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opendkim – Open Source DKIM

Last updated March 2020

The opendkim module adds OpenDKIM capabilities to Momentum. It implements the DKIM standard and provides for signing email messages on a global, per domain, per binding, or per binding-per domain basis. You can choose to sign messages through module configuration settings or do so at runtime using Lua functions. Validation of DKIM messages with the opendkim module is driven only through Lua policy.

OpenDKIM is an open source implementation of the Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) sender authentication system that implements the DKIM service. For a full description, see For a general overview of DKIM signing and validation, as well as how to generate DKIM public and private keypairs, see Chapter 23, Using DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) Signatures .


In your ecelerity.conf file, set opendkim_sign in the appropriate scope and configure the opendkim module. The following is an example configuration:

Binding_Group "opendkim_signing" {
  opendkim_sign = "true"

  binding "foo"{
    domain "" { opendkim_sign = "true" }
    domain "" { opendkim_sign = "false" }

opendkim "opendkim1" {
  header_canon = "relaxed"
  body_canon = "relaxed"
  headerlist = ("from", "to", "message-id", "date", "subject", "Content-Type")
  digest = "rsa-sha256"
  key = "/opt/msys/ecelerity/etc/conf/dkim/%{d}/%{s}.key"
  dkim_domain "" {
    selector = "dkim-s1024"
# reference a Lua script to sign using a script
scriptlet "scriptlet" {
  script "opendkim_sign" {
    source = "luaScripts.opendkim_sign"

This example enables DKIM signing through the module configuration settings and at runtime using the Lua script opendkim_sign.lua. DKIM signing using module configuration options is controlled by the scope of opendkim_sign and by the dkim_domain scope.

The following are the configuration options defined by this module:


Specifies which domain should be used for signing. DKIM allows for emails to be signed by a parent domain. For example, an email from can be signed in the domain. This option is only valid within the dkim_domain scope.


Specifies the canonicalization that should be performed on the email body before digesting and signing the message. The two supported canonicalizations are simple and relaxed. Default value is simple.


Whether or not there is a limit on the length of the email body. Default value is false.


This option causes all of the headers that were selected for signing by headerlist to be quoted-printable encoded and placed in the z= tag of the DKIM-Signature header. This can be useful for debugging. Default value is false.


Specifies the algorithms that should be used to create the message digest and the resulting signature. The supported mechanisms are rsa-sha1 and rsa-sha256. Default value is rsa-sha256.


This option is a scope within the opendkim scope. It is used to define a selector or signing domain for specified domains. Use this option in the following way:

opendkim "opendkim1" {
  selector = "dkim1024"  # default selector

  dkim_domain "" {
    selector = "dkim-s1024"
    base_domain = ""

The following options are valid in this scope:

  • base_domain

  • body_canon

  • body_length_limit

  • digest

  • header_canon

  • key

  • key_cache_size

  • neg_keycache_ttl

  • pos_keycache_ttl

  • selector

  • sign_condition

  • testing


Specifies the canonicalization that should be performed on the email headers before digesting and signing the message. The two supported canonicalizations are simple and relaxed. Due to the way MTAs operate, the simple canonicalization is very fragile and prone to failure because of header rewriting and rewrapping. Default value is simple.


The headerlist configuration directive is required. During digestion, DKIM will sign all headers specified in the headerlist in the order they are specified. Although there is no default headerlist, the DKIM specification requires signing the "From" header and any header field that describes the role of the signer such as "Sender" or "Resent-From". The specification also recommends signing "Subject", "Date", all MIME header fields, and all existing, non-repeatable header fields.

The headerlist itself is a comma or space separated list of header field names such as headerlist = ( "From", "Subject", "Content-Type" ).

DKIM provides for a signer to sign a non-existent header. This mechanism can be used to prevent the header from being added to the message during transit. If the header is added during transit, the DKIM signature will not verify. Using this mechanism, the signer asserts that the header was not there when the message was signed. There is no default value for this option.


In the OpenDKIM API, the header list is a global setting; consequently, you cannot change the header list per message.


This option is required and specifies the location of the RSA private key file on disk. The key file must be readable by the user that Momentum is running as and must be in Privacy Enhanced Mail (PEM) format.


Note that Google requires all senders to sign with a 1024 bit or greater DKIM key size.

The file name has two expandable variables that may be used to ease deployment over multiple domains: %{d} expands to the responsible domain and %{s} expands to the selector.

If you are working within a cluster environment, you may want to consider setting the key option to a directory that is under revision control. The recommended directory is /opt/msys/ecelerity/etc/conf/dkim/. Since the conf directory is under revision control anything stored below this directory will also be under revision control. Any files in this directory are visible to both the default node configuration and any node-specific configuration.


The key cache size expressed as the number of keys. Default value is 2048.


Specifies the length of time a signature remains valid. An expiration value is included in the signature header added to each email message. The lifetime of the signature begins at signing and expires some time later as determined by the lifetime option value. A message will not verify after the signature lifetime has expired. The value of this option is specified in hours. Default value is 0, indicating that the module does not mark the signature with any expiration timestamp.


In the event that the key is not already in the cache, the amount of time in seconds before retrieving it again. Default value is 3600.


This option asserts headers. It has no default value.


Total time in seconds for items to stay in the cache before fetching them again. Default value is 300.


Specifies the DKIM selector to be used for signing. During verification, the selector is used, along with the signing domain, to retrieve the signing domain's public key. The key retrieved will be contained in the DNS TXT record for {selector}._domainkey.{domain}. There is no default value for this option.


Specifies which validation context variable must exist as a predicate to signing messages. When an SMTP client performs an SMTP AUTH action, the auth_user context key will be set to the username used during authorization. When an SMTP client is allowed to relay through Momentum because of an entry in the relay_hosts option or a relaying declaration in an ESMTP_Listener IP access control list, the can_relay context key is set to true.

In most corporate environments, sign_condition should be auth_user. In large sending architectures where the relaying SMTP clients are implicitly trusted, sign_condition should be can_relay. There is no default value for this option.


Array of the headers that will be skipped. For more information about headers, see headerlist . There is no default value for this option.


Set this option to true if you are not in a production environment. Default value is false.

Lua Functions

You can sign OpenDKIM domains using module configuration settings or at runtime using Lua functions. The Lua APIs mirror the OpenDKIM API. In order to sign at runtime, you must create a Lua policy script and reference it from the scriptlet module as shown in “opendkim Configuration”.

Verification of DKIM messages is only driven through Lua policy.

Loading the opendkim module exposes the following Lua functions:

The following OpenDKIM objects are passed in to or returned by these functions:

  • DKIM – A signing or verifying context for a message

  • DKIM_SIGINFO – Private handle referencing information about a particular signature on a signed message

  • DKIM_STAT – Return value or status

For more information about these data types, see OpenDKIM Library.

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