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POP3 client library for Node.js

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README.md

node-poplib

node-poplib offers an MIT-licensed client library for the POP3 protocol. It is currently provides the following capabilities:

  • USER, PASS, APOP
  • LIST, TOP, RETR, DELE
  • UIDL, NOOP, CAPA
  • RSET, QUIT
  • Plaintext and encrypted TLS support
  • STLS
  • SASL PLAIN CRAM-MD5

It complies to:

  • RFC 1939 (POP3)
  • RFC 2595 (STLS);
  • RFC 5034 (SASL AUTH)
  • RFC 2195 (CRAM-MD5)

Installation

You have two installation options:

  1. Via npm: npm install poplib

  2. Download the source and install it yourself

Quick demo

Connect to GMail's POP3 servers using the provided demo script as follows:

$ node demos/demo.js --host pop.gmail.com --port 995 --username user@gmail.com --password potato --tls on --debug on --networkdebug on
Server: '+OK Gpop ready for requests from 1.2.3.4 bh7pf61475604pab.24\r\n'
CONNECT success
Client: 'USER user@gmail.com\r\n'
Server: '+OK send PASS\r\n'
Client: 'PASS potato\r\n'
Server: '-ERR [AUTH] Username and password not accepted.\r\n'
LOGIN/PASS failed
Client: 'QUIT\r\n'
Server: '+OK Farewell.\r\n'
QUIT success

Detailed Usage

node-poplib is event based. It is best to illustrate via examples:

Here we initialize the client (for plain text transmission):

var POP3Client = require("node-poplib");
var client = new POP3Client(port, host, {

        tlserrs: false,
        enabletls: true,
        debug: false

    });

The third parameter, options, takes three options. If enabletls is true, the library will use a TLS connection. Note that you will have to set the correct port (generally 995). If tlserrs is true, then TLS errors will be ignored. Finally, the debug parameter prints out requests and responses.

Next, we trap several common states:

client.on("error", function(err) {

        if (err.errno === 111) console.log("Unable to connect to server");
        else console.log("Server error occurred");

        console.log(err);

});

client.on("connect", function() {

        console.log("CONNECT success");
        client.login(username, password);

});

client.on("invalid-state", function(cmd) {
        console.log("Invalid state. You tried calling " + cmd);
});

client.on("locked", function(cmd) {
        console.log("Current command has not finished yet. You tried calling " + cmd);
});

The error event is emitted when there is a network error. The underlying error object is passed back to user-code.

The connect event is emitted when the connection to the remote server is successful.

The invalid-state event is emitted when you try to carry out an action not allowed within your current state (eg, attempting to RETR-ieve a message when authentication has not been completed).

The locked event is emitted when you try to execute another command while the current command has not finished executing successfully (eg, attempting to RETR-ieve a message while the remote server has not finished sending LIST data).

On a successful connect, we try authenticating:

client.on("connect", function() {

        console.log("CONNECT success");
        client.auth(username, password);

});

Note that on successful auth, we try listing. For all events, the first received argument is always a boolean indicating whether the command succeeded. The last received argument is always the raw unparsed data received from the remote server. The intermediate arguments contain parsed data.

client.on("login", function(status, rawdata) {

    if (status) {

        console.log("LOGIN/PASS success");
        client.list();

    } else {

        console.log("LOGIN/PASS failed");
        client.quit();

    }
});

// Data is a 1-based index of messages, if there are any messages
client.on("list", function(status, msgcount, msgnumber, data, rawdata) {

    if (status === false) {

        console.log("LIST failed");
        client.quit();

    } else {

        console.log("LIST success with " + msgcount + " element(s)");

        if (msgcount > 0)
            client.retr(1);
        else
            client.quit();

    }
});

client.on("retr", function(status, msgnumber, data, rawdata) {

    if (status === true) {

        console.log("RETR success for msgnumber " + msgnumber);
        client.dele(msgnumber);
        client.quit();

    } else {

        console.log("RETR failed for msgnumber " + msgnumber);
        client.quit();

    }
});

client.on("dele", function(status, msgnumber, data, rawdata) {

    if (status === true) {

        console.log("DELE success for msgnumber " + msgnumber);
        client.quit();

    } else {

        console.log("DELE failed for msgnumber " + msgnumber);
        client.quit();

    }
});

client.on("quit", function(status, rawdata) {

    if (status === true) console.log("QUIT success");
    else console.log("QUIT failed");

});

API

login(username, password)

Self explanatory. This executes USER and PASS. Do not use over cleartext channels. Preferably don't use it at all as auth() implements AUTH which deprecates the need for USER and PASS. Emits login event.

apop(username, password)

This executes APOP. Requires server side support. Preferably don't use it as auth() implements AUTH which deprecates the need for USER and PASS. Emits apop event.

auth(type, username, password)

This executes AUTH. Requires server side support. Currently only "PLAIN" and "CRAM-MD5" types are supported. Emits auth event.

stls()

This executes STLS. Requires server side support (check using capa() first). According to the RFC's, using STLS is preferable to a purely TLS connection (although some servers only support purely TLS connections). Emits stls event.

capa()

This executes CAPA. Requires server side support. Emits capa event.

list([msgnumber])

This executes LIST. If the optional msgnumber is provided, then LIST msgnumber is executed. Emits list event.

top(msgnumber, lines)

This executes TOP. Requires server side support. msgnumber and lines must be provided. TEmits top event.

stat()

This executes STAT. Emits stat event.

uidl([msgnumber])

This executes UIDL. If the optional msgnumber is provided, then UIDL msgnumber is executed. Emits uidl event.

retr(msgnumber)

This executes RETR. msgnumber must be provided. Emits retr event.

dele(msgnumber)

This executes DELE. msgnumber must be provided. Emits dele event.

rset()

This executes RSET. Emits rset event.

noop()

This executes NOOP. Emits noop event.

quit()

This executes QUIT. Emits quit event.

Events

connect

The connect event is emitted upon competion of connection attempt (initiated in the constructor). The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

login

The login event is emitted upon competion of login() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

apop

The apop event is emitted upon competion of apop() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

auth

The auth event is emitted upon competion of auth() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

stls

The stls event is emitted upon competion of stls() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

capa

The capa event is emitted upon competion of capa() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • data: if status is true, this is an array containing list of server capabilities
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

list

The list event is emitted upon competion of list() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful msgcount: this contains the number of messages return by the list() method. If a valid msgnumber was provided, this value will naturally be 1 (else null)
  • msgnumber: if msgnumber was provided to the method, the provided value will be reflected here (else undefined)
  • data: if status is true, this is an array containing list of server capabilities (else null)
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

top

The top event is emitted upon competion of top() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • msgnumber: if msgnumber was provided to the method, the provided value will be reflected here (else undefined)
  • data: if status is true, this is an ASCII string containing the returnValue (else null)
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

stat

The stat event is emitted upon competion of stat() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • data: if status is true, an object with keys count and octet (else null)
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

uidl

The uidl event is emitted upon competion of uidl() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • msgnumber: if msgnumber was provided to the method, the provided value will be reflected here (else undefined)
  • data: if status is true, this is an array containing the UIDL list (else null)
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

retr

The retr event is emitted upon competion of retr() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • msgnumber: the msgnumber provided to the method
  • data: if status is true, the results are returned as an ASCII string (else null)
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

dele

The dele event is emitted upon competion of the dele() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • msgnumber: the msgnumber provided to the method
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

rset

The rset event is emitted upon competion of the rset() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

noop

The noop event is emitted upon competion of the noop() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

quit

The quit event is emitted upon competion of the quit() method. The arguments, in order, are:

  • status: boolean true or false, indicating whether the execution was successful
  • * rawdata: string containing success or error message from the server

error

The error event is emitted if there is an error event from the underlying socket. The original error object is passed as an argument.

invalid-state

The invalid-state event is emitted when an action not allowed within the current state s attmempted (eg, attempting to RETR-ieve a message when AUTH-entication has not been completed).

locked

The locked event is emitted when a method is called while existing execution has not finished executing (eg, attempting to RETR-ieve a message while the remote server has not finished sending LIST data).

Tests & Demos

Tests are in tests. Demos are in demos.

There is a full-featured POP3 client example in demos/demo.js. There is also a simple example of downloading all emails in a POP3 server and saving it locally in an mbox formatted file in demos/retrieve-all.js.

For testing purposes, you can use the following sendmail.sh script to pump email into your SMTP server for retrieval via POP3:

./sendmail.sh 10 "user@example.com" "this is my subject" "this is my body"

You can execute the test-runner as follows:

./runner.sh username password pop3server pop3port pop3tlsport testemail@address.com
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