Posted by: isaraffee | August 9, 2009

Reading Mail with Telnet

Reading Mail with Telnet

Each request to and response from the POP server is in cleartext ASCII, which means it’s very easy for you to test the functionality of a POP server using telnet,. This is especially useful when you have users complaining that the mail server is not working.But in fact the usersare unfamiliar with the system.

You begin by telneting to the POP3 server. Type:

[root@venus /root]# telnet venus.localdomain 110


Connected to venus.localdomain.

Escape character is ‘^]’.

+OK POP3 venus.localdomain v2000.69mdk server ready

Log in as a user, by using the USER command:

USER aisha

+OK User name accepted, password please

Now tell the server your password,using the PASS command:

PASS xxxxxxx


The system will echo back your password, so don’t do this if you have people looking over your shoulder

+OK Mailbox open, 1 messages

List the messages in the inbox by typing the LIST command:


+OK Mailbox scan listing follows

1 459


It seems that we only have 1 message. Now let’s read message 1 using the RETR command:


+OK 459 octets

Return-Path: <root@venus.localdomain>

Delivered-To: aisha@venus.localdomain

Received: by venus.localdomain (Postfix, from userid 0)

id A415572240; Wed, 2 May 2007 09:00:56 +0800 (SGT)

To: aisha@venus.localdomain

Subject: Spiderman 3 Showing Now!

Message-Id: <20070502010056.A415572240@venus.localdomain>

Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 09:00:56 +0800 (SGT)

From: root@venus.localdomain (root)


Yes you heard me right

It starts this Thursday1


To delete a message, type:


+OK Message deleted

To quit, type:


+OK Sayonara

Connection closed by foreign host.

The logs from /var/log/mail/info file

May 2 09:15:05 venus ipop3d[1936]: pop3 service init from

May 2 09:15:18 venus ipop3d[1936]: Login user=aisha host=venus.localdomain [] nmsgs=1/1

May 2 09:24:36 venus ipop3d[1936]: Logout user=aisha host=venus.localdomain [] nmsgs=0 ndele=1


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