fetchmail [options] [servers...]

Retrieves mail from mail servers and forwards it to the local mail delivery system. fetchmail retrieves mail from servers that support the common mail protocols POP2, POP3, IMAP2bis, and IMAP4. Messages are delivered via SMTP through port 25 on the local host and through your system’s mail delivery agent (such as sendmail), where they can be read through the user’s mail client. fetchmail settings are stored in the ~/.fetchmailrc file. Parameters and servers can also be set on the command line, which will override settings in the .fetchmailrc file.


-a, --all

Retrieve all messages from server, even those that have already been seen but left on the server. The default is to only retrieve new messages.

-A type, --auth type

Specify the type of authentication. type may be password, kerberos_v5, or kerberos. Authentication type is usually established by fetchmail by default, so this option isn’t very useful.

-B n, --fetchlimit n

Set the maximum number of messages (n) accepted from a server per query.

-b n, --batchlimit n

Set the maximum number of messages sent to an SMTP listener per connection. When this limit is reached, the connection is broken and reestablished. The default of 0 means no limit.

-c, --check

Check for mail on a single server without retrieving or deleting messages. Works with IMAP, but not well with other protocols, if at all.

-D [domain], --smtpaddress [domain]

Specify the domain name placed in RCPT TO lines ...

Get Mac OS X Panther in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.