Miscellaneous: Reading/Sending mail with telnet

(last edit: 2001-05-02)


This might come as a surprise to you but you don't need a mail program to send and/or read your mail!! All you need is a telent program and you need to know the address of your incoming and outgoing mail server. Let's just say for this example that the incoming mail server is pop3.lowlife.org and the outgoing mail server is smtp.lowlife.org.

Reading mail

You have to connect to your pop3 server on port '110' to read your mail. Here is a sample session: --- user@host:~/#telnet pop3.lowlife.org 110 Trying Connected to pop3.lowlife.org Escape character is '^]'. +OK POP3 pop3.lowlife.org v2000.69 server ready user me +OK User name accepted, password please pass ******* +OK Mailbox open, 2 messages list +OK Mailbox scan listing follows 1 609 2 382 . retr 1 +OK 609 octets [THE EMAIL WILL BE SHOWED HERE] . dele 1 +OK Message deleted quit +OK Sayonara Connection closed by foreign host. --- These are the commands you have to use as showed above: telnet [pop3 server] 110 user [username] pass [password] list retr [mail number] dele [mail number] Note that the mails you delete with 'dele' will actually be delete when you quit the connection.

Sending mail

You have to connect to port '25' if you want to send a mail. Here's a session: --- user@host:~/#telnet smtp.lowlife.org 25 Trying Connected to smtp.lowlife.org Escape character is '^]'. 220 smtp.lowlife.org ESMTP Exim 2.04 #2 Wed, 2 May 2001 09:31:54 +0200 helo lowlife.org 250 smtp.lowlife.org Hello wolf.lowlife.org [] mail from: me@lowlife.org 250 <me@lowlife.org> is syntactically correct rcpt to: you@freebsd.lowlife.org 250 <you@freebsd.lowlife.org> is syntactically correct data 354 Enter message, ending with "." on a line by itself This is the data . 250 OK id=14ur7r-0000fq-00 quit 221 smtp.lowlife.org closing connection Connection closed by foreign host. --- These are the commands you have to use as showed above: telnet [mailserver] 25 helo [your domainname] mail from: [your e-mail address] rcpt to: [receivers e-mail address] data You can type your message after the 'data' command. It is nice to start with 'Subject: [a subject]' but it is not neccesary. If you're done type a dot and hit enter. Note that the mail is send immediatly after you've entered the dot and hit enter. You can quit with ....... the command 'quit'

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