Synchronet v3.19b-Win32 (install) has been released (Jan-2022).

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SBBSecho (FidoNet EchoMail Program) Configuration

ctrl/sbbsecho.ini is the default configuration filename used by SBBSecho version 3, BinkIT version 2, and TickIT version 1. While other configuration filenames may be passed-to and used-by SBBSecho, the format must be the same .ini format and only one configuration file may be used per invocation of SBBSecho.

The current default sbbsecho.ini file can be downloaded from Git here.


You can edit the sbbsecho.ini file by hand using any text editor or, preferably, using the Synchronet EchoCfg utility.

When editing the sbbsecho.ini file by hand, it is recommended to first make a backup copy of the file.


All of the supported .ini sections and keys are documented here.

Root Section

Most of the SBBSecho configuration settings are defined in the Root Section of the sbbsecho.ini file.

General/Global settings

Key Default Value Description
Inbound ../fido/nonsecure Directory where SBBSecho will look for non-secured inbound files
SecureInbound ../fido/inbound Directory where SBBSecho will look for secured inbound files
Outbound ../fido/outbound Directory where SBBSecho will place outbound files
AreaFile ../data/areas.bbs File where SBBSecho will load FTN-attached message areas from
BadAreaFile ../data/badareas.lst File where SBBSecho will write the names/tags of unlinked areas for which it has received echomail
LogFile ../data/sbbsecho.log Log filename
LogTimeFormat %Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S Time-stamp format used in the log file
TempDirectory ../temp/sbbsecho Directory where SBBSecho will create temporary/in-process files
OutgoingSemaphore Semaphore file SBBSecho will touch when creating outbound files
LogLevel Informational Minimum severity of log messages written to the log file
StripLineFeeds false Strip line-feed (ASCII 10) characters from exported messages
StripSoftCRs true Strip soft carriage-return (0x8D) characters from imported messages
BinkleyStyleOutbound true Mailer is BSO/FLO style (rather than ArcMail/Attach style)
BsyTimeout 12 hours Time-out duration when attempting to lock .bsy files
BsoLockAttempts 60 Number of attempts to lock a BSO for a node
BsoLockDelay 10 seconds Delay between BSO lock attempts
StrictPacketPasswords true Packets with passwords must match the corresponding configured/linked node password
umask 077 File creation mode (for *nix only)
AreaFileBackups 100 Number of Area File backups to maintain (for Area Manager modifications)
CfgFileBackups 100 Number of configuration file backups to maintain (for Area Manager or EchoCfg modifications)
MaxLogSize 10M Maximum size (in bytes) of each SBBSecho log file (0 = no limit)
MaxLogsKept 10 Maximum number of SBBSecho log files to keep
MinFreeDiskSpace 10M Minimum amount of available disk space required for SBBSecho to operate
UseOutboxes true If a linked-node has an outbox value specified, place outbound files for that node in it
AutoUTF8 true Automatically detect UTF-8-encoded incoming messages and mark them accordingly
Key Default Value Description
BundleSize 250K Outgoing bundles (archives), maximum file size
PacketSize 250K Outgoing packets (*.pkt), maximum file size
CheckPathsForDupes true Check PATH kludge lines for circular messages
SecureEchomail false Only import EchoMail from linked nodes
EchomailNotify true Send telegrams to BBS users when EchoMail is received for them
ConvertTearLines false Convert any tear lines () existing in the message text to ===
TruncateBundles false Truncate rather than delete outbound bundles after being sent
ZoneBlind false Assume that node numbers are not duplicated across zones (set to true with a Threshold of 4 for “FidoWeb” operation)
ZoneBlindThreshold 65535 Zone numbers less than this will be considered blind (all part of the same node number “namespace”)
AreaAddFromEcholistsOnly false Allow echoes to be AreaFix-added from Additional EchoLists only (not Area File)
AutoAddSubs true Automatically add new Sub-boards within linked Message Groups to the run-time Area List
AutoAddToAreaFile true Automatically add new Sub-boards within linked Message Groups to the on-disk Area File
MaxEchomailAge 60 days Age limit (in days) of EchoMail messages that may be imported (0 = no limit)
RelayFilteredMsgs false Messages that are filtered (e.g. due to age) will be relayed to downlinks
AreaManager SYSOP BBS user name or alias to notify (via email) of AreaFix activities and errors
EchoStats ../data/echostats.ini Path/filename of EchoMail Statistics (“EchoStats”) database
RequireLinkedNodeCfg true Require that area-linked nodes (in the area file) are configured as linked-nodes
Key Default Value Description
DefaultRecipient Name of the user account you wish to receive inbound NetMail messages that have been addressed to an unrecognized user name or alias
SysopAliasList SYSOP Comma-separated list of names by which the sysop (user #1) may receive NetMail messages
FuzzyNetmailZones false Use local AKAs to determine source zone information when missing
IgnoreNetmailDestAddr false Treat all NetMail as though it is destined for one of your systems's FTN addresses
IgnoreNetmailSentAttr false Export NetMail messages even when their 'Sent' attribute flag is set
IgnoreNetmailKillAttr false Do not delete exported NetMail messages even when their 'Kill' attribute flag is set
IgnoreNetmailRecvAttr false Import NetMail messages even when their 'Received' attribute flag is set
IgnoreNetmailLocalAttr false Import NetMail messages even when their 'Local' attribute flag is set
KillEmptyNetmail true Discard (not import or export) NetMail messages without any body
DeleteNetmail true Delete all NetMail messages/files after they have been sent or imported
DeletePackets true Delete packets after they've been imported
MaxNetmailAge 0 Age limit (in days) of NetMail messages that may be imported (0 = no limit)

BinkP Section

The [BinkP] section is used for BinkP-specific global settings (i.e. used exclusively by BinkIT version 2):

Key Default Value Description
Capabilities <blank> If set, changes the text in the M_NUL NDL line from the default of “115200,TCP,BINKP”
Sysop <blank> If set, over-rides the sysop name (ZYZ) value (e.g. to send the sysop's real name instead of alias)
PlainAuthOnly false If set to true, disables CRAM-MD5 authentication and encryption support for all inbound and outbound sessions (e.g. for trouble-shooting purposes)
PlainTextOnly false If set to true, disables encryption support for all inbound and outbound sessions (when set to false, requires that PlainAuthOnly is also set to false)

Archive Sections

Archivers are used to extract packets from received bundles and create bundles of outgoing packets. Archivers are configured in the Archive Sections of the sbbsecho.ini file (separately from any archivers configured in Synchronet/SCFG).

Each Archive Section has a prefix of “archive:” and the name of the archive type (e.g. “ZIP”) following the prefix.

Key Default Value Description
SigOffset 0 Signature offset (in bytes)
Sig Signature (in hexadecimal)
Pack Archive creation (pack) command-line (with Synchronet command-line specifiers)
Unpack Archive extraction (unpack) command-line (with Synchronet command-line specifiers)


        SigOffset = 0
        Sig = 504B
        Pack = %@zip -jD %f %s
        Unpack = %@unzip -ojC %f -d %s

Node Sections

Each Linked-Node Section has a prefix of “node:” with the FTN address of the node following the prefix.

Key Default Value Description
PacketType 2+ Type of packets to generate for this node (2+, 2e, 2.2, or 2)
PacketPwd Password used in password-protected packets
SessionPwd Password used for BinkP (BinkIT) sessions with this linked node
AreaFixPwd Password required for AreaFix/AreaMgr operations
TicFilePwd Password required for TIC files (used by tickit.js)
Name Name of this linked-node's operator (e.g. real name or alias), auto-set when receiving Area Manager requests
Comment Personal comment about this node (any text useful to you)
Inbox Optional filebox for incoming files (correlates with BinkD's ibox setting, BinkIT does not support inboxes)
Outbox Optional filebox for outgoing files (correlates with BinkD's obox setting, BinkIT has experimental support for outboxes)
Keys List of keys (comma-separated) which enable AreaFix access to one or more Additional EchoLists
Notify false Notify via NetMail of node's current AreaFix settings whenever SBBSecho is run with the '`-g`' option
Passive false Temporarily disable the packing and sending of EchoMail for this node
Direct false Connect to this node directly (whenever possible) when sending mail to this node
Status Normal Default mode for sending mail to this node: Normal, Hold (wait for pickup) or Crash (immediate)
Archive None Name of a configured archive type or “None”
Route FTN address (e.g. of a hub) to route all EchoMail and NetMail destined for this node's address
LocalAddress Optional local system address (AKA) to use when sending packets to this node
GroupHub List of Message Groups (comma-separated) for which this linked node is your system's uplink (hub)
BinkpHost Host name or IP address of this link's BinkP mailer (optional)
BinkpPort 24554 TCP port number of this link's BinkP mailer
BinkpPoll false Poll this link (e.g. as part of the BINKPOLL timed event) for incoming mail
BinkpAllowPlainAuth false Allow plain-password (in addition to CRAM-MD5) when authenticating with this linked node
BinkpPlainAuthOnly false Only support plain-password authentication when connecting (outbound) with this linked node
BinkpAllowPlainText true Allow plain-text (unencrypted) communication with this linked node
BinkpSourceAddress Use an alternative FTN address as the source address when communicating with this node via BinkP
BinkpTLS false Use implicit TLS for outbound encrypted connections with this linked node

NOTE: The wildcard ALL may replace one or more fields of the configured node's FTN address. Configured node's with wildcard addresses cannot have an Inbox our Outbox set.


        Comment = My Hub
        AreafixPwd =
        PacketPwd =
        PacketType = 2+
        Archive = ZIP
        Inbox =
        Outbox =
        Passive = false
        Direct = false
        Notify = false
        Keys =
        Status = Normal
        Comment = Everyone in FidoNet Zone 1
        AreafixPwd =
        PacketPwd =
        PacketType = 2+
        Archive = ZIP
        Inbox =
        Outbox =
        Passive = false
        Direct = false
        Notify = false
        Keys =
        Status = Normal
        Route = 1:218/700        

BinkP Session-Security

The evolution of the BinkIT/BinkP session-security related settings has lead to a potentially confusing array of 3 interrelated Boolean options with only 4 valid combinations of values. Here is a table to explain these valid combinations and their impact on the security and interoperability of BinkP sessions with the linked-node:

Security Level BinkpPlainAuthOnly BinkpAllowPlainAuth BinkpAllowPlainText Notes
Minimum true true true Passwords and message packets will always be sent as clear-text (maximum interoperability)
Normal false true true Passwords may be obscured via CRAM-MD5 authentication
Enhanced false false true Passwords must be obscured via CRAM-MD5 authentication
Maximum false false false Passwords and message packets must be obscured or encrypted 1)

In general, the lower the security setting, the higher the level of insured compatibility with other BinkP mailers. When debugging authentication (password) issues, it might be a good idea to use the minimum level of security and increase the security level incrementally once you have the minimum level of secured-session working with the linked-node.

Also note: authentication is performed by the answering BinkP node (server/service), so while one security level may work okay for outgoing connections to a linked-node, its possible that there could be problems (incompatibilities) with incoming connections from that same linked-node. It's a good idea to test both incoming and outgoing connections with a linked-node before increasing the BinkP session security level.

Robot Sections

Each NetMail Robot Section has a prefix of “robot:” with the name of the robot (e.g. filefix) following the prefix. Received NetMail addressed to the name of a robot will be stored in your data/mail base and expected to be acted-up by a robot that is trigged when its associated semaphore file is touched. TickFix is an example of a NetMail robot.

Key Description
SemFile The path and filename of a semaphore file to be touched by SBBSecho when a NetMail is received for the robot
attr NetMail attribute flags to set (usually specific in hexadecimal notation with a 0x prefix), 0x20 (In-Transit) is recommended

Domain Sections

Each FTN Domain Section has a prefix of “domain:” with the name of the domain (e.g. fidonet, fsxnet) following the prefix.

Key Description
Zones List of zone numbers (comma-separated) associated with this domain
DNSSuffix Optional suffix used for DNS-based IP address look-ups of nodes in this domain (e.g. f<node>.n<net>.z<zone>.<suffix>)
NodeList Optional nodelist path/filename to use for hostname/IP address look-ups for this domain
OutboundRoot Optional alternate outbound root directory to use for this domain

FTN domains used to be configured in the now-deprecated ctrl/ftn_domains.ini file.

EchoList Sections

Each Additional EchoList Section has a prefix of “echolist:” with the path/filename of the EchoList following the prefix.

Key Default Value Description
Keys List of keys (comma-separated) which enable Linked Node AreaFix access to this EchoList
Hub The FTN address of hub which provides the areas in this EchoList
Fwd false Forward AreaFix requests to hub of this EchoList?
Pwd AreaFix password to include in AreaFix requests forwarded to the hub of this EchoList

See Also

using the BinkD method of session encryption