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2004/01/17 fetchmail

© January 2004 Tony Lawrence

Fetchmail home page

Fetchmail handles POP or IMAP servers (and SMTP ETRN). It's simple to configure for multiple accounts, can deliver mail to different mailboxes, etc. Very flexible and powerful.

What's the point? It's centralization: one place where you maintain all the accounts, one program that goes out and gets the mail. It can isolate users from needing internet access, or allow you to add more filtering to messages.

From the FAQ

Fetchmail is a one-stop solution to the remote mail retrieval problem for Unix machines, quite useful to anyone with an intermittent PPP or SLIP connection to a remote mailserver. It can collect mail using any variant of POP or IMAP and forwards via port 25 to the local SMTP listener, enabling all the normal forwarding/filtering/aliasing mechanisms that would apply to local mail or mail arriving via a full-time TCP/IP connection.

Fetchmail is not a toy or a coder's learning exercise, but an industrial-strength tool capable of transparently handling every retrieval demand from those of a simple single-user ISP connection up to mail retrieval and rerouting for an entire client domain. Fetchmail is easy to configure, unobtrusive in operation, powerful, feature-rich, and well documented.


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-> fetchmail

Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of Pages

Take Control of OS X Server

iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of Automating Your Mac

Take Control of Apple Mail, Third Edition

More Articles by © Tony Lawrence

At one point, before I hosted our mail server in house, I used fetchmail to grab mail from our ISP for all our users, then had the clients configure their clients to grab mail from the linux box that was running fetchmail. This made things simple when I made a few MX record changes to point to our in house system for mail, which required no changes on the clients. Becuase the MX change was immediate, nobody really noticed anything. I still use fetchmail as a backup, should our in house mail server go down, and I still have my backup MX server as my ISP, so I could use fetchmail to grab any mail that may have piled up on our ISP's server, in the event of an outage. Maybe there is a better way to do this, but it works for me :-)

- Bruce Garlock

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