Megapipe Communications

Using Your E-Mail Account With Telnet

These directions are being left up mainly for historical interest, but they might sometimes still be useful

Getting Started

Make sure you know your mail server, email address, and username to access your mail. Usually POP3 and SMTP mail servers are the same, but sometimes they vary. Nowadays, your username is most likely your full e-mail address.

Using Linux, Macintosh, UNIX, Windows XP or later

From your shell or command line run a command like:

  • telnet 110 — to check mail
  • telnet 25 — to send mail

Windows 95 or 98

Start a Telnet session by double clicking on the Telnet icon in the Accessories Program group and then choose Remote System from the Connect menu. In the dialog box that appears, enter the POP3 name of the mail server. In the Host Name text box, change the port setting to 110 (or POP3) and then click Connect. Note: Be sure that your preferences are set to local echo.

Checking your E-Mail Using Telnet

When the POP3 server greeting appears, type (you will not be able to see what you are typing.):

  • If your user [your username] (if your e-mail addres is, you would type "user mackbarb")
  • POP3 informs you that the user receives mail here.
  • Enter the user's password by typing: pass [password] (if your password is rover, type pass rover)
  • The following message appears: +OK Mailbox locked and ready which indicates that POP3 is set up correctly, and is ready to deliver mail. To determine the status of your mailbox, type: stat
  • The stat command will return as message formatted as follows: +OK 3 34056. The number 3 tells you the number of messages in the mailbox. The 34056 tells you the total number of bytes. To find out the size of each message, type: "list"
  • The LIST command returns a two-column table. The first column is the message number, and the second column is the total size of the message including all the header and addressing information. This is a good command to use when you want to find and delete a troublesome message. To read the headers of the individual messages, type: "top 1 0"
  • You will see the header of message 1. If you want to see the first few lines, type in the number of lines you want to see instead of the 0. To retrieve the message number 1, type: "retr 1"
  • The RETR command displays the first message. Use the same command to display subsequent messages To delete a message, type: "dele [number of message to delete]" (to delete message 4, type "dele 4")
  • To end your POP3 session, type:
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