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Comments for getmail

03 Oct 2007 14:28 jm2

I have been using fetchmail on IMAP/SSL for 6 years, and noticed that messages occasionnaly disappeared. It did not bother me that much until tonight when it dropped an important email. After googling for a few minutes I found out fetchmail simply discards emails with headers not compliant with RFC 822. getmail does not. getmail is great. Setup takes 2 minutes. Thanks for getmail!

12 Apr 2006 09:21 age

good work
Here's yet another reason to use getmail: for some silly reason fetchmail will not allow you to concurrently retrieve mail from different servers even though by default it just opens a socket connection to port 25 for delivery. Exactly what is being guarded against?

And aside from all the fetchmail bashing: nice work.

22 Jun 2005 11:26 reanjr

getmail as a daemon for maildrop
Note: fetchmail is crap

I needed to set up an internal IMAP server for multiple users so I wrote the following script to be run as root (I set it up to run from init.d, where it imported the interval and redirected output to a log file, but this isn't necessary).

In case someone finds it useful

#! /bin/bash

while :


for i in `ls /home/`;do

if [ -e /home/$i/.getmail ]; then

su $i -c getmail



sleep $1


Call it as root, passing a parameter specifying the number of seconds between checking email.

Then just set up a getmailrc file for any user that wants to use it.

24 Mar 2003 16:22 andrewcooke


I used to use fetchmail but had problems with both large messages and "incorrect" headers. And when fetchmail has a problem with one message it doesn't seem to get any other mail either.

It's possible that the large mesage problem was a configuration issue (although I read the docs and believe I configured correctly), but I understand that fetchmail is "famous" for not working if there are inconsistencies in the header.

With getmail I no longer have problems - it works with large messages (dbase backups) and, apparently, broken headers (one mailing list was unusable 'til I installed getmail). I no longer have to fire up some other POP client to clear out my mailbox every other week.

My mail config is documented ( in case it's any use to anyone.

20 Nov 2001 13:31 paj1234

Re: Why bother
Multidrop retrieval with fetchmail? I have tried it with Postfix on Red Hat 7.2 but fetchmail seems to have bugs. The best I can manage is either 1) deliver all mail to postmaster or 2) deliver ALL mail to BOTH my local users. Argh. If it is bugs well maybe they can be fixed but I am exhausted and out of patience with it. Getmail looks much better to me so far...

19 Oct 2001 23:27 winsurfn

Re: Why bother

hmm, well the problem (on my mandrake 8 system anyway) was
i had getmail running as root, which caused sendmail to spit the dummy.

creating a cron job as another user & "presto" it works like a charm.

frankly i'm impressed, i've been months mucking about with exim qmail catchall fetchmail trestlemail
forwardmail and every other mail program i could find on freshmeat, none of which would successfully download mail from my alldomains ".nu" mailbox at my local isp and then redirect those messages to alternate public mail addresses for family & friends.

thanks for your help Charles


29 Sep 2001 05:05 stesch

Re: getmail

> % You don't have to run a SMTP daemon
> % with fetchmail. You can configure it
> % to pass the mails to a specified program.

> Could you explain how to do that? I
> can't see it from reading the fetchmail
> manual page.

mda "/usr/sbin/sendmail -oem -f %F %T"

27 Sep 2001 10:21 twoflower

Re: getmail

> Could you explain how to do that? I
> can't see it from reading the fetchmail
> manual page.

You realize, of course, that this page is about getmail and not fetchmail? Please take your question to the fetchmail mailing list.

27 Sep 2001 05:50 ed_avis

Re: getmail

> You don't have to run a SMTP daemon
> with fetchmail. You can configure it
> to pass the mails to a specified program.

Could you explain how to do that? I can't see it from reading the fetchmail manual page. I've heard rumours that fetchmail does have the ability to just write messages to an mbox file or to stdout, but that this is deliberately obfuscated in the documentation.

21 Jun 2001 19:16 rasjani

Re: Why bother

> fetchmail works just as well, and
> has more features.

Well, might be so that fetchmail has more features but still it aint doing all the jobs its supposed to do. atleast well. Why i chose getmail over fetchmail (i used to run fetchmail for over 2 years and in that time, i really really couldnt get the results that i really needed) is the ability to handle multidrop mail WELL and i do mean really well. In that era where getmail really shines is ability to check multiple headers to check receiver where as fetchmail can do that only for one line.

Fetchmail worked well, until i decided to pull some mailing list and stuff like that where receiver is not really in the To: field but in getmail, i can do regular expression check, who's the receiver in multiple headers and then just copy the stuff directly into the mbox file. Imho, this is much more than what fetchmail can offer to me at this time.


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