Erle Robotics Python Networking Gitbook Free

Obtaining Mailbox Information

The preceding example showed you stat(), which returns the number of messages in the mailbox and their total size. Another useful POP command is list(), which returns more detailed information about each message. The most interesting part is the message number, which is required to retrieve messages later. Note that there may be gaps in message numbers: a mailbox may, for example, contain message numbers 1, 2, 5, 6, and 9. Also, the number assigned to a particular message may be different on each connection you make to the POP server. shows how to use the list() command to display information about each message.

import getpass, poplib, sys

if len(sys.argv) != 3:
    print 'usage: %s hostname user' % sys.argv[0]

hostname, user = sys.argv[1:]
passwd = getpass.getpass()

p = poplib.POP3_SSL(hostname)
except poplib.error_proto, e:
    print "Login failed:", e
    response, listings, octet_count = p.list()
    for listing in listings:
        number, size = listing.split()
        print "Message %s has %s bytes" % (number, size)

The list() function returns a tuple containing three items; you should generally pay attention to the second item. Here is its raw output for one of my POP mailboxes at the moment, which has three messages in it:

('+OK 3 messages (5675 bytes)', ['1 2395', '2 1626',
'3 1654'], 24)

The three strings inside the second item give the message number and size for each of the three messages in my in-box.