This module defines a class, POP3, which encapsulates a connection to a POP3 server and implements the protocol as defined in RFC 1725. The POP3 class supports both the minimal and optional command sets. Additionally, this module provides a class POP3_SSL, which provides support for connecting to POP3 servers that use SSL as an underlying protocol layer.
Note that POP3, though widely supported, is obsolescent. The implementation quality of POP3 servers varies widely, and too many are quite poor. If your mailserver supports IMAP, you would be better off using the imaplib.IMAP4 class, as IMAP servers tend to be better implemented.
A single class is provided by the poplib module:
This class implements the actual POP3 protocol. The connection is created when the instance is initialized. If port is omitted, the standard POP3 port (110) is used. The optional timeout parameter specifies a timeout in seconds for the connection attempt (if not specified, the global default timeout setting will be used).
Changed in version 2.6: timeout was added.
This is a subclass of POP3 that connects to the server over an SSL encrypted socket. If port is not specified, 995, the standard POP3-over-SSL port is used. keyfile and certfile are also optional - they can contain a PEM formatted private key and certificate chain file for the SSL connection.
New in version 2.4.
One exception is defined as an attribute of the poplib module:
All POP3 commands are represented by methods of the same name, in lower-case; most return the response text sent by the server.
An POP3 instance has the following methods:
Retrieves the message header plus howmuch lines of the message after the header of message number which. Result is in form (response, ['line', ...], octets).
The POP3 TOP command this method uses, unlike the RETR command, doesn’t set the message’s seen flag; unfortunately, TOP is poorly specified in the RFCs and is frequently broken in off-brand servers. Test this method by hand against the POP3 servers you will use before trusting it.
Instances of POP3_SSL have no additional methods. The interface of this subclass is identical to its parent.
Here is a minimal example (without error checking) that opens a mailbox and retrieves and prints all messages:
import getpass, poplib M = poplib.POP3('localhost') M.user(getpass.getuser()) M.pass_(getpass.getpass()) numMessages = len(M.list()) for i in range(numMessages): for j in M.retr(i+1): print j
At the end of the module, there is a test section that contains a more extensive example of usage.