The smtplib module defines an SMTP client session object that can be used to send mail to any Internet machine with an SMTP or ESMTP listener daemon. For details of SMTP and ESMTP operation, consult RFC 821 (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and RFC 1869 (SMTP Service Extensions).
A SMTP instance encapsulates an SMTP connection. It has methods that support a full repertoire of SMTP and ESMTP operations. If the optional host and port parameters are given, the SMTP connect() method is called with those parameters during initialization. An SMTPConnectError is raised if the specified host doesn’t respond correctly. The optional timeout parameter specifies a timeout in seconds for blocking operations like the connection attempt (if not specified, the global default timeout setting will be used).
The LMTP protocol, which is very similar to ESMTP, is heavily based on the standard SMTP client. It’s common to use Unix sockets for LMTP, so our connect() method must support that as well as a regular host:port server. To specify a Unix socket, you must use an absolute path for host, starting with a ‘/’.
Authentication is supported, using the regular SMTP mechanism. When using a Unix socket, LMTP generally don’t support or require any authentication, but your mileage might vary.
A nice selection of exceptions is defined as well:
An SMTP instance has the following methods:
Send a command cmd to the server. The optional argument argstring is simply concatenated to the command, separated by a space.
This returns a 2-tuple composed of a numeric response code and the actual response line (multiline responses are joined into one long line.)
In normal operation it should not be necessary to call this method explicitly. It is used to implement other methods and may be useful for testing private extensions.
If the connection to the server is lost while waiting for the reply, SMTPServerDisconnected will be raised.
Identify yourself to the SMTP server using HELO. The hostname argument defaults to the fully qualified domain name of the local host. The message returned by the server is stored as the helo_resp attribute of the object.
In normal operation it should not be necessary to call this method explicitly. It will be implicitly called by the sendmail() when necessary.
Identify yourself to an ESMTP server using EHLO. The hostname argument defaults to the fully qualified domain name of the local host. Examine the response for ESMTP option and store them for use by has_extn(). Also sets several informational attributes: the message returned by the server is stored as the ehlo_resp attribute, does_esmtp is set to true or false depending on whether the server supports ESMTP, and esmtp_features will be a dictionary containing the names of the SMTP service extensions this server supports, and their parameters (if any).
Check the validity of an address on this server using SMTP VRFY. Returns a tuple consisting of code 250 and a full RFC 822 address (including human name) if the user address is valid. Otherwise returns an SMTP error code of 400 or greater and an error string.
Many sites disable SMTP VRFY in order to foil spammers.
Log in on an SMTP server that requires authentication. The arguments are the username and the password to authenticate with. If there has been no previous EHLO or HELO command this session, this method tries ESMTP EHLO first. This method will return normally if the authentication was successful, or may raise the following exceptions:
Put the SMTP connection in TLS (Transport Layer Security) mode. All SMTP commands that follow will be encrypted. You should then call ehlo() again.
If keyfile and certfile are provided, these are passed to the socket module’s ssl() function.
If there has been no previous EHLO or HELO command this session, this method tries ESMTP EHLO first.
Send mail. The required arguments are an RFC 822 from-address string, a list of RFC 822 to-address strings (a bare string will be treated as a list with 1 address), and a message string. The caller may pass a list of ESMTP options (such as 8bitmime) to be used in MAIL FROM commands as mail_options. ESMTP options (such as DSN commands) that should be used with all RCPT commands can be passed as rcpt_options. (If you need to use different ESMTP options to different recipients you have to use the low-level methods such as mail(), rcpt() and data() to send the message.)
The from_addr and to_addrs parameters are used to construct the message envelope used by the transport agents. The SMTP does not modify the message headers in any way.
If there has been no previous EHLO or HELO command this session, this method tries ESMTP EHLO first. If the server does ESMTP, message size and each of the specified options will be passed to it (if the option is in the feature set the server advertises). If EHLO fails, HELO will be tried and ESMTP options suppressed.
This method will return normally if the mail is accepted for at least one recipient. Otherwise it will throw an exception. That is, if this method does not throw an exception, then someone should get your mail. If this method does not throw an exception, it returns a dictionary, with one entry for each recipient that was refused. Each entry contains a tuple of the SMTP error code and the accompanying error message sent by the server.
This method may raise the following exceptions:
Unless otherwise noted, the connection will be open even after an exception is raised.
Low-level methods corresponding to the standard SMTP/ESMTP commands HELP, RSET, NOOP, MAIL, RCPT, and DATA are also supported. Normally these do not need to be called directly, so they are not documented here. For details, consult the module code.
This example prompts the user for addresses needed in the message envelope (‘To’ and ‘From’ addresses), and the message to be delivered. Note that the headers to be included with the message must be included in the message as entered; this example doesn’t do any processing of the RFC 822 headers. In particular, the ‘To’ and ‘From’ addresses must be included in the message headers explicitly.
import smtplib def prompt(prompt): return input(prompt).strip() fromaddr = prompt("From: ") toaddrs = prompt("To: ").split() print("Enter message, end with ^D (Unix) or ^Z (Windows):") # Add the From: and To: headers at the start! msg = ("From: %s\r\nTo: %s\r\n\r\n" % (fromaddr, ", ".join(toaddrs))) while True: try: line = input() except EOFError: break if not line: break msg = msg + line print("Message length is", len(msg)) server = smtplib.SMTP('localhost') server.set_debuglevel(1) server.sendmail(fromaddr, toaddrs, msg) server.quit()