Client-server mail protocols FAQ

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Jul 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/30/97
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Mini FAQ on client-server mail protocols
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$Id: mailclientfaq.1,v 1.38 1997/01/23 17:11:58 pauls Exp pauls $

This is a mini FAQ covering client-server mail protocols, available
software packages (commercial, shareware, freeware and sourceware), and
pointers to sources and FAQs. Send email with any suggested additions,
or if you'd like to have your product or package listed.

This FAQ can be found on the web at:

http://www.etext.org/~pauls/mailclientfaq.txt

Or via anonymous ftp at:

ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-hierarchy/comp/answers/mail/mailclient-faq


--
Paul Southworth
http://www.cic.net/~pauls
pa...@cic.net


A. Servers
1. Where can I get a POP server?
2. Where can I get a IMAP server?
3. What's the difference between POP and IMAP?
4. What are the relevant RFCs for POP and IMAP?

B. Clients
1. Where can I get a POP client?
2. Where can I get a IMAP client?


A Servers
1. Where can I get a POP server?

For Unix:

The "qpop" distribution is a direct descendent of the UCB "popper"
and should be used instead of the UCB popper package since popper hasn't
been maintained in 2+ years. qpop supports many platforms and
also supports Kerberos IV. It is maintained by Qualcomm, makers of
the popular Eudora POP client. Free product.
ftp://ftp.qualcomm.com/quest/unix/servers/popper

The IMAP distribution contains the ipop2d and ipop3d servers (in
addition to imapd) which are POP2 and POP3 respectively. The IMAP
distribution has also been ported to many platforms.
ftp://ftp.cac.washington.edu/imap/imap.tar.Z

Post.Office is a commercial SMTP/POP3 server distributed by
Netmanage. Administration of the server is conducted via
web forms or commands sent via e-mail. Unix version supports
SunOS 4.x and Solaris 2.x. NT version also available.
http://www.netmanage.com/products/zcentral

Z-POP is a free server distributed by Netmanage. It is fully POP-3
compliant, and also has several extra hooks built in for use with
Z-Mail. These include IMAP - like mailbox synch, as well as client
configuration and preferences uploading and downloading.
ftp://ftp.netmanage.com/pub/z-stuff/z-code/supported/z-pop

BlitzMail is Dartmouth College's freeware client-server Internet
e-mail system (supports POP3 and POP password changing protocol).
More information about BlitzMail can be found at:
http://www.dartmouth.edu/pages/softdev/blitz.html
ftp://ftp.dartmouth.edu/pub/mac/BlitzMail/Export

Pop3d is a POP server produced by Katie Stevens at the University of
California, Davis. It has apparently not been maintained in some
time, and has not been widely ported. Notes indicate that it was
coded based on RFC1225, which has been obsoleted by RFC1460 and
RFC1725 since pop3d was released.
ftp://ftp.ucdavis.edu/unix-public/pop3d.tar

For OpenVMS:

There is a free OpenVMS POP3 server available in
ftp://ftp.indiana.edu/pub/vms/iupop3.
[Thanks to "Mark H. Wood" <MW...@INDYVAX.IUPUI.EDU>]

For Macintosh:

MailShare runs on the Macintosh, and supports SMTP and POP services.
For information: http://www.winternet.com/~carl/mailshare/mailshare.html
To download: ftp://ftp.winternet.com/users/carl

For Windows95:

Seattle Labs' SLmail95 is a Windows95 POP3/SMTP server. Win32
native. Commercial and freeware versions are available. Company
also distributes a C64 emulator, but unfortunately no POP server for
the C64. :(
http://www.seattlelab.com

For Windows NT:

Net Shopper offers NTMAIL which supports SMTP and POP. For information:
http://www.net-shopper.co.uk/software/mail.htm

Seattle Labs' SLmailNT is a Windows NT POP3/SMTP server. 32-bit
and runs as an NT service. Commercial product.
http://www.seattlelab.com

EMWAC Internet Mail Services (IMS) for Windows NT supports SMTP and POP.
This package is freeware.
http://www.emwac.ed.ac.uk/html/internet_toolchest/ims/ims.htm

Post.Office is a commercial SMTP/POP3 server distributed by
Netmanage. Administration of the server is conducted via
web forms or commands sent via e-mail. Unix version also available.
http://www.netmanage.com/products/zcentral

For Netware:

Mercury Mail supports SMTP and POP3 running on a Novell Netware server.
ftp://risc.ua.edu/pub/network/pegasus/merc121.zip

2. Where can I get a IMAP server?

For Unix:

The Washington IMAP distribution is the most widely used IMAP
server. Widely ported and easy to install. Includes POP2 and POP3
servers as well.
ftp://ftp.cac.washington.edu/imap/imap.tar.Z

The Cyrus IMAP server differs from other IMAP server implementations
in that it is generally intended to be run on "sealed" servers, where
normal users are not permitted to log in. The mailbox database is
stored in parts of the filesystem that are private to the Cyrus IMAP
system. All user access to mail is through the IMAP, POP3, or KPOP
protocols. For information, http://andrew2.andrew.cmu.edu/cyrus/cyrus
ftp://ftp.andrew.cmu.edu/pub/cyrus-mail

For OpenVMS:

Innosoft International, Inc. includes POP2, POP3, and IMAP2 servers
in their PMDF email package, which runs on OpenVMS.
[Thanks to: "Mark H. Wood" <MW...@INDYVAX.IUPUI.EDU>]

3. What's the difference between POP and IMAP?

Terry Gray's "imap.vs.pop" document in the IMAP distribution describes
this in detail. Stealing from that document:

With POP (Post Office Protocol), mail is delivered to a shared
server, and a personal computer user periodically connects to
the server and downloads all of the pending mail to the
"client" machine. Thereafter, all mail processing is local to
the client machine. Think of POP as providing a
store-and-forward service, intended to move mail (on demand)
from an intermediate server (drop point) to a single
destination machine, usually a PC or Mac. Once delivered to the
PC or Mac, the messages are typically deleted from the POP
server.

IMAP is a client-server mail protocol designed to permit
manipulation of remote mailboxes as if they were local. With
IMAP, mail is again delivered to a shared server, but the mail
client machine does not normally copy it all at once and then
delete it from the server. It's more of a client-server model,
where the IMAP client can ask the server for headers, or the
bodies of specified messages, or to search for messages meeting
certain criteria. Messages in the mail repository can be marked
as deleted and subsequently expunged, but they stay on the
repository until the user takes such action.

Need more? Go read the document yourself. It's stored on
ftp://ftp.cac.washington.edu/mail/imap.vs.pop

4. What are the relevant RFCs for POP and IMAP?

ftp://ftp.uu.net/inet/rfc

For POP3:

RFC1734 Myers, J. POP3 AUTHentication command. 1994 December; 5
p. (Format: TXT=8499 bytes)

RFC1725 Myers, J.; Rose, M. Post Office Protocol - Version 3.
1994 November; 18 p. (Format: TXT=35058 bytes) (Obsoletes RFC1460)

RFC1082 Rose, M. Post Office Protocol: Version 3: Extended
service offerings. 1988 November; 11 p. (Format: TXT=25423
bytes)

For IMAP:

RFC1733 Crispin, M. DISTRIBUTED ELECTRONIC MAIL MODELS IN
IMAP4. 1994 December; 3 p. (Format: TXT=6205 bytes)

RFC1732 Crispin, M. IMAP4 COMPATIBILITY WITH IMAP2 AND
IMAP2BIS. 1994 December; 5 p. (Format: TXT=9276 bytes)

RFC1731 Myers, J. IMAP4 Authentication Mechanisms. 1994
December; 6 p. (Format: TXT=11433 bytes)

RFC1730 Crispin, M. INTERNET MESSAGE ACCESS PROTOCOL - VERSION
4. 1994 December; 73 p. (Format: TXT=156660 bytes)

RFC1203 Rice, J. Interactive Mail Access Protocol: Version 3.
1991 February; 49 p. (Format: TXT=123325 bytes) (Obsoletes RFC1064)

RFC1176 Crispin, M. Interactive Mail Access Protocol: Version
2. 1990 August; 30 p. (Format: TXT=67330 bytes) (Obsoletes
RFC1064)

5. Where can I find more about available IMAP software?

ftp://ftp.cac.washington.edu/mail/imap.software

or

http://andrew2.andrew.cmu.edu/cyrus


B. Clients
1. Where can I get a POP client?

For Unix:

The Rand Mail Handler supports POP.
ftp://ftp.ics.uci.edu/pub/mh

POP3 support has been added to mailx.
ftp://ftp.cic.net/pub/Software/unix/mail/popmail.shar.gz

Mutt is a full-screen (curses) mail user agent for Unix. Source
distribution is available under the GNU Public License. POP3 is
supported. Michael Elkins, mutt's author/maintainer, gives the
following recommendation: "All mail clients suck. This one just
sucks less." Manual pages and HTML documentation are included.
ftp://cs.hmc.edu/pub/me/mutt

Fetchmail is a simple POP mail retrieval client for U*ix. It supports
the POP2 and POP3 protocols, and compiles/runs under a fairly wide
variety of systems. Eric S. Raymond <e...@thyrsus.com> is the current
maintainer. Fetchmail supercedes the older "popclient" utility which
has been discontinued.
ftp://ftp.ccil.org/pub/esr
http://www.ccil.org/~esr/fetchmail

gwpop is a perl-based mail downloader. Used in conjunction with
procmail, gwpop can fetch mail from a mail hub via POP and deliver
it locally to user mailboxes. Includes some security features not
found in other POP clients. Supports but does not require perl v5.
ftp://ftp.pasteur.fr/pub/computing/unix/network/gwpop

fetchpop is a POP mail downloader which can run as a daemon, downloading
mail from a POP server at user-defined intervals and handing it to
either procmail or sendmail. Written in C. Latest version as of
this writing is 1.9. Author is seung-hong oh <o...@cis.ohio-state.edu>.
ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/system/Mail/pop

popc is a simple perl-based mail downloader which can be used to
fetch a mailbox from a POP server and distribute the messages to
multiple users.
ftp://ftp.imag.fr/pub/Linux/net

Z-Mail for Unix is a commercial POP3 client, and IMAP support
is planned for future releases. Motif and terminal-based versions
available. Binary releases for many Unix platforms are available.
http://www.netmanage.com/products/zmail

Pine supports POP3 although it's not really recommended by the
authors. Make your inbox-path= line in the .pinerc look like this:
inbox-path={your.mail.host/110}inbox
See below under the IMAP client section for information about Pine.

XF-Mail is an X11 mail reader based on the XForms toolkit. It supports
POP, and keeps mail in mh-style folders. Free alpha releases are
available now. Lengthy "TODO" list before full release comes out...
http://www.netvision.net.il/xfmail/xfmail.html

The Netscape Navigator web client includes a POP3 client.
Commercial software. Some people might be able to use it for free.
http://www.netscape.com/comprod/mirror/client_download.html

For Emacs:

The "vm" elisp package supports POP for emacs (versions 18 and 19 are
supported).
ftp://ftp.uu.net/networking/mail/vm

For MSDOS:

Pegasus Mail supports POP.
ftp://risc.ua.edu/pub/network/pegasus

Minuet is the successor of UMinn "popmail". It supports POP (as well
as gopher, NNTP, and ftp protocols).
ftp://boombox.micro.umn.edu/pub/pc/minuet

NuPOP is an MSDOS POP client offering both real and protected-mode
versions. Includes built-in dialup functionality, or can interface
with packet drivers or a handful of other TCP/IP stacks. From
Northwestern University.
ftp://ftp.acns.nwu.edu/pub/nupop

For Windows:

Eudora works under Windows and Windows NT. Both free and commercial
versions are available.
http://www.eudora.com
ftp://ftp.qualcomm.com/quest/eudora/windows

Windows Pegasus Mail supports POP. Very popular client with
attractive licensing terms.
ftp://risc.ua.edu/pub/network/pegasus

Z-Mail Pro for Windows is a commercial POP3 client, distributed
by Netmanage, which supports Windows95 and NT.
http://www.netmanage.com/products/zmailpro

Microsoft Internet Mail & News is a POP3 client add-on for
Microsoft Internet Explorer. Free software.
http://www.microsoft.com/ie/download/ieadd.htm

The Netscape Navigator web client includes a POP3 client.
Commercial software. Some people might be able to use it for free.
http://www.netscape.com/comprod/mirror/client_download.html

For Macintosh:

Eudora works on the Mac (PPC versions too). Both free and commercial
versions are available.
http://www.eudora.com
ftp://ftp.qualcomm.com/quest/eudora/mac

POPMail II is another.
ftp://archive.umich.edu/mac/util/comm/popmail2.2.sit.hqx

Macintosh Pegasus Mail supports POP.
ftp://risc.ua.edu/put/network/pegasus

Z-Mail for Macintosh is a POP3 client, distributed by Netmanage,
which supports MacOS 7.x and higher.
http://www.netmanage.com/products/zmail

Microsoft Internet Mail & News is a POP3 client add-on for
Microsoft Internet Explorer. Free software.
http://www.microsoft.com/ie/download/ieadd.htm

The Netscape Navigator web client includes a POP3 client.
Commercial software. Some people might be able to use it for free.
http://www.netscape.com/comprod/mirror/client_download.html

2. Where can I get an IMAP client?

For Unix:

The popular "pine" mail package is probably the most widely used.
ftp://ftp.cac.washington.edu/pine/pine.tar.Z

ML is a Motif IMAP mail client. It provides advanced mail
processing features as well as being easy to use for "the masses".
Source is available, as are binaries for SunOS, Solaris, Linux,
and IRIX.
http://www-camis.stanford.edu/projects/imap/ml
ftp://camis.stanford.edu/pub/ml/ml.tar.Z

Simeon (formerly ECS Mail) is a commercial Motif IMAP
client. Full-featured demo versions are available on the ESYS
web site. Currently supported Unix platforms are Solaris, SunOS,
IRIX, AIX, Digital Unix, and HP/UX.
http://www.esys.ca

For MSDOS:

Pine works on MSDOS too.
ftp://ftp.cac.washington.edu/pine/pcpine

The PCPINE versions go like this (from the README)

There are five versions of PC-Pine:

o DOS: FTP Inc's PC-TCP file name: pcpine_f.zip
o DOS: Novell's LAN Workplace for DOS file name: pcpine_n.zip
o DOS: Sun's PC-NFS file name: pcpine_s.zip
o DOS: WATTCP/Packet Driver file name: pcpine_p.zip

For Windows:

Pine works on Windows too. Uses Winsock API, but does not have
a "real" Windows interface.
ftp://ftp.cac.washington.edu/pine/pcpine/pcpine_w.zip

Simeon (formerly ECS Mail) is a commercial Windows-based IMAP
client. Full-featured demo versions are available on the ESYS
web site. Both 16-bit (Windows 3.1) and 32-bit (95 and NT)
versions are available.
http://www.esys.ca

For Macintosh:

POPMail II supports IMAP2. See above under Mac POP clients.

Mailstrom is a Mac IMAP client. Seems to like to crash a lot on
some systems. Supposedly on info-mac, but good luck getting logged
in. Washington has a copy, although this is not the official site:
ftp://ftp.cac.washington.edu/imap/mac

Mail Drop is a Macintosh IMAP client written by Carl Bell of Baylor
University, available at:
ftp://ackmo.baylor.edu/pub/bell/Mail_Drop/Mail_Drop.hqx.
[Thanks to Brian Forney <bfo...@umich.edu>]

Simeon (formerly ECS Mail) is a commercial Macintosh IMAP client.
Full-featured demo versions are available on the ESYS web site.
http://www.esys.ca

For Acorn RISCOS:

The ANT Internet Suite includes the "Marcel" mail & news package which
supports POP2, POP3, IMAP, SMTP and NNTP for mail/news transports, and
file attachments can be sent and received in MIME, UUencode, !EMail and
BtoA formats. Commercial software.
http://www.ant.co.uk

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