (see Rules loop count below), but it is still a problem since the recipient receive multiple copies of the same email message. To resolve the problem, rules must be configured to prevent forwarded messages from being affected by the rule. In the example above, a rule criteria with the configuration "If RecipientList Not Contains firstname.lastname@example.org" must be added, to prevent the rule from affecting messages where email@example.com is already in the recipient list.
hMailServer 4.2 and later can limit the number of times a message is processed in a loop. The loop limit is found in the advanced SMTP settings. If two users set up rules that make an email to bounce back and forth between them, hMailServer will only handle the email the number of times defined by rule loop count.
During message delivery, global rules are executed before any account rules. This means that if you set up a global rule to delete all messages for a specific account, the messages won't reach this account and they won't be effected by rules in tihs account.
In the same way, account level rules can override behaviour of global rules. If you set up a global rule to move messages a specific IMAP folder, and then set up an account rule to move the messages to a different IMAP folder, the account rule will have precedence.
Rules and actions are executed in the same way as they appear in hMailServer Administrator. Starting with hMailServer 4.4, you can change the order of rules and actions by selecting the rule or action and then click Move down or Move up.