Mail::POP3Client − Perl 5 module to talk to a POP3 (RFC1939)

  use Mail::POP3Client;
  $pop = new Mail::POP3Client( USER     => "me",
                               PASSWORD => "mypassword",
                               HOST     => "" );
  for( $i = 1; $i <= $pop‐>Count(); $i++ ) {
    foreach( $pop‐>Head( $i ) ) {
      /^(From⎪Subject):\s+/i && print $_, "\n";

       # OR with SSL
  $pop = new Mail::POP3Client( USER     => "me",
                               PASSWORD => "mypassword",
                               HOST     => "",
                               USESSL   => true,

       # OR
  $pop2 = new Mail::POP3Client( HOST  => "pop3.otherdo.main" );
  $pop2‐>User( "somebody" );
  $pop2‐>Pass( "doublesecret" );
  $pop2‐>Connect() >= 0 ⎪⎪ die $pop2‐>Message();

       # OR to use your own SSL socket...
  my $socket = IO::Socket::SSL‐>new( PeerAddr => ’pop.securedo.main’,
                                     PeerPort => 993,
                                     Proto    => ’tcp’) ⎪⎪ die "No socket!";
  my $pop = Mail::POP3Client‐>new();

This module implements an Object‐Oriented interface to a
POP3 server.  It implements RFC1939

Here is a simple example to list out the From: and Subject:
headers in your remote mailbox:


       use Mail::POP3Client;


       $pop = new Mail::POP3Client( USER     => "me",
                               PASSWORD => "mypassword",
                               HOST     => "" );
  for ($i = 1; $i <= $pop‐>Count(); $i++) {
    foreach ( $pop‐>Head( $i ) ) {
      /^(From⎪Subject):\s+/i and print $_, "\n";
    print "\n";

Old style (deprecated):
   new Mail::POP3Client( USER, PASSWORD [, HOST, PORT,

     New style (shown with defaults):
   new Mail::POP3Client( USER      => "",
                         PASSWORD  => "",
                         HOST      => "pop3",
                         PORT      => 110,
                         AUTH_MODE => ’BEST’,
                         DEBUG     => 0,
                         TIMEOUT   => 60,
                         LOCALADDR =>
                         SOCKET => undef,
                         USESSL => 0,

* USER is the userID of the account on the POP server

* PASSWORD is the cleartext password for the userID

* HOST is the POP server name or IP address (default =

* PORT is the POP server port (default = 110)

* DEBUG − any non−null, non‐zero value turns on debugging
    (default = 0)

* AUTH_MODE − pass ’APOP’ to force APOP (MD5) authorization.
    (default is ’BEST’)

* TIMEOUT − set a timeout value for socket operations
    (default = 60)

* LOCALADDR − allow selecting a local inet address to use

These commands are intended to make writing a POP3 client
easier.  They do not necessarily map directly to POP3
commands defined in RFC1081 or RFC1939, although all
commands should be supported.  Some commands return multiple
lines as an array in an array context.


new( USER => ’user’, PASSWORD => ’password’, HOST => ’host’,
        PORT => 110, DEBUG => 0, AUTH_MODE => ’BEST’,
        TIMEOUT => 60,, LOCALADDR => ’[:xx]’,
        SOCKET => undef, USESSL => 0 ) )
        Construct a new POP3 connection with this.  You
        should use the hash‐style constructor.  The old
        positional constructor is deprecated and will be
        removed in a future release.  It is strongly
        recommended that you convert your code to the new

        You should give it at least 2 arguments: USER and
        PASSWORD.  The default HOST is ’pop3’ which may or
        may not work for you.  You can specify a different
        PORT (be careful here).

        new will attempt to Connect to and Login to the POP3
        server if you supply a USER and PASSWORD.  If you do
        not supply them in the constructor, you will need to
        call Connect yourself.

        The valid values for AUTH_MODE are ’BEST’, ’PASS’,
        ’APOP’ and ’CRAM−MD5’.  BEST says to try APOP if the
        server appears to support it and it can be used to
        successfully log on, next try similarly with
        CRAM−MD5, and finally revert to PASS. APOP and
        CRAM−MD5 imply that an MD5 checksum will be used
        instead of sending your password in cleartext.
        However, if the server does not claim to support
        APOP or CRAM−MD5, the cleartext method will be used.
        Be careful. There are a few servers that will send a
        timestamp in the banner greeting, but APOP will not
        work with them (for instance if the server does not
        know your password in cleartext).  If you think your
        authentication information is correct, run in DEBUG
        mode and look for errors regarding authorization.
        If so, then you may have to use ’PASS’ for that
        server.  The same applies to CRAM−MD5, too.

        If you enable debugging with DEBUG => 1, socket
        traffic will be echoed to STDERR.

        Another warning, it’s impossible to differentiate
        between a timeout and a failure.

        If you pass a true value for USESSL, the port will
        be changed to 995 if it is not set or is 110.
        Otherwise, it will use your port.  If USESSL is
        true, IO::Socket::SSL will be loaded.  If it is not
        in your perl, the call to connect will fail.

        new returns a valid Mail::POP3Client object in all
        cases.  To test for a connection failure, you will
        need to check the number of messages: −1 indicates a


        connection error.  This will likely change sometime
        in the future to return undef on an error, setting
        $! as a side effect.  This change will not happen in
        any 2.x version.

        Get the headers of the specified message, either as
        an array or as a string, depending on context.

        You can also specify a number of preview lines which
        will be returned with the headers.  This may not be
        supported by all POP3 server implementations as it
        is marked as optional in the RFC.  Submitted by
        Dennis Moroney <>.

        Get the body of the specified message, either as an
        array of lines or as a string, depending on context.

        Get the body of the specified message and write it
        to the given file handle.  my $fh = new
        IO::Handle(); $fh−>fdopen( fileno( STDOUT ), "w" );
        $pop−>BodyToFile( $fh, 1 );

        Does no stripping of NL or CR.

        Get the head and body of the specified message,
        either as an array of lines or as a string,
        depending on context.

            foreach ( $pop−>HeadAndBody( 1 ) )
               print $_, "\n";

            prints out the complete text of message 1.

        Get the head and body of the specified message and
        write it to the given file handle.  my $fh = new
        IO::Handle(); $fh−>fdopen( fileno( STDOUT ), "w" );
        $pop−>HeadAndBodyToFile( $fh, 1 );

        Does no stripping of NL or CR.

        Same as HeadAndBody.

        Same as HeadAndBodyToFile.

        Mark the specified message number as DELETED.


        Becomes effective upon QUIT (invoking the Close
        method).  Can be reset with a Reset message.

Connect Start the connection to the POP3 server.  You can
        pass in the host and port.  Returns 1 if the
        connection succeeds, or 0 if it fails (Message will
        contain a reason).  The constructor always returns a
        blessed reference to a Mail::POP3Client obhect.
        This may change in a version 3.x release, but never
        in a 2.x release.

Close   Close the connection gracefully.  POP3 says this
        will perform any pending deletes on the server.

Alive   Return true or false on whether the connection is

Socket  Return the file descriptor for the socket, or set if

Size    Set/Return the size of the remote mailbox.  Set by

Count   Set/Return the number of remote messages.  Set
        during Login.

Message The last status message received from the server or
        a message describing any problem encountered.

State   The internal state of the connection: DEAD,

POPStat Return the results of a POP3 STAT command.  Sets the
        size of the mailbox.

        Returns the size of the given message number when
        called with an argument using the following format:

           <message_number> <size_in_bytes>

        If message_number is omitted, List behaves the same
        as ListArray, returning an indexed array of the
        sizes of each message in the same format.

        You can parse the size in bytes using split:
         ($msgnum, $size) = split(’\s+’, $pop −> List( n ));

        Return a list of sizes of each message.  This
        returns an indexed array, with each message number
        as an index (starting from 1) and the value as the
        next entry on the line.  Beware that some servers
        send additional info for each message for the list


        command.  That info may be lost.

        Return the unique ID for the given message (or all
        of them).  Returns an indexed array with an entry
        for each valid message number.  Indexing begins at 1
        to coincide with the server’s indexing.

Capa    Query server capabilities, as described in RFC 2449.
        Returns the capabilities in an array. Valid in all

XTND    Optional extended commands.  Transaction state only.

Last    Return the number of the last message, retrieved
        from the server.

Reset   Tell the server to unmark any message marked for

User( [USER_NAME] )
        Set/Return the current user name.

Pass( [PASSWORD] )
        Set/Return the current user name.

Login   Attempt to login to the server connection.

Host( [HOSTNAME] )
        Set/Return the current host.

        Set/Return the current port number.

Basic Mail::IMAPClient method calls are also supported:
close, connect, login, message_string, Password, and unseen.
Also, empty stubs are provided for Folder, folders, Peek,
select, and Uid.

This module does not have mandatory requirements for modules
that are not part of the standard Perl distribution.
However, APOP needs need Digest::MD5 and CRAM−MD5 needs
Digest::HMAC_MD5 and MIME::Base64.

Sean Dowd <>

Based loosely on News::NNTPClient by Rodger Anderson


     the Digest::MD5 manpage, the Digest::HMAC_MD5 manpage,
the MIME::Base64 manpage


     RFC 1939: Post Office Protocol − Version 3

     RFC 2195: IMAP/POP AUTHorize Extension for Simple

     RFC 2449: POP3 Extension Mechanism