INSTALL   [plain text]

		INSTALL Instructions for fetchmail

If you have installed binaries (e.g. from an RPM) you can skip to step 5.

If you are a Linux system packager, be aware that the build process generates
an RPM spec file at fetchmail.spec, and you can "make rpm" to generate an

The Frequently Asked Questions list, included as the file FAQ in this
distributions, answers the most common questions about configuring and 
running fetchmail.


If you want support for RFC1938-compliant one-time passwords, you'll
need to install Craig Metz's OPIE libraries first and *make sure
they're on the normal library path* where configure will find them.  Then
configure with --enable-OPIE, and fetchmail build process will detect
them and compile appropriately.

Note: there is no point in doing this unless your server is
OTP-enabled.  To test this, telnet to the server port and give it
a valid USER id.  If the OK response includes the string "otp-",
you should install OPIE.  You need version 2.32 or better.

The OPIE library sources are available at
You can also find OPIE and IPV6-capable servers there.

Building in IPv6 support *requires* glibc 2.1.1 (or newer) or 
that Craig Metz's inet6-apps kit be installed.
The IPsec patches *requires* inet6-apps kit.;
the IPsec patches require that the kit be built with network
security API support enabled. The kit can be gotten from (via IPv6) or
/pub/ipv6 (via IPv4).

Fetchmail has had serious grief from buggy versions of the gettext suite.
If your version is older than 1.10.40, you should use the configure
option `--with-included-gettext'.


Installing fetchmail is easy.  From within this directory, type:


(If your getext is old, you need to include the --with-included-gettext
option, which I recommend anyway). 

The autoconfiguration script will spend a bit of time figuring out the
specifics of your system.  If you want to specify a particular compiler
(e.g. you have gcc but want to compile with cc), set the environment 
variable CC before you run configure.  

The configure script accepts certain standard configuration options.
These include --prefix, --exec-prefix, --bindir, --infodir, --mandir,
and --srcdir.  Do `configure --help' for more.

POP2 support is no longer compiled in by default, as POP2 is way obsolete
and there don't seem to be any live servers for it anymore.  You can
configure it back in if you want with `configure --enable-POP2', but
leaving it out cuts the executable's size slightly.

Support for CompuServe's RPA authentication method (rather similar to
APOP) is available but also not included in the standard build.  You
can compile it in with `configure --enable-RPA'.

Support for Microsoft's NTLM authentication method is also available
but also not included in the standard build.  You can compile it in
with `configure --enable-NTLM'.

Support for authentication using RFC1731 GSSAPI is available
but also not included by default.  You can compile it in with
`configure --with-gssapi', which looks for GSSAPI support in standard
locations (/usr, /usr/local).  If you set --with-GSSAPI=DIR
you can direct the build to look for GSSAPI support under DIR.

Hooks for the OpenSSL library (see are
included in the distribution.  To enable these, configure with
--with-ssl; they are not included in the standard build.

If you want to build for debugging, 

	CFLAGS=-g LDFLAGS=" " ./configure

will do that.

To specify a fallback MUA in case local port 25 doesn't respond, do one of:

	configure --enable-fallback=procmail
	configure --enable-fallback=sendmail

A disadvantage of using procmail is that local alias expansion
according to /etc/aliases won't get done if we fall back to it.

Advanced configuration:

Specifying --with-kerberos=DIR or --with-kerberos5=DIR will tell the
fetchmail build process to look in DIR for Kerberos support.
Configure normally looks in /usr/kerberos and /usr/athena; if you
specify this option with an argument it will look in DIR first.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be good standardization of where
Kerberos lives.  If your configuration doesn't match one of the four
that fetchmail's knows about, you may find you have to
hand-hack the Makefile a bit.

You may also want to hand-hack the Makefile if you're writing a custom
or bleeding-edge resolver library.  In that case you will probably
want to add -lresolv or whatever to the definition of LOADLIBS.

It is also possible to explicitly condition out the support for
POP3, IMAP, and ETRN (with configure arguments of --disable-POP3,
--disable-IMAP, and --disable-ETRN respectively).  However, none
of these wins back more that 3 to 4K on an Intel box.

If you're running QNX, edit the distributed Makefile directly.  The
QNX values for various macros are there but commented out; all you
have to do is uncomment them.

3. MAKE 

You may find you need flex at version 2.5.3 or greater to build
fetchmail.  The stock lex distributed with some versions of Linux does
not work -- it yields a parser which core-dumps on syntax errors.  You
can get flex at the GNU ftp site,



This should compile fetchmail for your system.  If fetchmail fails to build
properly, see the FAQ section B on build-time problems.  Note: parallelized
make (e.g. make -j 4) fails due to some weirdness in the yacc productions.


Lastly, become root and run

	make install

This will install fetchmail.  By default, fetchmail will be installed
in /usr/local/bin, with the man page in /usr/local/man/man1.  You can
use the configure options --bindir and --mandir to change these.

NOTE: If you are using an MTA other than sendmail (such as qmail,
exim, or smail), see the FAQ (section T) for discussion of any special
configuration steps that may be necessary.


See the man page for a description of how to configure your individual

If you're upgrading from popclient, see question F4 in the FAQ file.


I strongly recommend that your first fetchmail run use the -v, -a and -k
options, in case there is something not quite right with your server,
your local delivery configuration or your port 25 listener.  Also,
beware of aliases that direct your local mail back to the server host!

This software is known to work with the qpop/popper series of freeware
POP3 servers; also with the IMAP2bis and IMAP4 servers that are
distributed with Pine from the University of Washington; also with the
Cyrus IMAP server from CMU.  This covers all the servers commonly
hosted on Linux and *BSD systems.  It also works with the IMAP service
of Microsoft Exchange, despite the fact that Microsoft Exchange is
extremely broken (returns incorrect message lengths in LIST

See the FAQ, section S, for detailed advice on running with various


You should read the FAQ file question G3 before reporting a bug.


Once you've verified your configuration, you can start fetchmail to
run in background and forget about it.  Enjoy!