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fetchmail(1)		  fetchmail reference manual		  fetchmail(1)

       fetchmail - fetch mail from a POP, IMAP,	ETRN, or ODMR-capable server

       fetchmail [option...] [mailserver...]

       fetchmail  is  a	mail-retrieval and forwarding utility; it fetches mail
       from remote mailservers and forwards it	to  your  local	 (client)  ma-
       chine's	delivery system.  You can then handle the retrieved mail using
       normal mail user	agents such as mutt(1),	elm(1) or Mail(1).  The	fetch-
       mail utility can	be run in a daemon mode	to repeatedly poll one or more
       systems at a specified interval.

       The fetchmail program can gather	mail from servers  supporting  any  of
       the  common  mail-retrieval protocols: POP2 (legacy, to be removed from
       future release),	POP3, IMAP2bis,	IMAP4, and IMAP4rev1.  It can also use
       the ESMTP ETRN extension	and ODMR.  (The	RFCs describing	all these pro-
       tocols are listed at the	end of this manual page.)

       While fetchmail is primarily intended to	be used	over on-demand	TCP/IP
       links  (such  as	 SLIP  or PPP connections), it may also	be useful as a
       message transfer	agent for sites	which refuse for security  reasons  to
       permit (sender-initiated) SMTP transactions with	sendmail.

       For troubleshooting, tracing and	debugging, you need to increase	fetch-
       mail's verbosity	to actually see	what happens. To do that,  please  run
       both  of	 the  two  following commands, adding all of the options you'd
       normally	use.

	      env LC_ALL=C fetchmail -V	-v --nodetach --nosyslog

	      (This command line prints	in English how	fetchmail  understands
	      your configuration.)

	      env LC_ALL=C fetchmail -vvv  --nodetach --nosyslog

	      (This  command line actually runs	fetchmail with verbose English

       Also see	item #G3 in fetchmail's	FAQ <

       You  can	 omit  the LC_ALL=C part above if you want output in the local
       language	(if supported).	However	if you are posting to  mailing	lists,
       please  leave it	in. The	maintainers do not necessarily understand your
       language, please	use English.

       If fetchmail is used with a POP or an IMAP server (but not with ETRN or
       ODMR),  it has two fundamental modes of operation for each user account
       from which it retrieves mail: singledrop- and multidrop-mode.

       In singledrop-mode,
	      fetchmail	assumes	that all messages in the user's	account	(mail-
	      box)  are	 intended for a	single recipient.  The identity	of the
	      recipient	will either default to the local user  currently  exe-
	      cuting fetchmail,	or will	need to	be explicitly specified	in the
	      configuration file.

	      fetchmail	uses singledrop-mode when the  fetchmailrc  configura-
	      tion  contains  at  most a single	local user specification for a
	      given server account.

       In multidrop-mode,
	      fetchmail	assumes	that the mail server account actually contains
	      mail  intended  for  any number of different recipients.	There-
	      fore, fetchmail must attempt to deduce the proper	"envelope  re-
	      cipient" from the	mail headers of	each message.  In this mode of
	      operation, fetchmail almost  resembles  a	 mail  transfer	 agent

	      Note  that  neither the POP nor IMAP protocols were intended for
	      use in this fashion, and hence envelope information is often not
	      directly	available.   The ISP must stores the envelope informa-
	      tion in some message header and. The ISP	must  also  store  one
	      copy  of	the message per	recipient. If either of	the conditions
	      is not fulfilled,	this process is	unreliable, because  fetchmail
	      must then	resort to guessing the true envelope recipient(s) of a
	      message. This usually fails for mailing list messages and	 Bcc:d
	      mail, or mail for	multiple recipients in your domain.

	      fetchmail	 uses  multidrop-mode  when  more  than	one local user
	      and/or a wildcard	is specified for a particular  server  account
	      in the configuration file.

       In ETRN and ODMR	modes,
	      these  considerations do not apply, as these protocols are based
	      on SMTP, which provides explicit envelope	recipient information.
	      These protocols always support multiple recipients.

       As  each	 message is retrieved, fetchmail normally delivers it via SMTP
       to port 25 on the machine it is running on (localhost), just as	though
       it  were	being passed in	over a normal TCP/IP link.  fetchmail provides
       the SMTP	server with an envelope	recipient derived in  the  manner  de-
       scribed	previously.  The mail will then	be delivered according to your
       MTA's rules (the	Mail Transfer Agent is usually	sendmail(8),  exim(8),
       or  postfix(8)).	  Invoking  your system's MDA (Mail Delivery Agent) is
       the duty	of your	MTA.  All the  delivery-control	 mechanisms  (such  as
       .forward	 files)	 normally  available through your system MTA and local
       delivery	agents will therefore be applied as usual.

       If your fetchmail configuration sets a local MDA	 (see  the  --mda  op-
       tion), it will be used directly instead of talking SMTP to port 25.

       If  the	program	fetchmailconf is available, it will assist you in set-
       ting up and editing a fetchmailrc configuration.	 It runs under	the  X
       window  system and requires that	the language Python and	the Tk toolkit
       (with Python bindings) be present on your system.   If  you  are	 first
       setting	up  fetchmail for single-user mode, it is recommended that you
       use Novice mode.	 Expert	mode provides complete	control	 of  fetchmail
       configuration,  including  the multidrop	features.  In either case, the
       'Autoprobe' button will tell you	the  most  capable  protocol  a	 given
       mailserver  supports,  and  warn	 you  of  potential problems with that

       The behavior of fetchmail is controlled by command-line options	and  a
       run  control file, ~/.fetchmailrc, the syntax of	which we describe in a
       later section (this file	is  what  the  fetchmailconf  program  edits).
       Command-line options override ~/.fetchmailrc declarations.

       Each  server name that you specify following the	options	on the command
       line will be queried.  If you don't specify any servers on the  command
       line, each 'poll' entry in your ~/.fetchmailrc file will	be queried.

       To facilitate the use of	fetchmail in scripts and pipelines, it returns
       an appropriate exit code	upon termination -- see	EXIT CODES below.

       The following options modify the	behavior of fetchmail.	It  is	seldom
       necessary  to specify any of these once you have	a working .fetchmailrc
       file set	up.

       Almost all options have a corresponding keyword which can  be  used  to
       declare them in a .fetchmailrc file.

       Some  special  options are not covered here, but	are documented instead
       in sections on AUTHENTICATION and DAEMON	MODE which follow.

   General Options
       -V | --version
	      Displays the version information for your	copy of	fetchmail.  No
	      mail  fetch  is  performed.  Instead, for	each server specified,
	      all the option information that would be computed	 if  fetchmail
	      were connecting to that server is	displayed.  Any	non-printables
	      in passwords or other string names are shown as  backslashed  C-
	      like escape sequences.  This option is useful for	verifying that
	      your options are set the way you want them.

       -c | --check
	      Return a status code to indicate whether there is	mail  waiting,
	      without  actually	 fetching or deleting mail (see	EXIT CODES be-
	      low).  This option turns off daemon mode (in which it  would  be
	      useless).	  It doesn't play well with queries to multiple	sites,
	      and doesn't work with ETRN or ODMR.  It will return a false pos-
	      itive  if	you leave read but undeleted mail in your server mail-
	      box and your fetch protocol can't	tell kept  messages  from  new
	      ones.   This  means  it will work	with IMAP, not work with POP2,
	      and may occasionally flake out under POP3.

       -s | --silent
	      Silent mode.  Suppresses all progress/status messages  that  are
	      normally	echoed to standard output during a fetch (but does not
	      suppress actual error messages).	The --verbose option overrides

       -v | --verbose
	      Verbose mode.  All control messages passed between fetchmail and
	      the mailserver are echoed	to stdout.  Overrides --silent.	  Dou-
	      bling this option	(-v -v)	causes extra diagnostic	information to
	      be printed.

	      (since v6.3.10, Keyword: set no softbounce, since	v6.3.10)
	      Hard bounce mode.	All permanent delivery errors  cause  messages
	      to  be deleted from the upstream server, see "no softbounce" be-

	      (since v6.3.10, Keyword: set softbounce, since v6.3.10)
	      Soft bounce mode.	All permanent delivery errors  cause  messages
	      to be left on the	upstream server	if the protocol	supports that.
	      This option is on	by default to match historic  fetchmail	 docu-
	      mentation,  and  will be changed to hard bounce mode in the next
	      fetchmail	release.

   Disposal Options
       -a | --all | (since v6.3.3) --fetchall
	      (Keyword:	fetchall, since	v3.0)
	      Retrieve both old	(seen) and new messages	from  the  mailserver.
	      The  default is to fetch only messages the server	has not	marked
	      seen.  Under POP3, this option  also  forces  the	 use  of  RETR
	      rather  than  TOP.   Note	 that POP2 retrieval behaves as	though
	      --all is always on (see RETRIEVAL	FAILURE	MODES below) and  this
	      option  does not work with ETRN or ODMR.	While the -a and --all
	      command-line and fetchall	rcfile options have been supported for
	      a	 long  time,  the  --fetchall command-line option was added in

       -k | --keep
	      (Keyword:	keep)
	      Keep retrieved messages on  the  remote  mailserver.   Normally,
	      messages	are  deleted  from  the	folder on the mailserver after
	      they have	been retrieved.	 Specifying the	keep option causes re-
	      trieved  messages	 to  remain  in	your folder on the mailserver.
	      This option does not work	with ETRN or ODMR. If used with	 POP3,
	      it is recommended	to also	specify	the --uidl option or uidl key-

       -K | --nokeep
	      (Keyword:	nokeep)
	      Delete retrieved messages	from the remote	mailserver.  This  op-
	      tion  forces  retrieved mail to be deleted.  It may be useful if
	      you have specified a default of keep in your .fetchmailrc.  This
	      option is	forced on with ETRN and	ODMR.

       -F | --flush
	      (Keyword:	flush)
	      POP3/IMAP	 only.	 This is a dangerous option and	can cause mail
	      loss when	used improperly. It deletes old	(seen)	messages  from
	      the  mailserver  before  retrieving new messages.	 Warning: This
	      can cause	mail loss if you check your mail  with	other  clients
	      than  fetchmail,	and cause fetchmail to delete a	message	it had
	      never fetched before.  It	can also cause mail loss if  the  mail
	      server  marks  the message seen after retrieval (IMAP2 servers).
	      You should probably not use this option  in  your	 configuration
	      file.  If	 you use it with POP3, you must	use the	'uidl' option.
	      What you probably	want is	the  default  setting:	if  you	 don't
	      specify  '-k', then fetchmail will automatically delete messages
	      after successful delivery.

	      POP3/IMAP	only, since version 6.3.0.  Delete oversized  messages
	      from  the	 mailserver  before  retrieving	new messages. The size
	      limit should be separately specified with	 the  --limit  option.
	      This option does not work	with ETRN or ODMR.

   Protocol and	Query Options
       -p <proto> | --proto <proto> | --protocol <proto>
	      (Keyword:	proto[col])
	      Specify  the  protocol to	use when communicating with the	remote
	      mailserver.  If no protocol is specified,	the default  is	 AUTO.
	      proto may	be one of the following:

	      AUTO   Tries  IMAP,  POP3,  and  POP2 (skipping any of these for
		     which support has not been	compiled in).

	      POP2   Post Office Protocol 2 (legacy, to	be removed from	future

	      POP3   Post Office Protocol 3

	      APOP   Use POP3 with old-fashioned MD5-challenge authentication.
		     Considered	not resistant to man-in-the-middle attacks.

	      RPOP   Use POP3 with RPOP	authentication.

	      KPOP   Use POP3 with Kerberos V4 authentication on port 1109.

	      SDPS   Use POP3 with Demon Internet's SDPS extensions.

	      IMAP   IMAP2bis, IMAP4, or  IMAP4rev1  (fetchmail	 automatically
		     detects their capabilities).

	      ETRN   Use the ESMTP ETRN	option.

	      ODMR   Use the the On-Demand Mail	Relay ESMTP profile.

       All  these  alternatives	 work in basically the same way	(communicating
       with standard server daemons to fetch mail already delivered to a mail-
       box  on	the server) except ETRN	and ODMR.  The ETRN mode allows	you to
       ask a compliant ESMTP server (such as BSD sendmail at release 8.8.0  or
       higher) to immediately open a sender-SMTP connection to your client ma-
       chine and begin forwarding any items addressed to your  client  machine
       in  the server's	queue of undelivered mail.   The ODMR mode requires an
       ODMR-capable server and works similarly to ETRN,	except	that  it  does
       not require the client machine to have a	static DNS.

       -U | --uidl
	      (Keyword:	uidl)
	      Force  UIDL  use	(effective only	with POP3).  Force client-side
	      tracking of 'newness' of messages	(UIDL stands  for  "unique  ID
	      listing" and is described	in RFC1939).  Use with 'keep' to use a
	      mailbox as a baby	news drop for a	group of users.	The fact  that
	      seen  messages  are  skipped  is logged, unless error logging is
	      done through syslog while	running	in  daemon  mode.   Note  that
	      fetchmail	 may automatically enable this option depending	on up-
	      stream server capabilities.  Note	also that this option  may  be
	      removed  and  forced  enabled in a future	fetchmail version. See
	      also: --idfile.

       --idle (since 6.3.3)
	      (Keyword:	idle, since before 6.0.0)
	      Enable IDLE use (effective only with IMAP). Note that this works
	      with  only  one  folder  at a given time.	 While the idle	rcfile
	      keyword had been supported for a long time, the --idle  command-
	      line  option  was	 added	in  version 6.3.3. IDLE	use means that
	      fetchmail	tells the IMAP server to send notice of	new  messages,
	      so they can be retrieved sooner than would be possible with reg-
	      ular polls.

       -P <portnumber> | --service <servicename>
	      (Keyword:	service) Since version 6.3.0.
	      The service option permits you to	specify	a service name to con-
	      nect  to.	  You  can specify a decimal port number here, if your
	      services database	lacks the required  service-port  assignments.
	      See  the	FAQ  item R12 and the --ssl documentation for details.
	      This replaces the	older --port option.

       --port <portnumber>
	      (Keyword:	port)
	      Obsolete version of --service that does not take service	names.
	      Note: this option	may be removed from a future version.

       --principal <principal>
	      (Keyword:	principal)
	      The  principal option permits you	to specify a service principal
	      for mutual authentication.  This is applicable to	POP3  or  IMAP
	      with  Kerberos 4 authentication only.  It	does not apply to Ker-
	      beros 5 or GSSAPI.  This option  may  be	removed	 in  a	future
	      fetchmail	version.

       -t <seconds> | --timeout	<seconds>
	      (Keyword:	timeout)
	      The  timeout option allows you to	set a server-nonresponse time-
	      out in seconds.  If a mailserver does not	send a	greeting  mes-
	      sage  or	respond	 to  commands for the given number of seconds,
	      fetchmail	will drop the connection to it.	 Without such a	 time-
	      out  fetchmail  might  hang  until the TCP connection times out,
	      trying to	fetch mail from	a down host, which may be  very	 long.
	      This  would  be particularly annoying for	a fetchmail running in
	      the background.  There is	a default timeout which	 fetchmail  -V
	      will  report.   If a given connection receives too many timeouts
	      in succession, fetchmail will consider it	wedged and stop	retry-
	      ing.   The  calling  user	will be	notified by email if this hap-

	      Beginning	with fetchmail 6.3.10, the SMTP	client uses the	recom-
	      mended  minimum  timeouts	 from  RFC-5321	 while waiting for the
	      SMTP/LMTP	server it is talking to.  You can raise	 the  timeouts
	      even  more,  but	you  cannot  shorten  them. This is to avoid a
	      painful situation	where fetchmail	has  been  configured  with  a
	      short  timeout  (a  minute  or less), ships a long message (many
	      MBytes) to the local MTA,	which then takes longer	 than  timeout
	      to  respond  "OK", which it eventually will; that	would mean the
	      mail gets	delivered properly, but	fetchmail cannot notice	it and
	      will thus	refetch	this big message over and over again.

       --plugin	<command>
	      (Keyword:	plugin)
	      The  plugin  option allows you to	use an external	program	to es-
	      tablish the TCP connection.  This	is useful if you want  to  use
	      ssh,  or	need some special firewalling setup.  The program will
	      be looked	up in $PATH and	can optionally be passed the  hostname
	      and  port	 as  arguments	using "%h" and "%p" respectively (note
	      that the interpolation logic is rather primitive,	and these  to-
	      kens must	be bounded by whitespace or beginning of string	or end
	      of string).  Fetchmail will write	to the plugin's	stdin and read
	      from the plugin's	stdout.

       --plugout <command>
	      (Keyword:	plugout)
	      Identical	 to  the plugin	option above, but this one is used for
	      the SMTP connections.

       -r <name> | --folder <name>
	      (Keyword:	folder[s])
	      Causes a specified non-default mail folder on the	mailserver (or
	      comma-separated list of folders) to be retrieved.	 The syntax of
	      the folder name is server-dependent.  This option	is not	avail-
	      able under POP3, ETRN, or	ODMR.

	      (Keyword:	tracepolls)
	      Tell  fetchmail  to  poll	trace information in the form 'polling
	      account %s' and 'folder %s' to the Received line	it  generates,
	      where  the  %s parts are replaced	by the user's remote name, the
	      poll label, and the folder (mailbox) where  available  (the  Re-
	      ceived  header  also  normally includes the server's true	name).
	      This can be used to facilitate mail filtering based on  the  ac-
	      count it is being	received from. The folder information is writ-
	      ten only since version 6.3.4.

       --ssl  (Keyword:	ssl)
	      Causes the connection to the mail	server	to  be	encrypted  via
	      SSL.   Connect  to  the server using the specified base protocol
	      over a connection	secured	by SSL.	 This  option  defeats	oppor-
	      tunistic	starttls  negotiation. It is highly recommended	to use
	      --sslproto 'SSL3'	--sslcertck to validate	the certificates  pre-
	      sented  by the server and	defeat the obsolete SSLv2 negotiation.
	      More information is available in the README.SSL file that	 ships
	      with fetchmail.

	      Note  that  fetchmail  may  still	 try  to negotiate SSL through
	      starttls even if this option is omitted. You can use the	--ssl-
	      proto  option to defeat this behavior or tell fetchmail to nego-
	      tiate a particular SSL protocol.

	      If no port is specified, the connection is attempted to the well
	      known  port  of  the  SSL	version	of the base protocol.  This is
	      generally	a different port than the port used by the base	proto-
	      col.  For	IMAP, this is port 143 for the clear protocol and port
	      993 for the SSL secured protocol,	for POP3, it is	port  110  for
	      the clear	text and port 995 for the encrypted variant.

	      If  your	system	lacks the corresponding	entries	from /etc/ser-
	      vices, see the --service option and  specify  the	 numeric  port
	      number  as  given	in the previous	paragraph (unless your ISP had
	      directed you to different	ports, which is	uncommon however).

       --sslcert <name>
	      (Keyword:	sslcert)
	      For certificate-based client authentication.  Some SSL encrypted
	      servers  require client side keys	and certificates for authenti-
	      cation.  In most cases, this is optional.	  This	specifies  the
	      location	of  the	 public	key certificate	to be presented	to the
	      server at	the time the SSL session is established.   It  is  not
	      required	(but  may  be provided)	if the server does not require
	      it.  It may be the same file as the private  key	(combined  key
	      and  certificate	file)  but  this  is not recommended. Also see
	      --sslkey below.

	      NOTE: If you use client authentication, the user name is fetched
	      from  the	 certificate's	CommonName  and	overrides the name set
	      with --user.

       --sslkey	<name>
	      (Keyword:	sslkey)
	      Specifies	the file name of the  client  side  private  SSL  key.
	      Some SSL encrypted servers require client	side keys and certifi-
	      cates for	authentication.	 In  most  cases,  this	 is  optional.
	      This  specifies  the  location  of  the private key used to sign
	      transactions with	the server at the time the SSL session is  es-
	      tablished.   It  is  not	required  (but may be provided)	if the
	      server does not require it. It may be the	same file as the  pub-
	      lic key (combined	key and	certificate file) but this is not rec-

	      If a password is required	to unlock the key, it will be prompted
	      for  at  the  time just prior to establishing the	session	to the
	      server.  This can	cause some complications in daemon mode.

	      Also see --sslcert above.

       --sslproto <name>
	      (Keyword:	sslproto)
	      Forces an	SSL/TLS	protocol. Possible values are '', 'SSL2'  (not
	      supported	 on all	systems), 'SSL23', (use	of these two values is
	      discouraged and should only be used as a	last  resort)  'SSL3',
	      and  'TLS1'.   The default behaviour if this option is unset is:
	      for connections without --ssl, use 'TLS1'	so that	fetchmail will
	      opportunistically	 try  STARTTLS	negotiation with TLS1. You can
	      configure	this option explicitly if the default handshake	 (TLS1
	      if --ssl is not used) does not work for your server.

	      Use  this	option with 'TLS1' value to enforce a STARTTLS connec-
	      tion. In this  mode,  it	is  highly  recommended	 to  also  use
	      --sslcertck  (see	below).	 Note that this	will then cause	fetch-
	      mail v6.3.19 to force STARTTLS negotiation even if it is not ad-
	      vertised by the server.

	      To defeat	opportunistic TLSv1 negotiation	when the server	adver-
	      tises STARTTLS or	STLS, and use a	cleartext connection  use  ''.
	      This option, even	if the argument	is the empty string, will also
	      suppress the diagnostic 'SERVER: opportunistic upgrade to	 TLS.'
	      message  in verbose mode.	The default is to try appropriate pro-
	      tocols depending on context.

	      (Keyword:	sslcertck)
	      Causes  fetchmail	 to  strictly  check  the  server  certificate
	      against a	set of local trusted certificates (see the sslcertfile
	      and sslcertpath options).	If the server  certificate  cannot  be
	      obtained	or  is not signed by one of the	trusted	ones (directly
	      or indirectly), the SSL connection will fail, regardless of  the
	      sslfingerprint option.

	      Note  that CRL (certificate revocation lists) are	only supported
	      in OpenSSL 0.9.7 and newer! Your system  clock  should  also  be
	      reasonably accurate when using this option.

	      Note  that this optional behavior	may become default behavior in
	      future fetchmail versions.

       --sslcertfile <file>
	      (Keyword:	sslcertfile, since v6.3.17)
	      Sets the file fetchmail uses to look up local certificates.  The
	      default  is  empty.  This	can be given in	addition to --sslcert-
	      path below, and certificates specified in	--sslcertfile will  be
	      processed	before those in	--sslcertpath.	The option can be used
	      in addition to --sslcertpath.

	      The file is a  text  file.  It  contains	the  concatenation  of
	      trusted CA certificates in PEM format.

	      Note  that  using	 this option will suppress loading the default
	      SSL trusted CA certificates file unless you set the  environment
	      variable	FETCHMAIL_INCLUDE_DEFAULT_X509_CA_CERTS	to a non-empty

       --sslcertpath <directory>
	      (Keyword:	sslcertpath)
	      Sets the directory fetchmail uses	to look	up local certificates.
	      The  default  is	your  OpenSSL default directory. The directory
	      must be hashed the way OpenSSL expects it	- every	time  you  add
	      or  modify  a  certificate in the	directory, you need to use the
	      c_rehash tool (which comes with OpenSSL in the tools/  subdirec-
	      tory).  Also,  after OpenSSL upgrades, you may need to run c_re-
	      hash; particularly when upgrading	from 0.9.X to 1.0.0.

	      This can be given	in addition to --sslcertfile above, which  see
	      for precedence rules.

	      Note that	using this option will suppress	adding the default SSL
	      trusted CA certificates directory	unless you set the environment
	      variable	FETCHMAIL_INCLUDE_DEFAULT_X509_CA_CERTS	to a non-empty

       --sslcommonname <common name>
	      (Keyword:	sslcommonname; since v6.3.9)
	      Use of this option is discouraged. Before	using it, contact  the
	      administrator  of	 your upstream server and ask for a proper SSL
	      certificate to be	used. If that cannot be	attained, this	option
	      can  be used to specify the name (CommonName) that fetchmail ex-
	      pects on the server certificate.	A correctly configured	server
	      will  have  this set to the hostname by which it is reached, and
	      by default fetchmail will	expect as much.	Use this  option  when
	      the  CommonName is set to	some other value, to avoid the "Server
	      CommonName mismatch" warning, and	only if	 the  upstream	server
	      can't be made to use proper certificates.

       --sslfingerprint	<fingerprint>
	      (Keyword:	sslfingerprint)
	      Specify  the  fingerprint	 of the	server key (an MD5 hash	of the
	      key) in hexadecimal notation with	colons	separating  groups  of
	      two digits. The letter hex digits	must be	in upper case. This is
	      the format that fetchmail	uses to	report the fingerprint when an
	      SSL connection is	established. When this is specified, fetchmail
	      will compare the server key fingerprint with the given one,  and
	      the connection will fail if they do not match, regardless	of the
	      sslcertck	setting. The connection	will also  fail	 if  fetchmail
	      cannot  obtain  an SSL certificate from the server.  This	can be
	      used to prevent man-in-the-middle	attacks, but the finger	 print
	      from  the	 server	needs to be obtained or	verified over a	secure
	      channel, and certainly not over  the  same  Internet  connection
	      that fetchmail would use.

	      Using this option	will prevent printing certificate verification
	      errors as	long as	--sslcertck is unset.

	      To obtain	the fingerprint	of a certificate stored	 in  the  file
	      cert.pem,	try:

		   openssl x509	-in cert.pem -noout -md5 -fingerprint

	      For details, see x509(1ssl).

   Delivery Control Options
       -S <hosts> | --smtphost <hosts>
	      (Keyword:	smtp[host])
	      Specify  a  hunt	list  of hosts to forward mail to (one or more
	      hostnames, comma-separated). Hosts are tried in list order;  the
	      first  one that is up becomes the	forwarding target for the cur-
	      rent run.	 If this option	is not specified, 'localhost' is  used
	      as  the default.	Each hostname may have a port number following
	      the host name.  The port number is separated from	the host  name
	      by a slash; the default port is "smtp".  If you specify an abso-
	      lute path	name (beginning	with a /), it will be  interpreted  as
	      the name of a UNIX socket	accepting LMTP connections (such as is
	      supported	by the Cyrus IMAP daemon) Example:

		   --smtphost server1,server2/2525,server3,/var/imap/socket/lmtp

	      This option can be used with ODMR, and will make fetchmail a re-
	      lay between the ODMR server and SMTP or LMTP receiver.

       --fetchdomains <hosts>
	      (Keyword:	fetchdomains)
	      In  ETRN or ODMR mode, this option specifies the list of domains
	      the server should	ship mail for once the	connection  is	turned
	      around.	The  default is	the FQDN of the	machine	running	fetch-

       -D <domain> | --smtpaddress <domain>
	      (Keyword:	smtpaddress)
	      Specify the domain to be appended	to addresses in	RCPT TO	 lines
	      shipped  to  SMTP.  When	this is	not specified, the name	of the
	      SMTP server (as specified	by --smtphost) is used	for  SMTP/LMTP
	      and 'localhost' is used for UNIX socket/BSMTP.

       --smtpname <user@domain>
	      (Keyword:	smtpname)
	      Specify  the  domain and user to be put in RCPT TO lines shipped
	      to SMTP.	The default user is the	current	local user.

       -Z <nnn>	| --antispam <nnn[, nnn]...>
	      (Keyword:	antispam)
	      Specifies	the list of numeric SMTP errors	that are to be	inter-
	      preted  as  a spam-block response	from the listener.  A value of
	      -1 disables this option.	For the	command-line option, the  list
	      values should be comma-separated.

       -m <command> | --mda <command>
	      (Keyword:	mda)
	      This option lets fetchmail use a Message or Local	Delivery Agent
	      (MDA or LDA) directly, rather than forward via SMTP or LMTP.

	      To avoid losing mail, use	this option only with MDAs like	 mail-
	      drop  or	MTAs  like sendmail that exit with a nonzero status on
	      disk-full	and other delivery errors; the	nonzero	 status	 tells
	      fetchmail	that delivery failed and prevents the message from be-
	      ing deleted on the server.

	      If fetchmail is running as root, it sets its user	id  while  de-
	      livering	mail  through  an  MDA	as follows:  First, the	FETCH-
	      MAILUSER,	LOGNAME, and USER environment variables	are checked in
	      this  order.  The	value of the first variable from his list that
	      is defined (even if it is	empty!)	is looked  up  in  the	system
	      user  database.  If  none	of the variables is defined, fetchmail
	      will use the real	user id	it was started with.  If  one  of  the
	      variables	 was  defined,	but the	user stated there isn't	found,
	      fetchmail	continues running as root, without checking  remaining
	      variables	 on the	list.  Practically, this means that if you run
	      fetchmail	as root	(not recommended), it is most useful to	define
	      the  FETCHMAILUSER environment variable to set the user that the
	      MDA should run as. Some MDAs (such as maildrop) are designed  to
	      be  setuid  root	and  setuid to the recipient's user id,	so you
	      don't lose functionality this way	even when running fetchmail as
	      unprivileged user.  Check	the MDA's manual for details.

	      Some  possible  MDAs  are	 "/usr/sbin/sendmail  -i  -f %F	-- %T"
	      (Note: some several older	or vendor sendmail versions mistake --
	      for  an address, rather than an indicator	to mark	the end	of the
	      option arguments), "/usr/bin/deliver" and	"/usr/bin/maildrop  -d
	      %T".   Local  delivery  addresses	 will be inserted into the MDA
	      command wherever you place a %T; the mail	message's From address
	      will be inserted where you place an %F.

	      Do  NOT  enclose the %F or %T string in single quotes!  For both
	      %T and %F, fetchmail encloses the	 addresses  in	single	quotes
	      ('),  after  removing any	single quotes they may contain,	before
	      the MDA command is passed	to the shell.

	      Do NOT use an MDA	invocation that	dispatches on the contents  of
	      To/Cc/Bcc, like "sendmail	-i -t" or "qmail-inject", it will cre-
	      ate mail loops and bring the just	wrath of many postmasters down
	      upon  your head.	This is	one of the most	frequent configuration

	      Also, do not try to combine multidrop mode with an MDA  such  as
	      maildrop	that can only accept one address, unless your upstream
	      stores one copy of the message per recipient and transports  the
	      envelope recipient in a header; you will lose mail.

	      The  well-known  procmail(1)  package  is	very hard to configure
	      properly,	it has a very nasty "fall through to  the  next	 rule"
	      behavior on delivery errors (even	temporary ones,	such as	out of
	      disk space if another user's  mail  daemon  copies  the  mailbox
	      around  to  purge	old messages), so your mail will end up	in the
	      wrong mailbox sooner or later. The proper	procmail configuration
	      is outside the scope of this document. Using maildrop(1) is usu-
	      ally much	easier,	and many users find the	filter syntax used  by
	      maildrop easier to understand.

	      Finally,	we  strongly  advise that you do not use qmail-inject.
	      The command line interface  is  non-standard  without  providing
	      benefits for typical use,	and fetchmail makes no attempts	to ac-
	      commodate	qmail-inject's deviations from the standard.  Some  of
	      qmail-inject's command-line and environment options are actually
	      dangerous	and can	cause broken threads,  non-detected  duplicate
	      messages and forwarding loops.

       --lmtp (Keyword:	lmtp)
	      Cause  delivery via LMTP (Local Mail Transfer Protocol).	A ser-
	      vice host	and port must be explicitly specified on each host  in
	      the  smtphost  hunt list (see above) if this option is selected;
	      the default port 25 will (in accordance with RFC	2033)  not  be

       --bsmtp <filename>
	      (Keyword:	bsmtp)
	      Append  fetched  mail to a BSMTP file.  This simply contains the
	      SMTP commands that would normally	be generated by	fetchmail when
	      passing mail to an SMTP listener daemon.

	      An  argument of '-' causes the SMTP batch	to be written to stan-
	      dard output, which is of limited use: this only makes sense  for
	      debugging, because fetchmail's regular output is interspersed on
	      the same channel,	so this	isn't suitable for mail	delivery. This
	      special mode may be removed in a later release.

	      Note  that  fetchmail's  reconstruction of MAIL FROM and RCPT TO
	      lines is not guaranteed correct; the caveats discussed under THE
	      USE AND ABUSE OF MULTIDROP MAILBOXES below apply.	 This mode has
	      precedence before	--mda and SMTP/LMTP.

       --bad-header {reject|accept}
	      (Keyword:	bad-header; since v6.3.15)
	      Specify how fetchmail is supposed	to  treat  messages  with  bad
	      headers, i. e. headers with bad syntax. Traditionally, fetchmail
	      has rejected  such  messages,  but  some	distributors  modified
	      fetchmail	 to accept them. You can now configure fetchmail's be-
	      haviour per server.

   Resource Limit Control Options
       -l <maxbytes> | --limit <maxbytes>
	      (Keyword:	limit)
	      Takes a maximum octet size argument, where 0 is the default  and
	      also the special value designating "no limit".  If nonzero, mes-
	      sages larger than	this size will not be fetched and will be left
	      on  the  server  (in  foreground sessions, the progress messages
	      will note	that they are "oversized").   If  the  fetch  protocol
	      permits  (in particular, under IMAP or POP3 without the fetchall
	      option) the message will not be marked seen.

	      An explicit --limit of 0 overrides any limits set	 in  your  run
	      control  file.  This  option  is	intended  for those needing to
	      strictly control fetch time due to expensive and variable	 phone

	      Combined	with  --limitflush, it can be used to delete oversized
	      messages waiting on a server.  In	daemon mode, oversize  notifi-
	      cations  are  mailed to the calling user (see the	--warnings op-
	      tion). This option does not work with ETRN or ODMR.

       -w <interval> | --warnings <interval>
	      (Keyword:	warnings)
	      Takes an interval	in seconds.  When you call  fetchmail  with  a
	      'limit'  option  in  daemon  mode, this controls the interval at
	      which warnings about oversized messages are mailed to the	 call-
	      ing  user	 (or  the  user	specified by the 'postmaster' option).
	      One such notification is always mailed at	the  end  of  the  the
	      first  poll that the oversized message is	detected.  Thereafter,
	      re-notification is suppressed until after	the  warning  interval
	      elapses  (it  will  take place at	the end	of the first following

       -b <count> | --batchlimit <count>
	      (Keyword:	batchlimit)
	      Specify the maximum number of messages that will be  shipped  to
	      an SMTP listener before the connection is	deliberately torn down
	      and rebuilt (defaults to 0,  meaning  no	limit).	  An  explicit
	      --batchlimit  of	0 overrides any	limits set in your run control
	      file.  While sendmail(8) normally	initiates delivery of  a  mes-
	      sage  immediately	 after	receiving the message terminator, some
	      SMTP listeners are not so	prompt.	 MTAs like smail(8)  may  wait
	      till the delivery	socket is shut down to deliver.	 This may pro-
	      duce annoying delays when	fetchmail  is  processing  very	 large
	      batches.	Setting	the batch limit	to some	nonzero	size will pre-
	      vent these delays.  This option does not work with ETRN or ODMR.

       -B <number> | --fetchlimit <number>
	      (Keyword:	fetchlimit)
	      Limit the	number of messages accepted from a given server	 in  a
	      single poll.  By default there is	no limit. An explicit --fetch-
	      limit of 0 overrides any limits set in your  run	control	 file.
	      This option does not work	with ETRN or ODMR.

       --fetchsizelimit	<number>
	      (Keyword:	fetchsizelimit)
	      Limit  the  number  of  sizes  of	messages accepted from a given
	      server in	a single transaction.  This option is useful in	reduc-
	      ing  the	delay in downloading the first mail when there are too
	      many mails in the	mailbox.  By default, the limit	 is  100.   If
	      set  to  0,  sizes  of all messages are downloaded at the	start.
	      This option does not work	with ETRN or ODMR.  For	POP3, the only
	      valid non-zero value is 1.

       --fastuidl <number>
	      (Keyword:	fastuidl)
	      Do  a  binary instead of linear search for the first unseen UID.
	      Binary search avoids downloading the UIDs	 of  all  mails.  This
	      saves  time  (especially	in  daemon mode) where downloading the
	      same set of UIDs in each poll is a waste of bandwidth. The  num-
	      ber  'n' indicates how rarely a linear search should be done. In
	      daemon mode, linear search  is  used  once  followed  by	binary
	      searches	in 'n-1' polls if 'n' is greater than 1; binary	search
	      is always	used if	'n' is 1; linear search	is always used if  'n'
	      is  0.  In  non-daemon  mode, binary search is used if 'n' is 1;
	      otherwise	linear search is used. The default value of 'n'	is  4.
	      This option works	with POP3 only.

       -e <count> | --expunge <count>
	      (Keyword:	expunge)
	      Arrange  for  deletions to be made final after a given number of
	      messages.	 Under POP2 or POP3, fetchmail cannot  make  deletions
	      final  without  sending QUIT and ending the session -- with this
	      option on, fetchmail will	break a	long  mail  retrieval  session
	      into multiple sub-sessions, sending QUIT after each sub-session.
	      This is a	good defense against line drops	on POP3	servers.   Un-
	      der  IMAP,  fetchmail  normally  issues an EXPUNGE command after
	      each deletion in order to	force the deletion to be done  immedi-
	      ately.   This  is	 safest	 when your connection to the server is
	      flaky and	expensive, as it avoids	resending duplicate mail after
	      a	 line hit.  However, on	large mailboxes	the overhead of	re-in-
	      dexing after every message can slam the server pretty  hard,  so
	      if  your	connection  is reliable	it is good to do expunges less
	      frequently.  Also	note that some servers enforce a  delay	 of  a
	      few seconds after	each quit, so fetchmail	may not	be able	to get
	      back in immediately after	an expunge -- you may see "lock	 busy"
	      errors if	this happens. If you specify this option to an integer
	      N, it tells fetchmail  to	 only  issue  expunges	on  every  Nth
	      delete.  An argument of zero suppresses expunges entirely	(so no
	      expunges at all will be done until the end of run).  This	option
	      does not work with ETRN or ODMR.

   Authentication Options
       -u <name> | --user <name> | --username <name>
	      (Keyword:	user[name])
	      Specifies	 the user identification to be used when logging in to
	      the mailserver.  The appropriate	user  identification  is  both
	      server  and  user-dependent.   The default is your login name on
	      the client machine that is running fetchmail.  See USER  AUTHEN-
	      TICATION below for a complete description.

       -I <specification> | --interface	<specification>
	      (Keyword:	interface)
	      Require  that  a specific	interface device be up and have	a spe-
	      cific local or remote IPv4 (IPv6 is not supported	by this	option
	      yet) address (or range) before polling.  Frequently fetchmail is
	      used over	a transient point-to-point TCP/IP link established di-
	      rectly  to  a  mailserver	via SLIP or PPP.  That is a relatively
	      secure channel.  But when	other TCP/IP routes to the  mailserver
	      exist  (e.g.  when  the  link is connected to an alternate ISP),
	      your username and	password may be	vulnerable to snooping	(espe-
	      cially when daemon mode automatically polls for mail, shipping a
	      clear password over the  net  at	predictable  intervals).   The
	      --interface option may be	used to	prevent	this.  When the	speci-
	      fied link	is not up or is	not connected to  a  matching  IP  ad-
	      dress, polling will be skipped.  The format is:


	      The  field  before  the  first slash is the interface name (i.e.
	      sl0, ppp0	etc.).	The field before the second slash is  the  ac-
	      ceptable IP address.  The	field after the	second slash is	a mask
	      which specifies a	range of IP addresses to accept.  If  no  mask
	      is  present  is	assumed	(i.e. an exact match).
	      This option is currently only supported under Linux and FreeBSD.
	      Please  see  the	monitor	section	for below for FreeBSD specific

	      Note that	this option may	be removed  from  a  future  fetchmail

       -M <interface> |	--monitor <interface>
	      (Keyword:	monitor)
	      Daemon  mode  can	 cause transient links which are automatically
	      taken down after a period	of inactivity (e.g. PPP	links) to  re-
	      main  up	indefinitely.	This option identifies a system	TCP/IP
	      interface	to be monitored	for activity.  After each poll	inter-
	      val, if the link is up but no other activity has occurred	on the
	      link, then the poll will be skipped.  However, when fetchmail is
	      woken  up	by a signal, the monitor check is skipped and the poll
	      goes through unconditionally.  This  option  is  currently  only
	      supported	 under	Linux and FreeBSD.  For	the monitor and	inter-
	      face options to work for	non  root  users  under	 FreeBSD,  the
	      fetchmail	 binary	 must be installed SGID	kmem.  This would be a
	      security hole, but fetchmail runs	with the effective GID set  to
	      that  of	the  kmem group	only when interface data is being col-

	      Note that	this option may	be removed  from  a  future  fetchmail

       --auth <type>
	      (Keyword:	auth[enticate])
	      This  option  permits you	to specify an authentication type (see
	      USER AUTHENTICATION below	for details).  The possible values are
	      any,  password,  kerberos_v5, kerberos (or, for excruciating ex-
	      actness, kerberos_v4), gssapi, cram-md5, otp,  ntlm,  msn	 (only
	      for POP3), external (only	IMAP) and ssh.	When any (the default)
	      is specified, fetchmail tries first methods that don't require a
	      password	(EXTERNAL,  GSSAPI,  KERBEROS IV, KERBEROS 5); then it
	      looks for	methods	that mask your password	(CRAM-MD5, NTLM, X-OTP
	      -	note that MSN is only supported	for POP3, but not autoprobed);
	      and only if the server doesn't support any of those will it ship
	      your password en clair.  Other values may	be used	to force vari-
	      ous authentication methods (ssh suppresses authentication	and is
	      thus useful for IMAP PREAUTH).  (external	suppresses authentica-
	      tion and is thus useful for IMAP	EXTERNAL).   Any  value	 other
	      than password, cram-md5, ntlm, msn or otp	suppresses fetchmail's
	      normal inquiry for a password.  Specify ssh when you  are	 using
	      an  end-to-end  secure connection	such as	an ssh tunnel; specify
	      external when you	use TLS	with client authentication and specify
	      gssapi  or  kerberos_v4 if you are using a protocol variant that
	      employs GSSAPI or	K4.  Choosing KPOP protocol automatically  se-
	      lects  Kerberos  authentication.	This option does not work with
	      ETRN.  GSSAPI service names are in line with RFC-2743  and  IANA
	      registrations, see Generic Security Service Application Program
	      Interface	(GSSAPI)/Kerberos/Simple Authentication	and Security
	      Layer (SASL) Service Names <

   Miscellaneous Options
       -f <pathname> | --fetchmailrc <pathname>
	      Specify a	non-default name for the  ~/.fetchmailrc  run  control
	      file.   The pathname argument must be either "-" (a single dash,
	      meaning to read the configuration	 from  standard	 input)	 or  a
	      filename.	  Unless the --version option is also on, a named file
	      argument	must  have  permissions	 no  more   open   than	  0700
	      (u=rwx,g=,o=) or else be /dev/null.

       -i <pathname> | --idfile	<pathname>
	      (Keyword:	idfile)
	      Specify  an  alternate  name for the .fetchids file used to save
	      message UIDs. NOTE: since	fetchmail 6.3.0, write access  to  the
	      directory	containing the idfile is required, as fetchmail	writes
	      a	temporary file and renames it into the place of	the  real  id-
	      file  only  if the temporary file	has been written successfully.
	      This avoids the truncation of idfiles when running out  of  disk

       --pidfile <pathname>
	      (Keyword:	pidfile; since fetchmail v6.3.4)
	      Override the default location of the PID file. Default: see "EN-
	      VIRONMENT" below.

       -n | --norewrite
	      (Keyword:	no rewrite)
	      Normally,	fetchmail edits	RFC-822	address	headers	(To, From, Cc,
	      Bcc, and Reply-To) in fetched mail so that any mail IDs local to
	      the server are expanded to full addresses	(@ and the  mailserver
	      hostname	are  appended).	 This enables replies on the client to
	      get addressed correctly (otherwise your mailer might think  they
	      should  be  addressed  to	 local	users on the client machine!).
	      This option disables the rewrite.	 (This option is  provided  to
	      pacify  people  who  are	paranoid about having an MTA edit mail
	      headers and want to know they can	prevent	it, but	it  is	gener-
	      ally  not	a good idea to actually	turn off rewrite.)  When using
	      ETRN or ODMR, the	rewrite	option is ineffective.

       -E <line> | --envelope <line>
	      (Keyword:	envelope; Multidrop only)
	      In the configuration file, an enhanced syntax is used:
	      envelope [<count>] <line>

	      This option changes the header fetchmail assumes	will  carry  a
	      copy  of the mail's envelope address.  Normally this is 'X-Enve-
	      lope-To'.	 Other typically found headers to carry	 envelope  in-
	      formation	 are  'X-Original-To'  and 'Delivered-To'.  Now, since
	      these headers are	not standardized,  practice  varies.  See  the
	      discussion  of  multidrop	 address handling below.  As a special
	      case, 'envelope "Received"' enables  parsing  of	sendmail-style
	      Received lines.  This is the default, but	discouraged because it
	      is not fully reliable.

	      Note that	fetchmail expects the Received-line to be  in  a  spe-
	      cific  format: It	must contain "by host for address", where host
	      must match one of	the mailserver names that fetchmail recognizes
	      for the account in question.

	      The optional count argument (only	available in the configuration
	      file) determines how many	header lines of	this kind are skipped.
	      A	 count of 1 means: skip	the first, take	the second. A count of
	      2	means: skip the	first and second, take the third, and so on.

       -Q <prefix> | --qvirtual	<prefix>
	      (Keyword:	qvirtual; Multidrop only)
	      The string prefix	assigned to this option	will be	 removed  from
	      the  user	 name  found in	the header specified with the envelope
	      option (before  doing  multidrop	name  mapping  or  localdomain
	      checking,	if either is applicable). This option is useful	if you
	      are using	fetchmail to collect the mail for an entire domain and
	      your  ISP	 (or  your  mail redirection provider) is using	qmail.
	      One of the basic features	of qmail is the	Delivered-To:  message
	      header.  Whenever	qmail delivers a message to a local mailbox it
	      puts the username	and hostname of	the envelope recipient on this
	      line.   The  major reason	for this is to prevent mail loops.  To
	      set up qmail to batch mail for a disconnected site the ISP-mail-
	      host will	have normally put that site in its 'Virtualhosts' con-
	      trol file	so it will add a prefix	to all mail addresses for this
	      site.  This  results  in	mail  sent to 'username@userhost.user-' having a Delivered-To: line of the form:


       The ISP can make	the 'mbox-userstr-' prefix anything they choose	but  a
       string matching the user	host name is likely.  By using the option 'en-
       velope Delivered-To:' you can  make  fetchmail  reliably	 identify  the
       original	 envelope recipient, but you have to strip the 'mbox-userstr-'
       prefix to deliver to the	correct	user.  This is	what  this  option  is

	      Parse  the  ~/.fetchmailrc  file,	interpret any command-line op-
	      tions specified, and dump	a  configuration  report  to  standard
	      output.  The configuration report	is a data structure assignment
	      in the language Python.  This option is meant to be used with an
	      interactive ~/.fetchmailrc editor	like fetchmailconf, written in

   Removed Options
       -T | --netsec
	      Removed before version 6.3.0, the	required underlying inet6_apps
	      library had been discontinued and	is no longer available.

       All  modes  except  ETRN	 require  authentication  of the client	to the
       server.	Normal user authentication in fetchmail	is very	much like  the
       authentication  mechanism  of ftp(1).  The correct user-id and password
       depend upon the underlying security system at the mailserver.

       If the mailserver is a Unix machine on which you	have an	ordinary  user
       account,	 your regular login name and password are used with fetchmail.
       If you use the same login name on both the server and  the  client  ma-
       chines, you needn't worry about specifying a user-id with the -u	option
       -- the default behavior is to use your login name on the	client machine
       as  the	user-id	 on  the server	machine.  If you use a different login
       name on the server machine, specify that	login name with	the -u option.
       e.g. if your login name is 'jsmith' on a	machine	named 'mailgrunt', you
       would start fetchmail as	follows:

	      fetchmail	-u jsmith mailgrunt

       The default behavior of fetchmail is to prompt you for your  mailserver
       password	 before	the connection is established.	This is	the safest way
       to use fetchmail	and ensures that your password	will  not  be  compro-
       mised.  You may also specify your password in your ~/.fetchmailrc file.
       This is convenient when using fetchmail in daemon mode or with scripts.

   Using netrc files
       If you do not specify a password, and fetchmail cannot extract one from
       your ~/.fetchmailrc file, it will look for a ~/.netrc file in your home
       directory before	requesting one interactively; if an entry matching the
       mailserver is found in that file, the password will be used.  Fetchmail
       first looks for a match on poll name; if	it finds none, it checks for a
       match  on  via name.  See the ftp(1) man	page for details of the	syntax
       of the ~/.netrc file.  To show a	practical example, a .netrc might look
       like this:

	      login joe
	      password topsecret

       You  can	 repeat	this block with	different user information if you need
       to provide more than one	password.

       This feature may	allow you to avoid duplicating password	information in
       more than one file.

       On mailservers that do not provide ordinary user	accounts, your user-id
       and password are	usually	assigned by the	server administrator when  you
       apply  for  a mailbox on	the server.  Contact your server administrator
       if you don't know the correct user-id and password for your mailbox ac-

       Early versions of POP3 (RFC1081,	RFC1225) supported a crude form	of in-
       dependent authentication	using the .rhosts file on the mailserver side.
       Under  this  RPOP variant, a fixed per-user ID equivalent to a password
       was sent	in clear over a	link to	a reserved port, with the command RPOP
       rather  than  PASS to alert the server that it should do	special	check-
       ing.  RPOP is supported by fetchmail (you can specify  'protocol	 RPOP'
       to  have	 the  program  send  'RPOP' rather than	'PASS')	but its	use is
       strongly	discouraged, and support will be removed from a	future	fetch-
       mail  version.	This facility was vulnerable to	spoofing and was with-
       drawn in	RFC1460.

       RFC1460 introduced APOP authentication.	In this	variant	of  POP3,  you
       register	 an  APOP  password  on	your server host (on some servers, the
       program to do this is called popauth(8)).  You put the same password in
       your ~/.fetchmailrc file.  Each time fetchmail logs in, it sends	an MD5
       hash of your password and the server greeting time to the server, which
       can verify it by	checking its authorization database.

       Note  that  APOP	 is no longer considered resistant against man-in-the-
       middle attacks.

   RETR	or TOP
       fetchmail makes some efforts to make the	server	believe	 messages  had
       not  been  retrieved,  by  using	the TOP	command	with a large number of
       lines when possible.  TOP is a command that retrieves the  full	header
       and  a  fetchmail-specified  amount  of	body lines. It is optional and
       therefore not implemented by all	servers, and some are known to	imple-
       ment it improperly. On many servers however, the	RETR command which re-
       trieves the full	message	with header and	body,  sets  the  "seen"  flag
       (for instance, in a web interface), whereas the TOP command does	not do

       fetchmail will always use  the  RETR  command  if  "fetchall"  is  set.
       fetchmail will also use the RETR	command	if "keep" is set and "uidl" is
       unset.  Finally,	fetchmail will use the	RETR  command  on  Maillennium
       POP3/PROXY  servers  (used by Comcast) to avoid a deliberate TOP	misin-
       terpretation in this server that	causes message corruption.

       In all other cases, fetchmail will use the TOP  command.	 This  implies
       that in "keep" setups, "uidl" must be set if "TOP" is desired.

       Note  that  this	 description is	true for the current version of	fetch-
       mail, but the behavior may change in future  versions.  In  particular,
       fetchmail  may  prefer  the RETR	command	because	the TOP	command	causes
       much grief on some servers and is only optional.

       If your fetchmail was built with	Kerberos support and you specify  Ker-
       beros authentication (either with --auth	or the .fetchmailrc option au-
       thenticate kerberos_v4) it will try to get a Kerberos ticket  from  the
       mailserver at the start of each query.  Note: if	either the pollname or
       via name	is 'hesiod', fetchmail will try	to use Hesiod to look  up  the

       If  you use POP3	or IMAP	with GSSAPI authentication, fetchmail will ex-
       pect the	server to have RFC1731-	or RFC1734-conforming GSSAPI  capabil-
       ity,  and  will	use it.	 Currently this	has only been tested over Ker-
       beros V,	so you're expected to already have a  ticket-granting  ticket.
       You  may	 pass  a username different from your principal	name using the
       standard	--user command or by the .fetchmailrc option user.

       If your IMAP daemon returns the PREAUTH response	in its greeting	 line,
       fetchmail  will	notice	this  and skip the normal authentication step.
       This can	be useful, e.g.	if you start imapd explicitly using  ssh.   In
       this  case  you can declare the authentication value 'ssh' on that site
       entry to	stop .fetchmail	from asking you	for a password when it	starts

       If you use client authentication	with TLS1 and your IMAP	daemon returns
       the AUTH=EXTERNAL response, fetchmail will notice this and will use the
       authentication  shortcut	and will not send the passphrase. In this case
       you can declare the authentication value	'external'
	on that	site to	stop fetchmail from asking you for a password when  it
       starts up.

       If  you are using POP3, and the server issues a one-time-password chal-
       lenge conforming	to RFC1938, fetchmail will use your password as	a pass
       phrase  to  generate the	required response. This	avoids sending secrets
       over the	net unencrypted.

       Compuserve's RPA	authentication is supported. If	 you  compile  in  the
       support,	 fetchmail  will try to	perform	an RPA pass-phrase authentica-
       tion instead of sending over the	password en clair if it	detects	"@com-" in the hostname.

       If  you are using IMAP, Microsoft's NTLM	authentication (used by	Micro-
       soft Exchange) is supported. If you compile in the  support,  fetchmail
       will try	to perform an NTLM authentication (instead of sending over the
       password	en clair) whenever the server returns AUTH=NTLM	in  its	 capa-
       bility  response. Specify a user	option value that looks	like 'user@do-
       main': the part to the left of the @ will be passed as the username and
       the part	to the right as	the NTLM domain.

   Secure Socket Layers	(SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS)
       Note  that  fetchmail  currently	uses the OpenSSL library, which	is se-
       verely underdocumented, so failures may occur just because the program-
       mers  are not aware of OpenSSL's	requirement of the day.	 For instance,
       since v6.3.16, fetchmail	calls OpenSSL_add_all_algorithms(),  which  is
       necessary to support certificates using SHA256 on OpenSSL 0.9.8 -- this
       information is deeply hidden in the documentation and not at all	 obvi-
       ous.  Please do not hesitate to report subtle SSL failures.

       You  can	 access	SSL encrypted services by specifying the --ssl option.
       You can also do this using the "ssl" user option	 in  the  .fetchmailrc
       file. With SSL encryption enabled, queries are initiated	over a connec-
       tion after negotiating an SSL session, and the connection fails if  SSL
       cannot  be negotiated.  Some services, such as POP3 and IMAP, have dif-
       ferent well known ports defined for the SSL  encrypted  services.   The
       encrypted  ports	will be	selected automatically when SSL	is enabled and
       no explicit port	is specified. The --sslproto 'SSL3' option  should  be
       used  to	select the SSLv3 protocol (default if unset: v2	or v3).	 Also,
       the --sslcertck command line  or	 sslcertck  run	 control  file	option
       should be used to force strict certificate checking - see below.

       If  SSL is not configured, fetchmail will usually opportunistically try
       to use STARTTLS.	STARTTLS can be	enforced by using  --sslproto  "TLS1".
       TLS  connections	 use  the  same	port as	the unencrypted	version	of the
       protocol	and negotiate TLS via special command. The --sslcertck command
       line  or	 sslcertck  run	 control  file	option should be used to force
       strict certificate checking - see below.

       --sslcertck is recommended: When	connecting to an SSL or	TLS  encrypted
       server, the server presents a certificate to the	client for validation.
       The certificate is checked to verify that the common name in  the  cer-
       tificate	 matches  the  name of the server being	contacted and that the
       effective and expiration	dates in the certificate indicate that	it  is
       currently  valid.   If  any  of these checks fail, a warning message is
       printed,	but the	connection continues.  The server certificate does not
       need  to	 be  signed  by	any specific Certifying	Authority and may be a
       "self-signed" certificate. If the --sslcertck command  line  option  or
       sslcertck run control file option is used, fetchmail will instead abort
       if any of these checks fail, because it must assume  that  there	 is  a
       man-in-the-middle attack	in this	scenario, hence	fetchmail must not ex-
       pose cleartext passwords. Use of	the sslcertck or --sslcertck option is
       therefore advised.

       Some  SSL  encrypted  servers may request a client side certificate.  A
       client side public SSL certificate and private SSL key  may  be	speci-
       fied.   If  requested  by the server, the client	certificate is sent to
       the server for validation.  Some	servers	may  require  a	 valid	client
       certificate and may refuse connections if a certificate is not provided
       or if the certificate is	not valid.  Some servers  may  require	client
       side  certificates be signed by a recognized Certifying Authority.  The
       format for the key files	and the	certificate files is that required  by
       the underlying SSL libraries (OpenSSL in	the general case).

       A  word	of care	about the use of SSL: While above mentioned setup with
       self-signed server certificates retrieved over the  wires  can  protect
       you  from a passive eavesdropper, it doesn't help against an active at-
       tacker. It's clearly an	improvement  over  sending  the	 passwords  in
       clear, but you should be	aware that a man-in-the-middle attack is triv-
       ially possible (in particular with tools	such as	dsniff <http://>,  ).   Use	of strict certificate checking
       with a certification authority recognized by server and client, or per-
       haps  of	 an  SSH tunnel	(see below for some examples) is preferable if
       you care	seriously about	the security of	your mailbox and passwords.

       fetchmail also supports authentication  to  the	ESMTP  server  on  the
       client  side  according	to  RFC	2554.  You can specify a name/password
       pair to be used with the	keywords 'esmtpname' and 'esmtppassword';  the
       former defaults to the username of the calling user.

   Introducing the daemon mode
       In daemon mode, fetchmail puts itself into the background and runs for-
       ever, querying each specified  host  and	 then  sleeping	 for  a	 given
       polling interval.

   Starting the	daemon mode
       There  are  several  ways to make fetchmail work	in daemon mode.	On the
       command line, --daemon <interval> or -d <interval> option  runs	fetch-
       mail  in	 daemon	 mode.	You must specify a numeric argument which is a
       polling interval	(time to wait after completing a whole poll cycle with
       the  last server	and before starting the	next poll cycle	with the first
       server) in seconds.

       Example:	simply invoking

	      fetchmail	-d 900

       will, therefore,	poll all the hosts described  in  your	~/.fetchmailrc
       file (except those explicitly excluded with the 'skip' verb) a bit less
       often than once every 15	minutes	(exactly: 15 minutes + time  that  the
       poll takes).

       It  is  also  possible to set a polling interval	in your	~/.fetchmailrc
       file by saying 'set daemon <interval>', where <interval>	is an  integer
       number of seconds.  If you do this, fetchmail will always start in dae-
       mon mode	unless you override it with the	command-line option --daemon 0
       or -d0.

       Only  one  daemon process is permitted per user;	in daemon mode,	fetch-
       mail sets up a per-user lockfile	to guarantee this.  (You  can  however
       cheat  and  set the FETCHMAILHOME environment variable to overcome this
       setting,	but in that case, it is	your responsibility to make  sure  you
       aren't polling the same server with two processes at the	same time.)

   Awakening the background daemon
       Normally,  calling  fetchmail  with  a daemon in	the background sends a
       wake-up signal to the daemon and	quits without output.  The  background
       daemon  then  starts its	next poll cycle	immediately.  The wake-up sig-
       nal, SIGUSR1, can also be sent manually.	The wake-up action also	clears
       any  'wedged'  flags  indicating	 that  connections  have wedged	due to
       failed authentication or	multiple timeouts.

   Terminating the background daemon
       The option --quit will kill a running daemon process instead of	waking
       it up (if there is no such process, fetchmail will notify you).	If the
       --quit option appears last on the command line, fetchmail will kill the
       running	daemon	process	and then quit. Otherwise, fetchmail will first
       kill a running daemon process and then continue running with the	 other

   Useful options for daemon mode
       The -L <filename> or --logfile <filename> option	(keyword: set logfile)
       is only effective when fetchmail	is detached and	in daemon  mode.  Note
       that  the  logfile  must	exist before fetchmail is run, you can use the
       touch(1)	command	with the filename as its sole argument to create it.
       This option allows you to redirect status  messages  into  a  specified
       logfile	(follow	 the  option  with  the	logfile	name).	The logfile is
       opened for append, so previous messages aren't deleted.	This  is  pri-
       marily  useful  for  debugging configurations. Note that	fetchmail does
       not detect if the logfile is rotated, the logfile is only  opened  once
       when fetchmail starts. You need to restart fetchmail after rotating the
       logfile and before compressing it (if applicable).

       The --syslog option (keyword: set syslog) allows	you to redirect	status
       and error messages emitted to the syslog(3) system daemon if available.
       Messages	are logged with	an id of fetchmail, the	facility LOG_MAIL, and
       priorities LOG_ERR, LOG_ALERT or	LOG_INFO.  This	option is intended for
       logging status and error	messages which indicate	the status of the dae-
       mon and the results while fetching mail from the	server(s).  Error mes-
       sages for command line options and parsing the  .fetchmailrc  file  are
       still  written to stderr, or to the specified log file.	The --nosyslog
       option turns off	use of syslog(3),  assuming  it's  turned  on  in  the
       ~/.fetchmailrc file.  This option is overridden,	in certain situations,
       by --logfile (which see).

       The -N or --nodetach option suppresses backgrounding and	detachment  of
       the  daemon  process from its control terminal.	This is	useful for de-
       bugging or when fetchmail runs as the child  of	a  supervisor  process
       such  as	init(8)	or Gerrit Pape's runit(8).  Note that this also	causes
       the logfile option to be	ignored.

       Note that while running in daemon  mode	polling	 a  POP2  or  IMAP2bis
       server, transient errors	(such as DNS failures or sendmail delivery re-
       fusals) may force the fetchall option on	for the	duration of  the  next
       polling	cycle.	This is	a robustness feature.  It means	that if	a mes-
       sage is fetched (and thus marked	seen by	the mailserver)	but not	deliv-
       ered  locally due to some transient error, it will be re-fetched	during
       the next	poll cycle.  (The IMAP logic  doesn't  delete  messages	 until
       they're delivered, so this problem does not arise.)

       If  you touch or	change the ~/.fetchmailrc file while fetchmail is run-
       ning in daemon mode, this will be detected at the beginning of the next
       poll  cycle.   When  a  changed	~/.fetchmailrc	is detected, fetchmail
       rereads it and restarts from scratch (using exec(2); no state  informa-
       tion is retained	in the new instance).  Note that if fetchmail needs to
       query for passwords, of that if you  break  the	~/.fetchmailrc	file's
       syntax,	the  new  instance  will  softly  and  silently	vanish away on

       The --postmaster	<name> option (keyword:	set postmaster)	specifies  the
       last-resort  username  to which multidrop mail is to be forwarded if no
       matching	local recipient	can be found. It is also used  as  destination
       of  undeliverable mail if the 'bouncemail' global option	is off and ad-
       ditionally for spam-blocked mail	if the 'bouncemail' global  option  is
       off  and	 the 'spambounce' global option	is on. This option defaults to
       the user	who invoked fetchmail.	If the invoking	user is	root, then the
       default of this option is the user 'postmaster'.	 Setting postmaster to
       the empty string	causes such mail as described above to be discarded  -
       this  however  is  usually a bad	idea.  See also	the description	of the
       'FETCHMAILUSER' environment variable in the ENVIRONMENT section below.

       The --nobounce behaves like the	"set  no  bouncemail"  global  option,
       which see.

       The --invisible option (keyword:	set invisible) tries to	make fetchmail
       invisible.  Normally, fetchmail behaves like any	other MTA would	--  it
       generates  a  Received header into each message describing its place in
       the chain of transmission, and tells the	MTA it forwards	 to  that  the
       mail  came from the machine fetchmail itself is running on.  If the in-
       visible option is on, the Received header is suppressed	and  fetchmail
       tries  to  spoof	 the MTA it forwards to	into thinking it came directly
       from the	mailserver host.

       The --showdots option (keyword: set showdots) forces fetchmail to  show
       progress	 dots even if the output goes to a file	or fetchmail is	not in
       verbose mode.  Fetchmail	shows the dots by default when run  in	--ver-
       bose  mode  and	output	goes  to  console.  This  option is ignored in
       --silent	mode.

       By specifying the --tracepolls option, you can ask fetchmail to add in-
       formation  to  the Received header on the form "polling {label} account
       {user}",	where {label} is the account label (from the specified rcfile,
       normally	 ~/.fetchmailrc)  and  {user} is the username which is used to
       log on to the mail server. This header can be used  to  make  filtering
       email where no useful header information	is available and you want mail
       from different accounts sorted into different  mailboxes	 (this	could,
       for  example, occur if you have an account on the same server running a
       mailing list, and are subscribed	to the list using that	account).  The
       default is not adding any such header.  In .fetchmailrc,	this is	called

       The protocols fetchmail uses to talk to mailservers are next to bullet-
       proof.	In  normal operation forwarding	to port	25, no message is ever
       deleted (or even	marked for deletion) on	the host until the  SMTP  lis-
       tener on	the client side	has acknowledged to fetchmail that the message
       has been	either accepted	for delivery or	rejected due to	a spam block.

       When forwarding to an MDA, however, there is more possibility of	error.
       Some MDAs are 'safe' and	reliably return	a nonzero status on any	deliv-
       ery error, even one due to temporary resource limits.  The  maildrop(1)
       program	is  like this; so are most programs designed as	mail transport
       agents, such as sendmail(1), including the sendmail wrapper of  Postfix
       and exim(1).  These programs give back a	reliable positive acknowledge-
       ment and	can be used with the mda option	with no	 risk  of  mail	 loss.
       Unsafe  MDAs,  though,  may return 0 even on delivery failure.  If this
       happens,	you will lose mail.

       The normal mode of fetchmail is to try to download only 'new' messages,
       leaving	untouched  (and	 undeleted) messages you have already read di-
       rectly on the server (or	fetched	with  a	 previous  fetchmail  --keep).
       But  you	 may  find that	messages you've	already	read on	the server are
       being fetched (and deleted) even	when you don't specify	--all.	 There
       are several reasons this	can happen.

       One  could  be  that  you're using POP2.	 The POP2 protocol includes no
       representation of 'new' or 'old'	state in messages, so  fetchmail  must
       treat  all messages as new all the time.	 But POP2 is obsolete, so this
       is unlikely.

       A potential POP3	problem	might be servers that insert messages  in  the
       middle of mailboxes (some VMS implementations of	mail are rumored to do
       this).  The fetchmail code assumes that new messages  are  appended  to
       the  end	 of  the  mailbox; when	this is	not true it may	treat some old
       messages	as new and vice	versa.	Using UIDL whilst setting  fastuidl  0
       might fix this, otherwise, consider switching to	IMAP.

       Yet  another  POP3  problem is that if they can't make tempfiles	in the
       user's home directory, some POP3	servers	will hand back an undocumented
       response	that causes fetchmail to spuriously report "No mail".

       The  IMAP code uses the presence	or absence of the server flag \Seen to
       decide whether or not a message is new.	This isn't the right thing  to
       do,  fetchmail should check the UIDVALIDITY and use UID,	but it doesn't
       do that yet. Under Unix,	it counts on your IMAP server  to  notice  the
       BSD-style  Status  flags	set by mail user agents	and set	the \Seen flag
       from them when appropriate.  All	Unix IMAP servers we know of do	 this,
       though  it's  not  specified by the IMAP	RFCs.  If you ever trip	over a
       server that doesn't, the	symptom	will be	that messages you have already
       read  on	 your  host  will  look	new to the server.  In this (unlikely)
       case, only messages you fetched with fetchmail --keep will be both  un-
       deleted and marked old.

       In  ETRN	and ODMR modes,	fetchmail does not actually retrieve messages;
       instead,	it asks	the server's SMTP listener to start a queue  flush  to
       the client via SMTP.  Therefore it sends	only undelivered messages.

       Many  SMTP listeners allow administrators to set	up 'spam filters' that
       block unsolicited email from specified domains.	A MAIL	FROM  or  DATA
       line that triggers this feature will elicit an SMTP response which (un-
       fortunately) varies according to	the listener.

       Newer versions of sendmail return an error code of 571.

       According to RFC2821, the correct thing to return in this situation  is
       550  "Requested	action not taken: mailbox unavailable" (the draft adds
       "[E.g., mailbox not found, no access, or	command	 rejected  for	policy

       Older  versions	of the exim MTA	return 501 "Syntax error in parameters
       or arguments".

       The postfix MTA runs 554	as an antispam response.

       Zmailer may reject code with a 500 response (followed  by  an  enhanced
       status code that	contains more information).

       Return  codes which fetchmail treats as antispam	responses and discards
       the message can be set with the 'antispam' option.  This	is one of  the
       only  three  circumstance under which fetchmail ever discards mail (the
       others are the 552 and 553 errors described below, and the  suppression
       of multidropped messages	with a message-ID already seen).

       If  fetchmail  is  fetching  from an IMAP server, the antispam response
       will be detected	and the	message	rejected immediately after the headers
       have  been  fetched, without reading the	message	body.  Thus, you won't
       pay for downloading spam	message	bodies.

       By default, the list of antispam	responses is empty.

       If the spambounce global	option is on, mail that	is spam-blocked	 trig-
       gers an RFC1892/RFC1894 bounce message informing	the originator that we
       do not accept mail from it. See also BUGS.

       Besides the spam-blocking described above, fetchmail takes special  ac-
       tions --	that may be modified by	the --softbounce option	-- on the fol-
       lowing SMTP/ESMTP error response	codes

       452 (insufficient system	storage)
	    Leave the message in the server mailbox for	later retrieval.

       552 (message exceeds fixed maximum message size)
	    Delete the message from the	server.	 Send bounce-mail to the orig-

       553 (invalid sending domain)
	    Delete  the	 message  from	the  server.   Don't  even try to send
	    bounce-mail	to the originator.

       Other errors greater or equal to	500 trigger bounce mail	 back  to  the
       originator, unless suppressed by	--softbounce. See also BUGS.

       The  preferred  way to set up fetchmail is to write a .fetchmailrc file
       in your home directory (you may do this directly, with a	 text  editor,
       or indirectly via fetchmailconf).  When there is	a conflict between the
       command-line arguments and the arguments	in this	file, the command-line
       arguments take precedence.

       To  protect the security	of your	passwords, your	~/.fetchmailrc may not
       normally	have more than 0700 (u=rwx,g=,o=) permissions; fetchmail  will
       complain	and exit otherwise (this check is suppressed when --version is

       You may read the	.fetchmailrc file as a list of commands	to be executed
       when fetchmail is called	with no	arguments.

   Run Control Syntax
       Comments	begin with a '#' and extend through the	end of the line.  Oth-
       erwise the file consists	of a series of server entries or global	option
       statements in a free-format, token-oriented syntax.

       There are four kinds of tokens: grammar keywords, numbers (i.e. decimal
       digit sequences), unquoted  strings,  and  quoted  strings.   A	quoted
       string  is  bounded  by	double	quotes and may contain whitespace (and
       quoted digits are treated as a string).	Note that quoted strings  will
       also contain line feed characters if they run across two	or more	lines,
       unless you use a	backslash to join  lines  (see	below).	  An  unquoted
       string  is  any	whitespace-delimited  token  that  is neither numeric,
       string quoted nor contains the special characters  ',',	';',  ':',  or

       Any  amount  of	whitespace  separates tokens in	server entries,	but is
       otherwise ignored. You may use backslash	escape sequences (\n  for  LF,
       \t  for	HT,  \b	 for BS, \r for	CR, \nnn for decimal (where nnn	cannot
       start with a 0),	\0ooo for octal, and \xhh for hex) to embed non-print-
       able  characters	or string delimiters in	strings.  In quoted strings, a
       backslash at the	very end of a line will	cause the backslash itself and
       the line	feed (LF or NL,	new line) character to be ignored, so that you
       can wrap	long strings. Without the backslash at the line	end, the  line
       feed character would become part	of the string.

       Warning:	 while	these  resemble	C-style	escape sequences, they are not
       the same.  fetchmail only supports these	eight styles. C	supports  more
       escape  sequences that consist of backslash (\) and a single character,
       but does	not support decimal codes and does not require the  leading  0
       in octal	notation.  Example: fetchmail interprets \233 the same as \xE9
       (Latin small letter e with acute), where	C would	interpret \233 as  oc-
       tal 0233	= \x9B (CSI, control sequence introducer).

       Each  server  entry  consists  of one of	the keywords 'poll' or 'skip',
       followed	by a server name, followed by server options, followed by  any
       number  of  user	 (or username) descriptions, followed by user options.
       Note: the most common cause of syntax errors  is	 mixing	 up  user  and
       server options or putting user options before the user descriptions.

       For backward compatibility, the word 'server' is	a synonym for 'poll'.

       You  can	use the	noise keywords 'and', 'with', 'has', 'wants', and 'op-
       tions' anywhere in an entry to make it resemble English.	  They're  ig-
       nored,  but  but	can make entries much easier to	read at	a glance.  The
       punctuation characters ':', ';' and ',' are also	ignored.

   Poll	vs. Skip
       The 'poll' verb tells fetchmail to query	this host when it is run  with
       no  arguments.	The  'skip' verb tells fetchmail not to	poll this host
       unless it is explicitly named on	the command line.   (The  'skip'  verb
       allows  you  to	experiment with	test entries safely, or	easily disable
       entries for hosts that are temporarily down.)

   Keyword/Option Summary
       Here are	the legal options.  Keyword suffixes enclosed in square	brack-
       ets  are	 optional.   Those corresponding to short command-line options
       are followed by '-' and the appropriate option letter.	If  option  is
       only  relevant to a single mode of operation, it	is noted as 's'	or 'm'
       for singledrop- or multidrop-mode, respectively.

       Here are	the legal global options:

       Keyword		   Opt	 Mode	Function
       set daemon	   -d		Set a background poll interval	in
       set postmaster			Give  the  name	of the last-resort
					mail recipient (default: user run-
					ning  fetchmail,  "postmaster"	if
					run by the root	user)
       set    bouncemail		Direct error mail  to  the  sender
       set no bouncemail		Direct	error  mail  to	 the local
					postmaster (as per  the	 'postmas-
					ter' global option above).
       set no spambounce		Do  not	 bounce	 spam-blocked mail
       set    spambounce		Bounce blocked	spam-blocked  mail
					(as  per  the  'antispam' user op-
					tion) back to the  destination	as
					indicated   by	 the  'bouncemail'
					global option.	 Warning:  Do  not
					use  this  to  bounce spam back	to
					the sender -  most  spam  is  sent
					with false sender address and thus
					this  option  hurts  innocent  by-
       set no softbounce		Delete	permanently  undeliverable
					mail. It  is  recommended  to  use
					this  option  if the configuration
					has been thoroughly tested.
       set    softbounce		Keep   permanently   undeliverable
					mail  as  though a temporary error
					had occurred (default).
       set logfile	   -L		Name of	a file to append error and
					status	messages  to.  Only effec-
					tive in	daemon mode and	if  fetch-
					mail   detaches.    If	effective,
					overrides set syslog.
       set idfile	   -i		Name of	 the  file  to	store  UID
					lists in.
       set    syslog			Do   error  logging  through  sys-
					log(3).	May be	overriden  by  set
       set no syslog			Turn  off  error  logging  through
					syslog(3). (default)
       set properties			String value that  is  ignored	by
					fetchmail  (may	 be used by exten-
					sion scripts).

       Here are	the legal server options:

       Keyword		Opt   Mode   Function
       via			     Specify DNS  name	of  mailserver,
				     overriding	poll name
       proto[col]	-p	     Specify  protocol	(case  insensi-
				     tive):  POP2,  POP3,  IMAP,  APOP,
       local[domains]	      m	     Specify  domain(s)	 to be regarded
				     as	local

       port			     Specify TCP/IP service port (obso-
				     lete, use 'service' instead).
       service		-P	     Specify  service  name  (a	numeric
				     value is also allowed and	consid-
				     ered a TCP/IP port	number).
       auth[enticate]		     Set  authentication  type (default
       timeout		-t	     Server inactivity timeout in  sec-
				     onds (default 300)
       envelope		-E    m	     Specify   envelope-address	 header
       no envelope	      m	     Disable looking for  envelope  ad-
       qvirtual		-Q    m	     Qmail virtual domain prefix to re-
				     move from user name
       aka		      m	     Specify  alternate	 DNS  names  of
       interface	-I	     specify  IP interface(s) that must
				     be	up  for	 server	 poll  to  take
       monitor		-M	     Specify  IP address to monitor for
       plugin			     Specify command through  which  to
				     make server connections.
       plugout			     Specify  command  through which to
				     make listener connections.
       dns		      m	     Enable DNS	 lookup	 for  multidrop
       no dns		      m	     Disable DNS lookup	for multidrop
       checkalias	      m	     Do	 comparison  by	 IP address for
       no checkalias	      m	     Do	comparison  by	name  for  mul-
				     tidrop (default)
       uidl		-U	     Force   POP3  to  use  client-side
				     UIDLs (recommended)
       no uidl			     Turn off POP3 use	of  client-side
				     UIDLs (default)
       interval			     Only  check this site every N poll
				     cycles; N is a numeric argument.
       tracepolls		     Add poll  tracing	information  to
				     the Received header
       principal		     Set  Kerberos principal (only use-
				     ful with IMAP and kerberos)
       esmtpname		     Set name for  RFC2554  authentica-
				     tion to the ESMTP server.
       esmtppassword		     Set password for RFC2554 authenti-
				     cation to the ESMTP server.
       bad-header		     How to treat messages with	 a  bad
				     header. Can be reject (default) or

       Here are	the legal user descriptions and	options:

       Keyword		  Opt	Mode   Function
       user[name]	  -u	       This is the user	 description  and
				       must  come  first after server de-
				       scription   and	 after	 possible
				       server  options,	 and  before user
				       It sets the remote user name if by
				       itself  or followed by 'there', or
				       the local user name if followed by
       is			       Connect	 local	and  remote  user
       to			       Connect	local  and  remote   user
       pass[word]		       Specify remote account password

       ssl			       Connect	to server over the speci-
				       fied base protocol using	 SSL  en-
       sslcert			       Specify	file for client	side pub-
				       lic SSL certificate
       sslcertfile		       Specify file with trusted CA  cer-
       sslcertpath		       Specify c_rehash-ed directory with
				       trusted CA certificates.
       sslkey			       Specify file for	client side  pri-
				       vate SSL	key
       sslproto			       Force ssl protocol for connection
       folder		  -r	       Specify remote folder to	query
       smtphost		  -S	       Specify smtp host(s) to forward to
       fetchdomains		m      Specify	domains	 for  which  mail
				       should be fetched
       smtpaddress	  -D	       Specify the domain to  be  put  in
				       RCPT TO lines
       smtpname			       Specify	the user and domain to be
				       put in RCPT TO lines
       antispam		  -Z	       Specify what SMTP returns are  in-
				       terpreted as spam-policy	blocks
       mda		  -m	       Specify MDA for local delivery
       bsmtp		  -o	       Specify BSMTP batch file	to append
       preconnect		       Command to be executed before each
       postconnect		       Command	to be executed after each
       keep		  -k	       Don't delete  seen  messages  from
				       server  (for  POP3, uidl	is recom-
       flush		  -F	       Flush  all  seen	 messages  before
				       querying	(DANGEROUS)
       limitflush		       Flush  all  oversized messages be-
				       fore querying
       fetchall		  -a	       Fetch all messages whether seen or
       rewrite			       Rewrite	destination addresses for
				       reply (default)
       stripcr			       Strip carriage returns  from  ends
				       of lines
       forcecr			       Force  carriage returns at ends of
       pass8bits		       Force BODY=8BITMIME to ESMTP  lis-
       dropstatus		       Strip  Status and X-Mozilla-Status
				       lines out of incoming mail
       dropdelivered		       Strip Delivered-To  lines  out  of
				       incoming	mail
       mimedecode		       Convert	quoted-printable to 8-bit
				       in MIME messages
       idle			       Idle waiting for	new messages  af-
				       ter each	poll (IMAP only)
       no keep		  -K	       Delete  seen  messages from server
       no flush			       Don't flush all seen messages  be-
				       fore querying (default)
       no fetchall		       Retrieve	 only  new  messages (de-
       no rewrite		       Don't rewrite headers
       no stripcr		       Don't strip carriage returns  (de-
       no forcecr		       Don't  force  carriage  returns at
				       EOL (default)
       no pass8bits		       Don't force BODY=8BITMIME to ESMTP
				       listener	(default)
       no dropstatus		       Don't  drop  Status  headers  (de-
       no dropdelivered		       Don't  drop  Delivered-To  headers

       no mimedecode		       Don't  convert quoted-printable to
				       8-bit in	MIME messages (default)
       no idle			       Don't idle waiting  for	new  mes-
				       sages after each	poll (IMAP only)
       limit		  -l	       Set message size	limit
       warnings		  -w	       Set message size	warning	interval
       batchlimit	  -b	       Max  # messages to forward in sin-
				       gle connect
       fetchlimit	  -B	       Max # messages to fetch in  single
       fetchsizelimit		       Max  #  message	sizes to fetch in
				       single transaction
       fastuidl			       Use binary search for first unseen
				       message (POP3 only)
       expunge		  -e	       Perform	an  expunge  on	every #th
				       message (IMAP and POP3 only)
       properties		       String value is ignored by  fetch-
				       mail  (may  be  used  by	extension

       All user	options	must begin with	a user description (user  or  username
       option) and follow all server descriptions and options.

       In  the	.fetchmailrc  file, the	'envelope' string argument may be pre-
       ceded by	a whitespace-separated number.	This number, if	specified,  is
       the  number of such headers to skip over	(that is, an argument of 1 se-
       lects the second	header of the given type).  This  is  sometime	useful
       for  ignoring bogus envelope headers created by an ISP's	local delivery
       agent or	internal forwards (through mail	inspection  systems,  for  in-

   Keywords Not	Corresponding To Option	Switches
       The  'folder' and 'smtphost' options (unlike their command-line equiva-
       lents) can take a space-	or comma-separated  list  of  names  following

       All  options  correspond	 to the	obvious	command-line arguments,	except
       the following: 'via', 'interval', 'aka',	'is',  'to',  'dns'/'no	 dns',
       'checkalias'/'no	 checkalias', 'password', 'preconnect',	'postconnect',
       'localdomains',	 'stripcr'/'no	 stripcr',   'forcecr'/'no   forcecr',
       'pass8bits'/'no	 pass8bits'  'dropstatus/no  dropstatus',  'dropdeliv-
       ered/no dropdelivered', 'mimedecode/no mimedecode', 'no idle', and  'no

       The 'via' option	is for if you want to have more	than one configuration
       pointing	at the same site.  If it is present, the string	argument  will
       be  taken as the	actual DNS name	of the mailserver host to query.  This
       will override the argument of poll, which can then simply be a distinct
       label  for  the	configuration (e.g. what you would give	on the command
       line to explicitly query	this host).

       The 'interval' option (which takes a numeric argument)  allows  you  to
       poll a server less frequently than the basic poll interval.  If you say
       'interval N' the	server this option is attached to will only be queried
       every N poll intervals.

   Singledrop vs. Multidrop options
       Please  ensure  you  read  the section titled THE USE AND ABUSE OF MUL-
       TIDROP MAILBOXES	if you intend to use multidrop mode.

       The 'is'	or  'to'  keywords  associate  the  following  local  (client)
       name(s)	(or  server-name  to client-name mappings separated by =) with
       the mailserver user name	in the entry.  If an is/to list	has '*'	as its
       last  name, unrecognized	names are simply passed	through. Note that un-
       til fetchmail version 6.3.4 inclusively,	these lists could only contain
       local parts of user names (fetchmail would only look at the part	before
       the @ sign). fetchmail versions 6.3.5 and newer support full  addresses
       on  the left hand side of these mappings, and they take precedence over
       any 'localdomains', 'aka', 'via'	or similar mappings.

       A single	local name can be used to support redirecting your  mail  when
       your  username on the client machine is different from your name	on the
       mailserver.  When there is only a single	local name, mail is  forwarded
       to  that	 local	username regardless of the message's Received, To, Cc,
       and Bcc headers.	 In this case, fetchmail never does DNS	lookups.

       When there is more than one local name  (or  name  mapping),  fetchmail
       looks  at  the envelope header, if configured, and otherwise at the Re-
       ceived, To, Cc, and Bcc headers of retrieved mail (this	is  'multidrop
       mode').	 It  looks  for	 addresses with	hostname parts that match your
       poll name or your 'via',	'aka' or 'localdomains'	options,  and  usually
       also  for  hostname  parts  which  DNS  tells  it  are  aliases	of the
       mailserver.  See	the discussion of 'dns', 'checkalias', 'localdomains',
       and 'aka' for details on	how matching addresses are handled.

       If  fetchmail  cannot match any mailserver usernames or localdomain ad-
       dresses,	the mail will be bounced.  Normally it will be bounced to  the
       sender,	but if the 'bouncemail'	global option is off, the mail will go
       to the local postmaster instead.	 (see the 'postmaster' global option).
       See also	BUGS.

       The  'dns'  option  (normally  on) controls the way addresses from mul-
       tidrop mailboxes	are checked.  On, it enables logic to check each  host
       address	that  does not match an	'aka' or 'localdomains'	declaration by
       looking it up with DNS.	When a mailserver username is  recognized  at-
       tached  to  a matching hostname part, its local mapping is added	to the
       list of local recipients.

       The 'checkalias'	option (normally off) extends the lookups performed by
       the  'dns'  keyword in multidrop	mode, providing	a way to cope with re-
       mote MTAs that identify themselves using	their  canonical  name,	 while
       they're polled using an alias.  When such a server is polled, checks to
       extract the envelope address fail, and fetchmail	 reverts  to  delivery
       using  the  To/Cc/Bcc  headers  (See  below  'Header  vs.  Envelope ad-
       dresses').  Specifying this option instructs fetchmail to retrieve  all
       the  IP	addresses associated with both the poll	name and the name used
       by the remote MTA and to	do a comparison	of  the	 IP  addresses.	  This
       comes in	handy in situations where the remote server undergoes frequent
       canonical name changes, that would otherwise require  modifications  to
       the rcfile.  'checkalias' has no	effect if 'no dns' is specified	in the

       The 'aka' option	is for use with	multidrop mailboxes.  It allows	you to
       pre-declare  a  list of DNS aliases for a server.  This is an optimiza-
       tion hack that allows you to trade space	for  speed.   When  fetchmail,
       while  processing  a multidrop mailbox, grovels through message headers
       looking for names of the	mailserver, pre-declaring common ones can save
       it  from	 having	 to do DNS lookups.  Note: the names you give as argu-
       ments to	'aka' are matched as suffixes -- if you	specify	(say) 'aka ne-',  this	 will  match  not  just	a hostname, but any
       hostname	that ends with ''; such  as	(say)

       The 'localdomains' option allows	you to declare a list of domains which
       fetchmail should	consider local.	 When  fetchmail  is  parsing  address
       lines in	multidrop modes, and a trailing	segment	of a host name matches
       a declared local	domain,	that address is	passed through to the listener
       or MDA unaltered	(local-name mappings are not applied).

       If you are using	'localdomains',	you may	also need to specify 'no enve-
       lope', which disables fetchmail's normal	attempt	to deduce an  envelope
       address	from  the  Received  line  or X-Envelope-To header or whatever
       header has been previously set by 'envelope'.  If you set 'no envelope'
       in the defaults entry it	is possible to undo that in individual entries
       by using	'envelope <string>'.  As a special case, 'envelope "Received"'
       restores	the default parsing of Received	lines.

       The  password  option requires a	string argument, which is the password
       to be used with the entry's server.

       The 'preconnect'	keyword	allows you to specify a	shell  command	to  be
       executed	 just before each time fetchmail establishes a mailserver con-
       nection.	 This may be useful if you are attempting to set up secure POP
       connections  with  the aid of ssh(1).  If the command returns a nonzero
       status, the poll	of that	mailserver will	be aborted.

       Similarly, the 'postconnect' keyword similarly allows you to specify  a
       shell  command to be executed just after	each time a mailserver connec-
       tion is taken down.

       The 'forcecr' option controls whether lines terminated by LF  only  are
       given CRLF termination before forwarding.  Strictly speaking RFC821 re-
       quires this, but	few MTAs enforce the requirement it so this option  is
       normally	 off  (only one	such MTA, qmail, is in significant use at time
       of writing).

       The 'stripcr' option controls whether carriage returns are stripped out
       of retrieved mail before	it is forwarded.  It is	normally not necessary
       to set this, because it defaults	to 'on'	(CR  stripping	enabled)  when
       there  is  an  MDA declared but 'off' (CR stripping disabled) when for-
       warding is via SMTP.  If	'stripcr' and 'forcecr'	are both on, 'stripcr'
       will override.

       The 'pass8bits' option exists to	cope with Microsoft mail programs that
       stupidly	slap a "Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit" on everything.	  With
       this  option off	(the default) and such a header	present, fetchmail de-
       clares BODY=7BIT	to an ESMTP-capable listener; this causes problems for
       messages	 actually  using 8-bit ISO or KOI-8 character sets, which will
       be garbled by having the	high bits  of  all  characters	stripped.   If
       'pass8bits'  is on, fetchmail is	forced to declare BODY=8BITMIME	to any
       ESMTP-capable listener.	If the listener	is 8-bit-clean (as all the ma-
       jor ones	now are) the right thing will probably result.

       The 'dropstatus'	option controls	whether	nonempty Status	and X-Mozilla-
       Status lines are	retained in fetched mail (the default)	or  discarded.
       Retaining  them	allows	your  MUA  to  see what	messages (if any) were
       marked seen on the server.  On the other	hand, it can confuse some new-
       mail notifiers, which assume that anything with a Status	line in	it has
       been seen.  (Note: the empty Status lines inserted by  some  buggy  POP
       servers are unconditionally discarded.)

       The  'dropdelivered'  option controls whether Delivered-To headers will
       be kept in fetched mail (the default) or	discarded. These  headers  are
       added by	Qmail and Postfix mailservers in order to avoid	mail loops but
       may get in your way if you try to "mirror" a mailserver within the same
       domain. Use with	caution.

       The  'mimedecode'  option  controls  whether  MIME  messages  using the
       quoted-printable	encoding are automatically converted into  pure	 8-bit
       data.  If you are delivering mail to an ESMTP-capable, 8-bit-clean lis-
       tener (that includes all	of the major MTAs like	sendmail),  then  this
       will  automatically  convert  quoted-printable message headers and data
       into 8-bit data,	making it easier to understand when reading  mail.  If
       your e-mail programs know how to	deal with MIME messages, then this op-
       tion is not needed.  The	mimedecode option is off by  default,  because
       doing  RFC2047 conversion on headers throws away	character-set informa-
       tion and	can lead to bad	results	if the encoding	of the headers differs
       from the	body encoding.

       The  'idle'  option is intended to be used with IMAP servers supporting
       the RFC2177 IDLE	command	extension, but does not	strictly  require  it.
       If it is	enabled, and fetchmail detects that IDLE is supported, an IDLE
       will be issued at the end of each poll.	This will tell the IMAP	server
       to  hold	 the  connection  open	and notify the client when new mail is
       available.  If IDLE is not supported, fetchmail will simulate it	by pe-
       riodically  issuing  NOOP.  If you need to poll a link frequently, IDLE
       can save	bandwidth by eliminating TCP/IP	connects and LOGIN/LOGOUT  se-
       quences.	 On  the other hand, an	IDLE connection	will eat almost	all of
       your fetchmail's	time, because it will never drop  the  connection  and
       allow  other  polls  to occur unless the	server times out the IDLE.  It
       also doesn't work with multiple folders;	only  the  first  folder  will
       ever be polled.

       The  'properties'  option is an extension mechanism.  It	takes a	string
       argument, which is ignored by fetchmail itself.	 The  string  argument
       may  be	used  to store configuration information for scripts which re-
       quire it.  In particular, the output of '--configdump' option will make
       properties  associated  with a user entry readily available to a	Python

   Miscellaneous Run Control Options
       The words 'here'	and 'there'  have  useful  English-like	 significance.
       Normally	 'user	eric  is esr' would mean that mail for the remote user
       'eric' is to be delivered to 'esr', but you can make  this  clearer  by
       saying 'user eric there is esr here', or	reverse	it by saying 'user esr
       here is eric there'

       Legal protocol identifiers for use with the 'protocol' keyword are:

	   auto	(or AUTO) (legacy, to be removed from future release)
	   pop2	(or POP2) (legacy, to be removed from future release)
	   pop3	(or POP3)
	   sdps	(or SDPS)
	   imap	(or IMAP)
	   apop	(or APOP)
	   kpop	(or KPOP)

       Legal authentication types are  'any',  'password',  'kerberos',	 'ker-
       beros_v4',  'kerberos_v5'  and 'gssapi',	'cram-md5', 'otp', 'msn' (only
       for POP3), 'ntlm', 'ssh', 'external' (only IMAP).  The 'password'  type
       specifies  authentication  by  normal  transmission  of a password (the
       password	may be plain text or subject to	 protocol-specific  encryption
       as  in  CRAM-MD5);  'kerberos' tells fetchmail to try to	get a Kerberos
       ticket at the start of each query instead, and send an arbitrary	string
       as the password;	and 'gssapi' tells fetchmail to	use GSSAPI authentica-
       tion.  See the description of the 'auth'	keyword	for more.

       Specifying 'kpop' sets POP3 protocol over port 1109  with  Kerberos  V4
       authentication.	These defaults may be overridden by later options.

       There  are  some	 global	option statements: 'set	logfile' followed by a
       string sets the same global specified  by  --logfile.   A  command-line
       --logfile option	will override this. Note that --logfile	is only	effec-
       tive if fetchmail detaches itself from the terminal and the logfile al-
       ready exists before fetchmail is	run, and it overrides --syslog in this
       case.  Also, 'set daemon' sets the  poll	 interval  as  --daemon	 does.
       This can	be overridden by a command-line	--daemon option; in particular
       --daemon	0 can be used to force foreground operation. The 'set postmas-
       ter'  statement	sets  the  address to which multidrop mail defaults if
       there are no local matches.  Finally, 'set syslog' sends	 log  messages
       to syslogd(8).

   Fetchmail crashing
       There are various ways in that fetchmail	may "crash", i.	e. stop	opera-
       tion suddenly and unexpectedly. A "crash" usually refers	 to  an	 error
       condition  that	the  software  did  not	handle by itself. A well-known
       failure mode is the "segmentation fault"	or "signal 11" or "SIGSEGV" or
       just  "segfault"	for short. These can be	caused by hardware or by soft-
       ware problems. Software-induced segfaults  can  usually	be  reproduced
       easily and in the same place, whereas hardware-induced segfaults	can go
       away if the computer is rebooted, or powered off	for a few  hours,  and
       can  happen  in	random locations even if you use the software the same

       For solving hardware-induced segfaults, find the	faulty	component  and
       repair  or  replace it.	The Sig11 FAQ <>
       may help	you with details.

       For solving software-induced  segfaults,	 the  developers  may  need  a
       "stack backtrace".

   Enabling fetchmail core dumps
       By  default,  fetchmail	suppresses  core  dumps	as these might contain
       passwords and other  sensitive  information.  For  debugging  fetchmail
       crashes,	 obtaining  a  "stack backtrace" from a	core dump is often the
       quickest	way to solve the problem, and when posting your	problem	 on  a
       mailing list, the developers may	ask you	for a "backtrace".

       1.  To  get  useful backtraces, fetchmail needs to be installed without
       getting stripped	of its compilation symbols.  Unfortunately,  most  bi-
       nary packages that are installed	are stripped, and core files from sym-
       bol-stripped programs are worthless.  So	 you  may  need	 to  recompile
       fetchmail. On many systems, you can type

	       file `which fetchmail`

       to  find	 out if	fetchmail was symbol-stripped or not. If yours was un-
       stripped, fine, proceed,	if it was stripped, you	need to	recompile  the
       source  code first. You do not usually need to install fetchmail	in or-
       der to debug it.

       2. The shell environment	that starts fetchmail  needs  to  enable  core
       dumps.  The  key	 is the	"maximum core (file) size" that	can usually be
       configured with a tool named "limit" or "ulimit". See the documentation
       for  your shell for details. In the popular bash	shell, "ulimit -Sc un-
       limited"	will allow the core dump.

       3. You need to tell fetchmail, too, to allow core dumps.	 To  do	 this,
       run  fetchmail with the -d0 -v options.	It is often easier to also add
       --nosyslog -N as	well.

       Finally,	you need to reproduce the crash. You can just start  fetchmail
       from  the directory where you compiled it by typing ./fetchmail,	so the
       complete	command	line will start	with ./fetchmail -Nvd0 --nosyslog  and
       perhaps list your other options.

       After the crash,	run your debugger to obtain the	core dump.  The	debug-
       ger will	often be GNU GDB, you can then type (adjust  paths  as	neces-
       sary) gdb ./fetchmail fetchmail.core and	then, after GDB	has started up
       and read	all its	files, type backtrace full, save the  output  (copy  &
       paste  will  do,	 the  backtrace	will be	read by	a human) and then type
       quit to leave gdb.  Note: on some systems, the core files have  differ-
       ent  names, they	might contain a	number instead of the program name, or
       number and name,	but it will usually have "core"	as part	of their name.

       When trying to determine	the originating	address	of a  message,	fetch-
       mail looks through headers in the following order:

	       Resent-Sender: (ignored if it doesn't contain an	@ or !)
	       Sender: (ignored	if it doesn't contain an @ or !)

       The  originating	 address is used for logging, and to set the MAIL FROM
       address when forwarding to SMTP.	 This order is intended	to cope	grace-
       fully  with  receiving mailing list messages in multidrop mode. The in-
       tent is that if a local address doesn't exist, the bounce message won't
       be  returned blindly to the author or to	the list itself, but rather to
       the list	manager	(which is less annoying).

       In multidrop mode, destination headers are processed as follows:	First,
       fetchmail  looks	 for  the header specified by the 'envelope' option in
       order to	determine the local recipient address.	If  the	 mail  is  ad-
       dressed to more than one	recipient, the Received	line won't contain any
       information regarding recipient addresses.

       Then fetchmail looks for	the Resent-To:,	 Resent-Cc:,  and  Resent-Bcc:
       lines.	If  they  exist,  they should contain the final	recipients and
       have precedence over their To:/Cc:/Bcc: counterparts.  If the  Resent-*
       lines  don't  exist,  the  To:,	Cc:, Bcc: and Apparently-To: lines are
       looked for. (The	presence of a Resent-To: is taken to  imply  that  the
       person  referred	 by  the To: address has already received the original
       copy of the mail.)

       Note that although there	are password declarations in a	good  many  of
       the  examples below, this is mainly for illustrative purposes.  We rec-
       ommend stashing account/password	pairs in your $HOME/.netrc file, where
       they  can  be  used  not	just by	fetchmail but by ftp(1)	and other pro-

       The basic format	is:

	      poll SERVERNAME protocol PROTOCOL	username NAME  password	 PASS-


	      poll protocol pop3 username "jsmith" password "secret1"

       Or, using some abbreviations:

	      poll proto pop3 user "jsmith" password "secret1"

       Multiple	servers	may be listed:

	      poll proto pop3 user "jsmith" pass "secret1"
	      poll proto pop2 user "John.Smith" pass	"My^Hat"

       Here's the same version with more whitespace and	some noise words:

	      poll proto pop3
		   user	"jsmith", with password	secret1, is "jsmith" here;
	      poll proto pop2:
		   user	"John.Smith", with password "My^Hat", is "John.Smith" here;

       If  you	need  to include whitespace in a parameter string or start the
       latter with a number, enclose the string	in double quotes.  Thus:

	      poll with proto	pop3:
		   user	"jsmith" there has password "4u	but u can't krak this"
		   is jws here and wants mda "/bin/mail"

       You may have an initial server description headed by the	 keyword  'de-
       faults'	instead	of 'poll' followed by a	name.  Such a record is	inter-
       preted as defaults for all queries to use. It may be overwritten	by in-
       dividual	server descriptions.  So, you could write:

	      defaults proto pop3
		   user	"jsmith"
		   pass	"secret1"
		   user	"jjsmith" there	has password "secret2"

       It's  possible  to  specify  more than one user per server.  The	'user'
       keyword leads off a user	description, and every user specification in a
       multi-user entry	must include it.  Here's an example:

	      poll proto pop3 port 3111
		   user	"jsmith" with pass "secret1" is	"smith"	here
		   user	jones with pass	"secret2" is "jjones" here keep

       This  associates	 the  local username 'smith' with the
       username	 'jsmith'  and	the   local   username	 'jjones'   with   the	 username  'jones'.   Mail  for	'jones'	is kept	on the
       server after download.

       Here's what a simple retrieval configuration for	 a  multidrop  mailbox
       looks like:

		   user	maildrop with pass secret1 to golux 'hurkle'='happy' snark here

       This  says  that	 the  mailbox of account 'maildrop' on the server is a
       multidrop box, and that messages	in it should be	parsed for the	server
       user  names  'golux', 'hurkle', and 'snark'.  It	further	specifies that
       'golux' and 'snark' have	the same name on the client as on the  server,
       but  mail  for  server user 'hurkle' should be delivered	to client user

       Note that fetchmail, until version 6.3.4, did NOT allow	full  user@do-
       main specifications here, these would never match.  Fetchmail 6.3.5 and
       newer support user@domain specifications	on the	left-hand  side	 of  a
       user mapping.

       Here's an example of another kind of multidrop connection:

	      poll localdomains
		   envelope X-Envelope-To
		   user	maildrop with pass secret1 to *	here

       This  also says that the	mailbox	of account 'maildrop' on the server is
       a multidrop box.	 It tells fetchmail that any  address  in  the	loony-  or	 domains  (including sub-domain	addresses like
       '') should be passed through to the local  SMTP
       listener	 without  modification.	  Be  careful  of mail loops if	you do

       Here's an example configuration using ssh and the plugin	 option.   The
       queries	are  made  directly  on	the stdin and stdout of	imapd via ssh.
       Note that in this setup,	IMAP authentication can	be skipped.

	      poll	with proto imap:
		   plugin "ssh %h /usr/sbin/imapd" auth	ssh;
		   user	esr is esr here

       Use the multiple-local-recipients feature with caution -- it can	 bite.
       All multidrop features are ineffective in ETRN and ODMR modes.

       Also,  note  that  in multidrop mode duplicate mails are	suppressed.  A
       piece of	mail is	considered duplicate if	it has the same	message-ID  as
       the  message  immediately  preceding and	more than one addressee.  Such
       runs of messages	may be generated when copies of	a message addressed to
       multiple	users are delivered to a multidrop box.

   Header vs. Envelope addresses
       The  fundamental	problem	is that	by having your mailserver toss several
       peoples'	mail in	a single maildrop box, you may have thrown away	poten-
       tially  vital information about who each	piece of mail was actually ad-
       dressed to (the 'envelope address', as opposed to the header  addresses
       in the RFC822 To/Cc headers - the Bcc is	not available at the receiving
       end).  This 'envelope address' is the address  you  need	 in  order  to
       reroute mail properly.

       Sometimes fetchmail can deduce the envelope address.  If	the mailserver
       MTA is sendmail and the item of mail had	just one  recipient,  the  MTA
       will  have  written a 'by/for' clause that gives	the envelope addressee
       into its	Received header. But this  doesn't  work  reliably  for	 other
       MTAs,  nor  if there is more than one recipient.	 By default, fetchmail
       looks for envelope addresses in these lines; you	can restore  this  de-
       fault with -E "Received"	or 'envelope Received'.

       As a better alternative,	some SMTP listeners and/or mail	servers	insert
       a header	in each	message	containing a copy of the  envelope  addresses.
       This  header  (when it exists) is often 'X-Original-To',	'Delivered-To'
       or 'X-Envelope-To'.  Fetchmail's	assumption about this can  be  changed
       with the	-E or 'envelope' option.  Note that writing an envelope	header
       of this kind exposes the	names of recipients (including blind-copy  re-
       cipients)  to all receivers of the messages, so the upstream must store
       one copy	of the message per recipient to	avoid becoming a privacy prob-

       Postfix,	 since version 2.0, writes an X-Original-To: header which con-
       tains a copy of the envelope as it was received.

       Qmail and Postfix generally write a 'Delivered-To' header upon deliver-
       ing  the	 message  to  the  mail	 spool and use it to avoid mail	loops.
       Qmail virtual domains however will prefix the user name with  a	string
       that  normally matches the user's domain. To remove this	prefix you can
       use the -Q or 'qvirtual'	option.

       Sometimes, unfortunately, neither of these methods works.  That is  the
       point  when you should contact your ISP and ask them to provide such an
       envelope	header,	and you	should not use multidrop  in  this  situation.
       When  they  all fail, fetchmail must fall back on the contents of To/Cc
       headers (Bcc headers are	not available -	see below) to try to determine
       recipient addressees -- and these are unreliable.  In particular, mail-
       ing-list	software often ships mail with only the	list broadcast address
       in the To header.

       Note that a future version of fetchmail may remove To/Cc	parsing!

       When fetchmail cannot deduce a recipient	address	that is	local, and the
       intended	recipient address was anyone other than	 fetchmail's  invoking
       user,  mail  will  get  lost.  This is what makes the multidrop feature
       risky without proper envelope information.

       A related problem is that when you blind-copy a mail message,  the  Bcc
       information  is carried only as envelope	address	(it's removed from the
       headers by the sending mail server, so fetchmail	can  see  it  only  if
       there  is an X-Envelope-To header).  Thus, blind-copying	to someone who
       gets mail over a	fetchmail multidrop link  will	fail  unless  the  the
       mailserver  host	routinely writes X-Envelope-To or an equivalent	header
       into messages in	your maildrop.

       In conclusion, mailing lists and	Bcc'd mail can only work if the	server
       you're fetching from

       (1)    stores one copy of the message per recipient in your domain and

       (2)    records  the  envelope information in a special header (X-Origi-
	      nal-To, Delivered-To, X-Envelope-To).

   Good	Ways To	Use Multidrop Mailboxes
       Multiple	local names can	be used	to administer a	mailing	list from  the
       client side of a	fetchmail collection.  Suppose your name is 'esr', and
       you want	to both	pick up	your own mail  and  maintain  a	 mailing  list
       called  (say)  "fetchmail-friends", and you want	to keep	the alias list
       on your client machine.

       On your server, you can alias 'fetchmail-friends' to  'esr';  then,  in
       your .fetchmailrc, declare 'to esr fetchmail-friends here'.  Then, when
       mail including 'fetchmail-friends' as a local address gets fetched, the
       list name will be appended to the list of recipients your SMTP listener
       sees.  Therefore	it will	undergo	alias expansion	locally.  Be  sure  to
       include	'esr'  in  the	local alias expansion of fetchmail-friends, or
       you'll never see	mail sent only to the list.  Also be  sure  that  your
       listener	 has the "me-too" option set (sendmail's -oXm command-line op-
       tion or OXm declaration)	so your	name isn't removed from	 alias	expan-
       sions in	messages you send.

       This  trick  is not without its problems, however.  You'll begin	to see
       this when a message comes in that is addressed only to a	 mailing  list
       you  do not have	declared as a local name.  Each	such message will fea-
       ture an 'X-Fetchmail-Warning' header which is generated because	fetch-
       mail  cannot  find a valid local	name in	the recipient addresses.  Such
       messages	default	(as was	described above) to being sent	to  the	 local
       user  running fetchmail,	but the	program	has no way to know that	that's
       actually	the right thing.

   Bad Ways To Abuse Multidrop Mailboxes
       Multidrop mailboxes and fetchmail serving multiple users	in daemon mode
       do not mix.  The	problem, again,	is mail	from mailing lists, which typ-
       ically does not have an individual recipient address  on	 it.	Unless
       fetchmail can deduce an envelope	address, such mail will	only go	to the
       account running fetchmail (probably root).   Also,  blind-copied	 users
       are very	likely never to	see their mail at all.

       If  you're tempted to use fetchmail to retrieve mail for	multiple users
       from a single mail drop via POP or IMAP,	think again  (and  reread  the
       section	on  header and envelope	addresses above).  It would be smarter
       to just let the mail sit	in the mailserver's queue and use  fetchmail's
       ETRN  or	ODMR modes to trigger SMTP sends periodically (of course, this
       means you have to poll more frequently than the mailserver's expiry pe-
       riod).  If you can't arrange this, try setting up a UUCP	feed.

       If  you	absolutely must	use multidrop for this purpose,	make sure your
       mailserver writes an envelope-address header that  fetchmail  can  see.
       Otherwise you will lose mail and	it will	come back to haunt you.

   Speeding Up Multidrop Checking
       Normally, when multiple users are declared fetchmail extracts recipient
       addresses as described above and	checks each host part with DNS to  see
       if it's an alias	of the mailserver.  If so, the name mappings described
       in the "to ... here" declaration	are done and the mail  locally	deliv-

       This is a convenient but	also slow method.  To speed it up, pre-declare
       mailserver aliases with 'aka'; these are	checked	before DNS lookups are
       done.   If you're certain your aka list contains	all DNS	aliases	of the
       mailserver (and all MX names pointing at	it - note this may change in a
       future  version)	 you  can declare 'no dns' to suppress DNS lookups en-
       tirely and only match against the aka list.

       Support for socks4/5 is a compile time configuration option. Once  com-
       piled  in, fetchmail will always	use the	socks libraries	and configura-
       tion on your system, there are no run-time switches in fetchmail	-  but
       you  can	 still configure SOCKS:	you can	specify	which SOCKS configura-
       tion file is used in the	SOCKS_CONF environment variable.

       For instance, if	you wanted to bypass the SOCKS	proxy  altogether  and
       have    fetchmail    connect    directly,    you	   could   just	  pass
       SOCKS_CONF=/dev/null in the environment,	for example  (add  your	 usual
       command line options - if any - to the end of this line):

       env SOCKS_CONF=/dev/null	fetchmail

       To  facilitate  the  use	 of fetchmail in shell scripts,	an exit	status
       code is returned	to give	an indication of what occurred during a	 given

       The exit	codes returned by fetchmail are	as follows:

       0      One  or more messages were successfully retrieved	(or, if	the -c
	      option was selected, were	found waiting but not retrieved).

       1      There was	no mail	awaiting retrieval.  (There may	have been  old
	      mail still on the	server but not selected	for retrieval.)	If you
	      do not want "no mail" to be an error  condition  (for  instance,
	      for cron jobs), use a POSIX-compliant shell and add

	      || [ $? -eq 1 ]

	      to  the end of the fetchmail command line, note that this	leaves
	      0	untouched, maps	1 to 0,	and maps all other  codes  to  1.  See
	      also item	#C8 in the FAQ.

       2      An error was encountered when attempting to open a socket	to re-
	      trieve mail.  If you don't know what a socket  is,  don't	 worry
	      about  it	 -- just treat this as an 'unrecoverable error'.  This
	      error can	also be	because	a protocol fetchmail wants to  use  is
	      not listed in /etc/services.

       3      The  user	authentication step failed.  This usually means	that a
	      bad user-id, password, or	APOP id	was specified.	Or it may mean
	      that you tried to	run fetchmail under circumstances where	it did
	      not have standard	input attached to a  terminal  and  could  not
	      prompt for a missing password.

       4      Some sort	of fatal protocol error	was detected.

       5      There  was  a  syntax  error in the arguments to fetchmail, or a
	      pre- or post-connect command failed.

       6      The run control file had bad permissions.

       7      There was	an error condition reported by the server.   Can  also
	      fire if fetchmail	timed out while	waiting	for the	server.

       8      Client-side  exclusion error.  This means	fetchmail either found
	      another copy of itself already running, or failed	in such	a  way
	      that it isn't sure whether another copy is running.

       9      The user authentication step failed because the server responded
	      "lock busy".  Try	again after a brief pause!  This error is  not
	      implemented  for all protocols, nor for all servers.  If not im-
	      plemented	for your server, "3" will  be  returned	 instead,  see
	      above.  May be returned when talking to qpopper or other servers
	      that can respond with "lock busy"	or some	similar	text  contain-
	      ing the word "lock".

       10     The fetchmail run	failed while trying to do an SMTP port open or

       11     Fatal DNS	error.	Fetchmail encountered an error while  perform-
	      ing a DNS	lookup at startup and could not	proceed.

       12     BSMTP batch file could not be opened.

       13     Poll terminated by a fetch limit (see the	--fetchlimit option).

       14     Server busy indication.

       23     Internal error.  You should see a	message	on standard error with

       24 - 26,	28, 29
	      These are	internal codes and should not appear externally.

       When fetchmail queries more than	one host, return status	is  0  if  any
       query  successfully retrieved mail. Otherwise the returned error	status
       is that of the last host	queried.

	    default run	control	file

	    default location of	file recording	last  message  UIDs  seen  per

	    lock file to help prevent concurrent runs (non-root	mode).

	    your FTP run control file, which (if present) will be searched for
	    passwords as a last	resort before prompting	for one	interactively.

	    lock file to help prevent concurrent runs (root mode,  Linux  sys-

	    lock  file	to  help  prevent  concurrent runs (root mode, systems
	    without /var/run).

	      If this environment variable is set to a valid and existing  di-
	      rectory  name,  fetchmail	 will  read $FETCHMAILHOME/fetchmailrc
	      (the dot is missing in this case), $FETCHMAILHOME/.fetchids  and
	      $FETCHMAILHOME/  rather  than from the user's home
	      directory.  The .netrc file is always looked for in the the  in-
	      voking  user's home directory regardless of FETCHMAILHOME's set-

	      If this environment variable is set, it is used as the  name  of
	      the calling user (default	local name) for	purposes such as mail-
	      ing error	notifications.	Otherwise, if either  the  LOGNAME  or
	      USER  variable  is  correctly  set  (e.g.	 the corresponding UID
	      matches the session user ID) then	that name is used as  the  de-
	      fault  local  name.   Otherwise  getpwuid(3) must	be able	to re-
	      trieve a password	entry for the session ID (this elaborate logic
	      is  designed  to	handle	the  case of multiple names per	userid

	      (since v6.3.22): If this environment variable  is	 set  and  not
	      empty,  fetchmail	 will  disable a countermeasure	against	an SSL
	      CBC IV attack (by	 setting  SSL_OP_DONT_INSERT_EMPTY_FRAGMENTS).
	      This  is a security risk,	but may	be necessary for connecting to
	      certain non-standards-conforming servers.	 See fetchmail's  NEWS
	      file  and	 fetchmail-SA-2012-01.txt for details.	Earlier	fetch-
	      mail versions (v6.3.21 and older)	used to	disable	this  counter-
	      measure, but v6.3.22 no longer does that as a safety precaution.

	      (since  v6.3.17):	 If  this  environment variable	is set and not
	      empty, fetchmail will always load	the default X.509 trusted cer-
	      tificate	 locations   for  SSL/TLS  CA  certificates,  even  if
	      --sslcertfile and	--sslcertpath are given.  The latter locations
	      take precedence over the system default locations.  This is use-
	      ful in case there	are broken certificates	in the system directo-
	      ries  and	the user has no	administrator privileges to remedy the

	      If  the  HOME_ETC	 variable  is	set,   fetchmail   will	  read
	      $HOME_ETC/.fetchmailrc instead of	~/.fetchmailrc.

	      If HOME_ETC and FETCHMAILHOME are	both set, HOME_ETC will	be ig-

	      (only if SOCKS support is	compiled in) this variable is used  by
	      the socks	library	to find	out which configuration	file it	should
	      read. Set	this to	/dev/null to bypass the	SOCKS proxy.

       If a fetchmail daemon is	running	as root, SIGUSR1 wakes it up from  its
       sleep  phase and	forces a poll of all non-skipped servers. For compati-
       bility reasons, SIGHUP can also be used in 6.3.X	but may	not be	avail-
       able in future fetchmail	versions.

       If fetchmail is running in daemon mode as non-root, use SIGUSR1 to wake
       it (this	is so SIGHUP due to logout can retain the  default  action  of
       killing it).

       Running fetchmail in foreground while a background fetchmail is running
       will do whichever of these is appropriate to wake it up.

       Please check the	NEWS file that shipped with fetchmail for  more	 known
       bugs than those listed here.

       Fetchmail  cannot  handle  user	names  that contain blanks after a "@"
       character, for instance "demonstr@ti on". These are rather uncommon and
       only  hurt when using UID-based --keep setups, so the 6.3.X versions of
       fetchmail won't be fixed.

       Fetchmail cannot	handle configurations where you	have multiple accounts
       that  use the same server name and the same login. Any user@server com-
       bination	must be	unique.

       The assumptions that the	DNS and	in particular the  checkalias  options
       make  are  not  often sustainable. For instance,	it has become uncommon
       for an MX server	to be a	POP3 or	IMAP server at the same	 time.	There-
       fore the	MX lookups may go away in a future release.

       The  mda	 and plugin options interact badly.  In	order to collect error
       status from the MDA, fetchmail has to change its	normal signal handling
       so  that	 dead  plugin  processes don't get reaped until	the end	of the
       poll cycle.  This can cause resource starvation if too many zombies ac-
       cumulate.  So either don't deliver to a MDA using plugins or risk being
       overrun by an army of undead.

       The --interface option does not support IPv6 and	it is doubtful	if  it
       ever  will,  since there	is no portable way to query interface IPv6 ad-

       The RFC822 address parser used in multidrop mode	chokes on  some	 @-ad-
       dresses	that are technically legal but bizarre.	 Strange uses of quot-
       ing and embedded	comments are likely to confuse it.

       In a message with multiple envelope headers, only  the  last  one  pro-
       cessed will be visible to fetchmail.

       Use  of	some  of  these	protocols requires that	the program send unen-
       crypted passwords over the TCP/IP connection to the  mailserver.	  This
       creates a risk that name/password pairs might be	snaffled with a	packet
       sniffer or more sophisticated monitoring	 software.   Under  Linux  and
       FreeBSD,	 the  --interface  option  can	be used	to restrict polling to
       availability of a specific interface device with	a  specific  local  or
       remote  IP  address,  but snooping is still possible if (a) either host
       has a network device that can be	opened in promiscuous mode, or (b) the
       intervening network link	can be tapped.	We recommend the use of	ssh(1)
       tunnelling to not only shroud your passwords  but  encrypt  the	entire

       Use  of	the  %F	 or  %T	escapes	in an mda option could open a security
       hole, because they pass text manipulable	by an attacker to a shell com-
       mand.  Potential	shell characters are replaced by '_' before execution.
       The hole	is further reduced by the fact that fetchmail temporarily dis-
       cards any suid privileges it may	have while running the MDA.  For maxi-
       mum safety, however, don't use an mda command containing	%F or %T  when
       fetchmail is run	from the root account itself.

       Fetchmail's  method  of	sending	bounces	due to errors or spam-blocking
       and spam	bounces	requires that port 25 of localhost  be	available  for
       sending mail via	SMTP.

       If you modify ~/.fetchmailrc while a background instance	is running and
       break the syntax, the background	instance will die silently.   Unfortu-
       nately,	it  can't die noisily because we don't yet know	whether	syslog
       should be enabled.  On some systems, fetchmail  dies  quietly  even  if
       there is	no syntax error; this seems to have something to do with buggy
       terminal	ioctl code in the kernel.

       The -f -	option (reading	a configuration	from  stdin)  is  incompatible
       with the	plugin option.

       The 'principal' option only handles Kerberos IV,	not V.

       Interactively  entered  passwords are truncated after 63	characters. If
       you really need to use a	longer password, you will have to use  a  con-
       figuration file.

       A  backslash  as	 the  last  character  of a configuration file will be
       flagged as a syntax error rather	than ignored.

       The BSMTP error handling	is virtually nonexistent and may leave	broken
       messages	behind.

       Send comments, bug reports, gripes, and the like	to the fetchmail-devel
       list <>

       An HTML FAQ <> is	avail-
       able  at	the fetchmail home page, it should also	accompany your instal-

       Fetchmail is currently maintained by Matthias Andree and	Rob Funk  with
       major  assistance  from	Sunil Shetye (for code)	and Rob	MacGregor (for
       the mailing lists).

       Most of the code	is from	Eric S.	Raymond	<>	.  Too
       many other people to name here have contributed code and	patches.

       This  program  is descended from	and replaces popclient,	by Carl	Harris
       <> ; the	internals have	become	quite  different,  but
       some  of	 its  interface	design is directly traceable to	that ancestral

       This manual page	has been improved by Matthias Andree, R. Hannes	 Bein-
       ert, and	Hector Garcia.

       README, README.SSL, README.SSL-SERVER, The Fetchmail FAQ	<http://>, mutt(1),	elm(1),	mail(1), send-
       mail(8),	popd(8), imapd(8), netrc(5).

       The fetchmail home page.	 <>

       The maildrop home page.	<>

       Note that this list is just a collection	of references and not a	state-
       ment as to the actual protocol conformance or  requirements  in	fetch-

	    RFC	 821,  RFC  2821,  RFC 1869, RFC 1652, RFC 1870, RFC 1983, RFC
	    1985, RFC 2554.

	    RFC	822, RFC 2822, RFC 1123, RFC 1892, RFC 1894.

	    RFC	937

	    RFC	1081, RFC 1225,	RFC 1460, RFC 1725, RFC	1734,  RFC  1939,  RFC
	    1957, RFC 2195, RFC	2449.

	    RFC	1939.

	    RFC	1081, RFC 1225.

	    RFC	1176, RFC 1732.

	    RFC	 1730,	RFC  1731, RFC 1732, RFC 2060, RFC 2061, RFC 2195, RFC
	    2177, RFC 2683.

	    RFC	1985.

	    RFC	2645.

       OTP: RFC	1938.

	    RFC	2033.

	    RFC	1508, RFC 1734,	Generic	Security Service Application Program
	    Interface (GSSAPI)/Kerberos/Simple Authentication and Security
	    Layer (SASL) Service Names <

       TLS: RFC	2595.

fetchmail		       fetchmail 6.3.26			  fetchmail(1)


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