Network Working Group B. Bressler
Request for Comments: 458
20 February 1973
Mail Retrieval via FTP
We propose two new FTP commands called ReaDMailFile and ReaDMail.
These commands are intended to be symmetric with respect to the
current MLFL and MAIL commands. They would allow a user to read his
mail at one or more sites without incurring the overhead of logging
in and without having to use several different retrieval methods.
The user might go further and create a program to go around to all
the server sites and retrieve his mail for him. The current FTP
mechanisms provide for password protection, should security be
This proposal brings into focus, once again, the problems of
different users with the same ID, and to a lesser extent, one user
with multiple IDs. This RFC does not attempt to address these issues
at this time, as much effort is currently being devoted to them.
However, we believe that a satisfactory system for network mail
should include a mechanism to enable each user to have mail for him
sent to a single repository (ideally, the site of his choice). We
further believe that the two commands proposed here would be useful
in such an environment as well as within the current network
The format of the commands is
secondary replies: 252
The success reply 200 would take the text "NO MAIL NOW". For the
RDMF command the mail itself is transferred over the data connection,
and the FTP replies come over the TELNET connection.