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A mail server is an application that handles and delivers e-mail over the Internet. Mail servers are of two main categories: outgoing mail servers and incoming mail servers.
Outgoing mail servers are known as SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, servers. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is an Internet standard for email transmission.
Incoming mail servers come in two main varieties. POP3, or Post Office Protocol and IMAP, or Internet Message Access Protocol.
Python's standard library has 'smtplib' module which defines an SMTP client session object that can be used to send mail via Python program.
This function returns object of SMTPclass. It encapsulates and manages a connection to an SMTP or ESMTP server. The function takes following arguments:
|host||Is the name of the remote host to which to connect.|
|port||Specifies the port to which to connect. By default, smtplib.SMTP_PORT is used.|
|local_hostname||Used as the FQDN of the local host in the HELO/EHLO command.|
|source_address||A 2-tuple (host,port) object for the socket to bind|
It has following methods that support SMTP operations:
|connect(host, port, source_address)||This method establishes connection to a host on a given port.|
|login(user, password)||Log in on an SMTP server that requires authentication.|
|quit()||terminate the SMTP session.|
|data( msg)||sends message data to server.|
|docmd(cmd, args)||send a command, and return its response code.|
|ehlo( name)||Hostname to identify itself|
|starttls()||puts the connection to the SMTP server into TLS mode.|
|getreply()||get a reply from the server consisting of server response code.|
|putcmd(cmd, args)||sends a command to the server.|
|send_message( msg, from_addr, to_addrs)||converts message to a bytestring and passes it to sendmail.|
|sendmail(self, from_addr, to_addrs, msg)|
This command performs an entire mail transaction.
To demonstrate above functionality, let us look at the script below which uses google's smtp mail server to send an email message.
First of all SMTP object is set up using gmail's smtp server and port 527. The SMTP object then identifies itself by invoking ehlo() command. We also activate Transport Layer Security to the outgoing mail message.
Next the login() command is invoked by passing credentials as arguments to it. Finally the mail message is assembled by attaching it a header in prescribed format and it is sent using sendmail() method. The SMTP object is closed afterwards.
import smtplib content="Hello World" mail=smtplib.SMTP('smtp.gmail.com', 587) mail.ehlo() mail.starttls() email@example.com' firstname.lastname@example.org' mail.login('email@example.com','m15v5l61') header='To:'+receipient+'\n'+'From:' \ +sender+'\n'+'subject:testmail\n' content=header+content mail.sendmail(sender, recipient, content) mail.close()
Before running above script, sender's gmail account must be configured to allow 'less secure apps'. Visit following link.
Set the shown toggle button to ON.
If everything goes well, execute above script. The message should be delivered to recipient's inbox.