Source code: Lib/smtplib.py
The smtplib module defines an SMTP client session object that can be used to send mail to any Internet machine with an SMTP or ESMTP listener daemon. For details of SMTP and ESMTP operation, consult RFC 821 (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and RFC 1869 (SMTP Service Extensions).
A SMTP instance encapsulates an SMTP connection. It has methods that support a full repertoire of SMTP and ESMTP operations. If the optional host and port parameters are given, the SMTP connect() method is called with those parameters during initialization. An SMTPConnectError is raised if the specified host doesn’t respond correctly. The optional timeout parameter specifies a timeout in seconds for blocking operations like the connection attempt (if not specified, the global default timeout setting will be used).
For normal use, you should only require the initialization/connect, sendmail(), and quit() methods. An example is included below.
A SMTP_SSL instance behaves exactly the same as instances of SMTP. SMTP_SSL should be used for situations where SSL is required from the beginning of the connection and using starttls() is not appropriate. If host is not specified, the local host is used. If port is zero, the standard SMTP-over-SSL port (465) is used. keyfile and certfile are also optional, and can contain a PEM formatted private key and certificate chain file for the SSL connection. The optional timeout parameter specifies a timeout in seconds for blocking operations like the connection attempt (if not specified, the global default timeout setting will be used).
The LMTP protocol, which is very similar to ESMTP, is heavily based on the standard SMTP client. It’s common to use Unix sockets for LMTP, so our connect() method must support that as well as a regular host:port server. To specify a Unix socket, you must use an absolute path for host, starting with a ‘/’.
Authentication is supported, using the regular SMTP mechanism. When using a Unix socket, LMTP generally don’t support or require any authentication, but your mileage might vary.
A nice selection of exceptions is defined as well:
Base exception class for all exceptions raised by this module.
This exception is raised when the server unexpectedly disconnects, or when an attempt is made to use the SMTP instance before connecting it to a server.
Base class for all exceptions that include an SMTP error code. These exceptions are generated in some instances when the SMTP server returns an error code. The error code is stored in the smtp_code attribute of the error, and the smtp_error attribute is set to the error message.
Sender address refused. In addition to the attributes set by on all SMTPResponseException exceptions, this sets ‘sender’ to the string that the SMTP server refused.
All recipient addresses refused. The errors for each recipient are accessible through the attribute recipients, which is a dictionary of exactly the same sort as SMTP.sendmail() returns.
The SMTP server refused to accept the message data.
Error occurred during establishment of a connection with the server.
The server refused our HELO message.
SMTP authentication went wrong. Most probably the server didn’t accept the username/password combination provided.
An SMTP instance has the following methods:
Set the debug output level. A true value for level results in debug messages for connection and for all messages sent to and received from the server.
Connect to a host on a given port. The defaults are to connect to the local host at the standard SMTP port (25). If the hostname ends with a colon (':') followed by a number, that suffix will be stripped off and the number interpreted as the port number to use. This method is automatically invoked by the constructor if a host is specified during instantiation.
Send a command cmd to the server. The optional argument args is simply concatenated to the command, separated by a space.
This returns a 2-tuple composed of a numeric response code and the actual response line (multiline responses are joined into one long line.)
In normal operation it should not be necessary to call this method explicitly. It is used to implement other methods and may be useful for testing private extensions.
If the connection to the server is lost while waiting for the reply, SMTPServerDisconnected will be raised.
Identify yourself to the SMTP server using HELO. The hostname argument defaults to the fully qualified domain name of the local host. The message returned by the server is stored as the helo_resp attribute of the object.
In normal operation it should not be necessary to call this method explicitly. It will be implicitly called by the sendmail() when necessary.
Identify yourself to an ESMTP server using EHLO. The hostname argument defaults to the fully qualified domain name of the local host. Examine the response for ESMTP option and store them for use by has_extn(). Also sets several informational attributes: the message returned by the server is stored as the ehlo_resp attribute, does_esmtp is set to true or false depending on whether the server supports ESMTP, and esmtp_features will be a dictionary containing the names of the SMTP service extensions this server supports, and their parameters (if any).
Check the validity of an address on this server using SMTP VRFY. Returns a tuple consisting of code 250 and a full RFC 822 address (including human name) if the user address is valid. Otherwise returns an SMTP error code of 400 or greater and an error string.
Many sites disable SMTP VRFY in order to foil spammers.
Log in on an SMTP server that requires authentication. The arguments are the username and the password to authenticate with. If there has been no previous EHLO or HELO command this session, this method tries ESMTP EHLO first. This method will return normally if the authentication was successful, or may raise the following exceptions:
Put the SMTP connection in TLS (Transport Layer Security) mode. All SMTP commands that follow will be encrypted. You should then call ehlo() again.
If there has been no previous EHLO or HELO command this session, this method tries ESMTP EHLO first.
Send mail. The required arguments are an RFC 822 from-address string, a list of RFC 822 to-address strings (a bare string will be treated as a list with 1 address), and a message string. The caller may pass a list of ESMTP options (such as 8bitmime) to be used in MAIL FROM commands as mail_options. ESMTP options (such as DSN commands) that should be used with all RCPT commands can be passed as rcpt_options. (If you need to use different ESMTP options to different recipients you have to use the low-level methods such as mail(), rcpt() and data() to send the message.)
The from_addr and to_addrs parameters are used to construct the message envelope used by the transport agents. sendmail does not modify the message headers in any way.
msg may be a string containing characters in the ASCII range, or a byte string. A string is encoded to bytes using the ascii codec, and lone \r and \n characters are converted to \r\n characters. A byte string is not modified.
If there has been no previous EHLO or HELO command this session, this method tries ESMTP EHLO first. If the server does ESMTP, message size and each of the specified options will be passed to it (if the option is in the feature set the server advertises). If EHLO fails, HELO will be tried and ESMTP options suppressed.
This method will return normally if the mail is accepted for at least one recipient. Otherwise it will raise an exception. That is, if this method does not raise an exception, then someone should get your mail. If this method does not raise an exception, it returns a dictionary, with one entry for each recipient that was refused. Each entry contains a tuple of the SMTP error code and the accompanying error message sent by the server.
This method may raise the following exceptions:
Unless otherwise noted, the connection will be open even after an exception is raised.
Changed in version 3.2: msg may be a byte string.
This is a convenience method for calling sendmail() with the message represented by an email.message.Message object. The arguments have the same meaning as for sendmail(), except that msg is a Message object.
If from_addr is None or to_addrs is None, send_message fills those arguments with addresses extracted from the headers of msg as specified in RFC 2822: from_addr is set to the Sender field if it is present, and otherwise to the From field. to_adresses combines the values (if any) of the To, Cc, and Bcc fields from msg. If exactly one set of Resent-* headers appear in the message, the regular headers are ignored and the Resent-* headers are used instead. If the message contains more than one set of Resent-* headers, a ValueError is raised, since there is no way to unambiguously detect the most recent set of Resent- headers.
send_message serializes msg using BytesGenerator with \r\n as the linesep, and calls sendmail() to transmit the resulting message. Regardless of the values of from_addr and to_addrs, send_message does not transmit any Bcc or Resent-Bcc headers that may appear in msg.
New in version 3.2.
Terminate the SMTP session and close the connection. Return the result of the SMTP QUIT command.
Low-level methods corresponding to the standard SMTP/ESMTP commands HELP, RSET, NOOP, MAIL, RCPT, and DATA are also supported. Normally these do not need to be called directly, so they are not documented here. For details, consult the module code.
This example prompts the user for addresses needed in the message envelope (‘To’ and ‘From’ addresses), and the message to be delivered. Note that the headers to be included with the message must be included in the message as entered; this example doesn’t do any processing of the RFC 822 headers. In particular, the ‘To’ and ‘From’ addresses must be included in the message headers explicitly.
import smtplib def prompt(prompt): return input(prompt).strip() fromaddr = prompt("From: ") toaddrs = prompt("To: ").split() print("Enter message, end with ^D (Unix) or ^Z (Windows):") # Add the From: and To: headers at the start! msg = ("From: %s\r\nTo: %s\r\n\r\n" % (fromaddr, ", ".join(toaddrs))) while True: try: line = input() except EOFError: break if not line: break msg = msg + line print("Message length is", len(msg)) server = smtplib.SMTP('localhost') server.set_debuglevel(1) server.sendmail(fromaddr, toaddrs, msg) server.quit()