HowTo: Retrieve Email from a POP3 Server using the Command Line

The POP3 (Post Office Protocol Version 3) is an application-layer Internet standard protocol used by local Email clients to retrieve Email from a remote server over a TCP/IP connection.

This tutorial shows how to connect to POP3 mail server and manage incoming Email using the ‘telnet’ command.

Step 1: Open a connection from your computer to a POP3 mail server

$ telnet pop.domain.ext 110
Trying ???.???.???.???...
Connected to pop.domain.ext.
Escape character is '^]'.
+OK ready
  • pop.domain.ext – Your mail server;
  • 110 – Default port for POP3.

Step 2: Type your Login

> USER username
+OK Password required for UserName.

Step 3: Type your Password

> PASS password
+OK username has ? visible messages (? hidden) in ????? octets.

POP3 Commands with Description

Here are the basic POP3 commands, that you can use to manage your incoming Email.

CommandDescriptionExample
USER [username] 1st login command USER Stan
+OK Please enter a password
PASS [password] 2nd login command PASS SeCrEt
+OK valid logon
QUIT Logs out and saves any changes QUIT
+OK Bye-bye.
STAT Returns total number of messages and total size STAT
+OK 2 320
LIST Lists all messages LIST
+OK 2 messages (320 octets)
1 120
2 200

LIST 2
+OK 2 200
RETR [message] Retrieves the whole message RETR 1
+OK 120 octets follow.
***
DELE [message] Deletes the specified message DELE 2
+OK message deleted
NOOP The POP3 server does nothing, it merely replies with a positive response. NOOP
+OK
RSET Undelete the message if any marked for deletion RSET
+OK maildrop has 2 messages (320 octets)
TOP [message] [number] Returns the headers and number of lines from the message TOP 1 10
+OK
***
0 (0)
Article Rating (No Votes)
Rate this article
Attachments
There are no attachments for this article.
Comments
There are no comments for this article. Be the first to post a comment.
Full Name
Email Address
Security Code Security Code
Related Articles RSS Feed
How to retrieve and change partition’s UUID Universally Unique Identifier on linux
Viewed 868 times since Tue, Jul 17, 2018
Using renice and taskset to manage process priority and CPU affinity with Linux OEL 6.4
Viewed 886 times since Mon, Feb 17, 2020
awk printf
Viewed 4157 times since Wed, Aug 19, 2020
UUIDs and Linux: Everything you ever need to know [Update]
Viewed 835 times since Tue, Jul 17, 2018
Top 25 Best Linux Performance Monitoring and Debugging Tools
Viewed 3708 times since Sun, Sep 30, 2018
How To Find Largest Top 10 Files and Directories On Linux / UNIX / BSD find
Viewed 762 times since Mon, Oct 29, 2018
10 Linux DIG Command Examples for DNS Lookup
Viewed 817 times since Sun, Sep 30, 2018
How to enable Proxy Settings for Yum Command on RHEL / CentOS Servers
Viewed 1845 times since Thu, Jul 19, 2018
RHEL: Change system’s hostname
Viewed 1426 times since Sun, May 27, 2018
Use inotify-tools on CentOS 7 or RHEL 7 to watch files and directories for events
Viewed 1698 times since Fri, Jul 27, 2018