FEATURES   [plain text]

   (This document was generated from fetchmail-features.html)


                           Fetchmail Feature List

Since 5.0:

     * ESMTP AUTH (RFC 2554) is supported.
     * Has  the  capability  of  adding trace information to the Received
       header  to  faciliate  mail  filtering  by  mailserver  and remote
     * Fetchmail now has options to handle SSL certificate validation.
     * Fetchmail  now  falls back to delivering via local MDA if it can't
       open port 25.
     * Support for AUTH=CRAM-MD5 under POP3, a la RFC2195.
     * Support for ODMR (On-Demand Mail Relay), RFC 2645 (untested).
     * It's now easy to deliver mail to a local LMTP socket.
     * The  interface  option  now checks both local and remote interface
     * The  plugin  facility has been enhanced; %h and %p options are now
       available to pass in the hostname and service port number.
     * Added a dropdelivered option to discard Delivered-To headers. This
       addresses  a  problem  with using fetchmail and postfix as a relay
       inside   a  domain;  when  postfix  sees  incoming  messages  with
       delivered-to  headers looking exactly the same as the ones it adds
       himself, it bounces the message.
     * Added  --smtpname to set username and domain portion of SMTP "RCPT
       TO" command. >fetchmail@mail.julianhaight.com>.
     * Added  "from"  server's  IP  address  to  inserted  Received  line
     * Fetchmail    now    runs   on   BeOS,   thanks   to   David   Reid
     * In  IMAP,  unseen-message  counting  and  indexing  is now done by
       SEARCH  UNSEEN  at  the  beginning of each poll or re-poll (rather
       than  with  the  UNSEEN  and RECENT responses and FLAGS queries on
       individual  messages).  This significantly cuts down on traffic to
       and from the server, and gives more reliable results.
     * The  aka  option  now  matches hostname suffixes, so (for example)
       saying  `aka  netaxs.com'  will match not just netaxs.com but also
       (say) pop3.netaxs.com and mail.netaxs.com.
     * Fetchmail  can  optionally  use  the RFC 2177 IDLE extension on an
       IMAP server that supports it.
     * Fetchmail  now recognizes the RFC 2449 extended responses [IN-USE]
       and [LOGIN-DELAY].
     * Fetchmail  running in daemon mode now restarts itself quietly when
       the rc file is touched.
     * Following  recent  court  decisions  and  changes  in U.S. federal
       regulatory  policy,  hooks  for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) are now
       part  of  the  main fetchmail distribution. The distribution still
       contains no actual cryptographic code.
     * NTLM support under IMAP, so fetchmail can query Microsoft Exchange
     * Expunge  option  can  now  be  used  to  break POP3 retrieval into
     * Support for AUTH=CRAM-MD5 under IMAP, a la RFC2195.

Since 4.0:

     * The interface and monitor options now work with freeBSD.
     * Fetchmail now sends RFC1894-conformant bouncemail on SMTP and LMTP
     * Full support for LMTP according to RFC2033.
     * True multi-language support using GNU gettext.
     * Support for use of HESIOD with Kerberos.
     * The  --bsmtp  option  supports  recording  fetched mail as a BSMTP
     * The   --limit  option  can  now  be  used  in  daemon  mode,  with
       oversized-message notifications being mailed to the calling user.
     * Configurable  support  for  the SDPS extensions in www.demon.net's
       POP3 service.
     * There   is   now   an   interactive  GUI  fetchmail  configurator,
     * Code is 64-bit clean and Y2K-safe.
     * Automatically  decodes armored 7-bit MIME into 8 bits (this can be
     * You can specify which SMTP error is recognized as a spam block.
     * Support for Kerberos V authentication.
     * Support for IMAP-OTP authentication using Craig Metz's patches for
       UW IMAP.
     * Support for IPv6 (using glibc or Craig Metz's inet6-apps library).
     * Support for IPSEC (using Craig Metz's inet6-apps library).
     * Support for IMAP with RFC1731-conformant GSSAPI authentication.
     * Fixed and verified support for Cyrus IMAP server, M$ Exchange, and
       Post Office/NT.
     * Support for responding with a one-time password when a POP3 server
       issues an RFC1938-conforming OTP challenge.
     * Support for Compuserve's RPA authentication protocol for POP3 (not
       compiled in by default, but configurable).

Since 3.0:

     * Support for IMAP RFC 1731 authentication with Kerberos v4.
     * Support  for  multiple-folder  retrieval in a single session under
     * Following  SMTP  571  response to a From line, fetchmail no longer
       downloads the bodies of spam messages.
     * Support for a `hunt list' of SMTP hosts.
     * Support for ESMTP 8BITMIME and SIZE options.
     * Support for ESMTP ETRN command.
     * The    stripcr   &   forcecr   options   to   explicitly   control
       carriage-return   stripping   and  LF->CRLF  mapping  before  mail

Since 2.0:

     * Support for secure use with ssh.
     * Mailserver passwords can be parsed out of your .netrc file.
     * When  forwarding  mail  via SMTP, fetchmail respects the 571 "spam
       filter" response and discards any mail that triggers it.
     * Transaction and error logging may optionally be done via syslog.
     * (Linux  only)  Security  option to permit fetchmail to poll a host
       only when a point-to-point link to a particular IP address is up.
     * RPOP support (restored; had been removed in 1.8).

2.0 and earlier versions:

     * Support   POP2,   APOP,   RPOP,  IMAP2,  IMAP2bis,  IMAP3,  IMAP4,
       IMAP4rev1. .
     * Support  for  Kerberos  V4  user  authentication  (either  MIT  or
     * Host  is  auto-probed  for  a  working  server  if  no protocol is
       specified  for  the  connection.  Thus you don't need to know what
       servers  are  running  on  your  mail host in advance; the verbose
       option will tell you which one succeeds.
     * Delivery  via SMTP to the client machine's port 25. This means the
       retrieved  mail automatically goes to the system default MDA as if
       it were normal sender-initiated SMTP mail.
     * Configurable timeout to detect if server connection is dropped.
     * Support  for  retrieving  and forwarding from multi-drop mailboxes
       that is guaranteed not to cause mail loops.
     * Large  user  community  --  fetchmail  has  a large user base (the
       author's  beta  list  includes well over two hundred people). This
       means feedback is rapid, bugs get found and fixed rapidly.
     * Carefully   written,   comprehensive   and   up-to-date  man  page
       describing  not  only  modes of operation but also how to diagnose
       the  most  common kinds of problems and what to do about deficient
     * Rugged,  simple,  and  well-tested code -- the author relies on it
       every  day  and  it  has never lost mail, not even in experimental
       versions. (In the project's entire history there has only been one
       recorded  instance  of  lost  mail, and that was due to a quirk in
       some Microsoft code.)
     * Strict  conformance  to  relevant RFCs and good debugging options.
       You    could    use   fetchmail   to   test   and   debug   server
     * For anybody who cares, fetchmail is Y2K safe.

Features in common with other remote-mail retrieval programs:

   The  other programs I have checked include fetchpop1.9, PopTart-0.9.3,
   get-mail, gwpop, pimp-1.0, pop-perl5-1.2, popc, popmail-1.6 and upop.
     * Support for POP3.
     * Easy control via command line or free-format run control file.
     * Daemon  mode  -- fetchmail can be run in background to poll one or
       more hosts at a specified interval.
     * From:,  To:,  Cc:,  and  Reply-To:  headers  are rewritten so that
       usernames  relative  to  the fetchmail host become fully-qualified
       Internet addresses. This enables replies to work correctly. (Would
       be unique to fetchmail if I hadn't added it to fetchpop.)
     * Message and header processing are 8-bit clean.

    Eric S. Raymond <esr@snark.thyrsus.com>