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Net::POP3

What is This Library?

This library provides functionality for retrieving email via POP3, the Post Office Protocol version 3. For details of POP3, see [RFC1939] (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1939.txt).

Examples

Retrieving Messages

This example retrieves messages from the server and deletes them on the server.

Messages are written to files named ‘inbox/1’, ‘inbox/2’, .… Replace ‘pop.example.com’ with your POP3 server address, and ‘YourAccount’ and ‘YourPassword’ with the appropriate account details.

require 'net/pop'

pop = Net::POP3.new('pop.example.com')
pop.start('YourAccount', 'YourPassword')             # (1)
if pop.mails.empty?
  puts 'No mail.'
else
  i = 0
  pop.each_mail do |m|   # or "pop.mails.each ..."   # (2)
    File.open("inbox/#{i}", 'w') do |f|
      f.write m.pop
    end
    m.delete
    i += 1
  end
  puts "#{pop.mails.size} mails popped."
end
pop.finish                                           # (3)
  1. Call Net::POP3#start and start POP session.

  2. Access messages by using POP3#each_mail and/or POP3#mails.

  3. Close POP session by calling POP3#finish or use the block form of #start.

Shortened Code

The example above is very verbose. You can shorten the code by using some utility methods. First, the block form of Net::POP3.start can be used instead of POP3.new, POP3#start and POP3#finish.

require 'net/pop'

Net::POP3.start('pop.example.com', 110,
                'YourAccount', 'YourPassword') do |pop|
  if pop.mails.empty?
    puts 'No mail.'
  else
    i = 0
    pop.each_mail do |m|   # or "pop.mails.each ..."
      File.open("inbox/#{i}", 'w') do |f|
        f.write m.pop
      end
      m.delete
      i += 1
    end
    puts "#{pop.mails.size} mails popped."
  end
end

POP3#delete_all is an alternative for #each_mail and #delete.

require 'net/pop'

Net::POP3.start('pop.example.com', 110,
                'YourAccount', 'YourPassword') do |pop|
  if pop.mails.empty?
    puts 'No mail.'
  else
    i = 1
    pop.delete_all do |m|
      File.open("inbox/#{i}", 'w') do |f|
        f.write m.pop
      end
      i += 1
    end
  end
end

And here is an even shorter example.

require 'net/pop'

i = 0
Net::POP3.delete_all('pop.example.com', 110,
                     'YourAccount', 'YourPassword') do |m|
  File.open("inbox/#{i}", 'w') do |f|
    f.write m.pop
  end
  i += 1
end

Memory Space Issues

All the examples above get each message as one big string. This example avoids this.

require 'net/pop'

i = 1
Net::POP3.delete_all('pop.example.com', 110,
                     'YourAccount', 'YourPassword') do |m|
  File.open("inbox/#{i}", 'w') do |f|
    m.pop do |chunk|    # get a message little by little.
      f.write chunk
    end
    i += 1
  end
end

Using APOP

The net/pop library supports APOP authentication. To use APOP, use the Net::APOP class instead of the Net::POP3 class. You can use the utility method, Net::POP3.APOP(). For example:

require 'net/pop'

# Use APOP authentication if $isapop == true
pop = Net::POP3.APOP($is_apop).new('apop.example.com', 110)
pop.start(YourAccount', 'YourPassword') do |pop|
  # Rest of the code is the same.
end

Fetch Only Selected Mail Using ‘UIDL’ POP Command

If your POP server provides UIDL functionality, you can grab only selected mails from the POP server. e.g.

def need_pop?( id )
  # determine if we need pop this mail...
end

Net::POP3.start('pop.example.com', 110,
                'Your account', 'Your password') do |pop|
  pop.mails.select { |m| need_pop?(m.unique_id) }.each do |m|
    do_something(m.pop)
  end
end

The POPMail#unique_id() method returns the unique-id of the message as a String. Normally the unique-id is a hash of the message.

Aliases

  • POP3Session

Constants

Revision = %q$Revision$.split[1]

Attributes

[R] read_timeout

Seconds to wait until reading one block (by one read(1) call). If the POP3 object cannot complete a read() within this time, it raises a TimeoutError exception.

[RW] open_timeout

Seconds to wait until a connection is opened. If the POP3 object cannot open a connection within this time, it raises a TimeoutError exception.

[R] address

The address to connect to.

Show files where this class is defined (1 file)
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