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XXX. IMAP, POP3 and NNTP functions

To get these functions to work, you have to compile PHP with --with-imap. That requires the c-client library to be installed. Grab the latest version from and compile it. Then copy c-client/c-client.a to /usr/local/lib/libc-client.a or some other directory on your link path and copy c-client/rfc822.h, mail.h and linkage.h to /usr/local/include or some other directory in your include path.

Note that these functions are not limited to the IMAP protocol, despite their name. The underlying c-client library also supports NNTP, POP3 and local mailbox access methods.

This document can't go into detail on all the topics touched by the provided functions. Further information is provided by the documentation of the c-client library source (docs/internal.txt). and the following RFC documents:

  • RFC821: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).

  • RFC822: Standard for ARPA internet text messages.

  • RFC2060: Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) Version 4rev1.

  • RFC1939: Post Office Protocol Version 3 (POP3).

  • RFC977: Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP).

  • RFC2076: Common Internet Message Headers.

  • RFC2045 , RFC2046 , RFC2047 , RFC2048 & RFC2049: Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME).

A detailed overview is also available in the books Programming Internet Email by David Wood and Managing IMAP by Dianna Mullet & Kevin Mullet.

Table of Contents
imap_append — Append a string message to a specified mailbox
imap_base64 — Decode BASE64 encoded text
imap_body — Read the message body
imap_check — Check current mailbox
imap_close — Close an IMAP stream
imap_createmailbox — Create a new mailbox
imap_delete — Mark a messge for deletion from current mailbox
imap_deletemailbox — Delete a mailbox
imap_expunge — Delete all messages marked for deletion
imap_fetchbody — Fetch a particular section of the body of the message
imap_fetchstructure — Read the structure of a particular message
imap_headerinfo — Read the header of the message
imap_header — Read the header of the message
imap_rfc822_parse_headers — Parse mail headers from a string
imap_headers — Returns headers for all messages in a mailbox
imap_listmailbox — Read the list of mailboxes
imap_getmailboxes — Read the list of mailboxes, returning detailed information on each one
imap_listsubscribed — List all the subscribed mailboxes
imap_getsubscribed — List all the subscribed mailboxes
imap_mail_copy — Copy specified messages to a mailbox
imap_mail_move — Move specified messages to a mailbox
imap_num_msg — Gives the number of messages in the current mailbox
imap_num_recent — Gives the number of recent messages in current mailbox
imap_open — Open an IMAP stream to a mailbox
imap_ping — Check if the IMAP stream is still active
imap_renamemailbox — Rename an old mailbox to new mailbox
imap_reopen — Reopen IMAP stream to new mailbox
imap_subscribe — Subscribe to a mailbox
imap_undelete — Unmark the message which is marked deleted
imap_unsubscribe — Unsubscribe from a mailbox
imap_qprint — Convert a quoted-printable string to an 8 bit string
imap_8bit — Convert an 8bit string to a quoted-printable string
imap_binary — Convert an 8bit string to a base64 string
imap_scanmailbox — Read the list of mailboxes, takes a string to search for in the text of the mailbox
imap_mailboxmsginfo — Get information about the current mailbox
imap_rfc822_write_address — Returns a properly formatted email address given the mailbox, host, and personal info.
imap_rfc822_parse_adrlist — Parses an address string
imap_setflag_full — Sets flags on messages
imap_clearflag_full — Clears flags on messages
imap_sort — Sort an array of message headers
imap_fetchheader — Returns header for a message
imap_uid — This function returns the UID for the given message sequence number
imap_msgno — This function returns the message sequence number for the given UID
imap_search — This function returns an array of messages matching the given search criteria
imap_last_error — This function returns the last IMAP error (if any) that occurred during this page request
imap_errors — This function returns all of the IMAP errors (if any) that have occurred during this page request or since the error stack was reset.
imap_alerts — This function returns all IMAP alert messages (if any) that have occurred during this page request or since the alert stack was reset
imap_status — This function returns status information on a mailbox other than the current one
imap_utf7_decode — Decodes a modified UTF-7 encoded string.
imap_utf7_encode — Converts 8bit data to modified UTF-7 text.
imap_utf8 — Converts text to UTF8
imap_fetch_overview — Read an overview of the information in the headers of the given message
imap_mime_header_decode — Decode MIME header elements
imap_mail_compose — Create a MIME message based on given envelope and body sections
imap_mail — Send an email message