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INTERNET MESSAGE ACCESS PROTOCOL - VERSION 4rev1
RFC 3501

Document type: RFC - Proposed Standard (March 2003; Errata)
Obsoletes RFC 2060
Was draft-crispin-imapv (individual in app area)
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-03-02
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

IETF State: (None)
Consensus: Unknown
Document shepherd: No shepherd assigned

IESG State: RFC 3501 (Proposed Standard)
Responsible AD: Ned Freed
IESG Note: Published as RFC 3501
Send notices to: <mcr@wsmr-simtel20.army.mil>

Network Working Group                                         M. Crispin
Request for Comments: 3501                      University of Washington
Obsoletes: 2060                                               March 2003
Category: Standards Track

            INTERNET MESSAGE ACCESS PROTOCOL - VERSION 4rev1

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   The Internet Message Access Protocol, Version 4rev1 (IMAP4rev1)
   allows a client to access and manipulate electronic mail messages on
   a server.  IMAP4rev1 permits manipulation of mailboxes (remote
   message folders) in a way that is functionally equivalent to local
   folders.  IMAP4rev1 also provides the capability for an offline
   client to resynchronize with the server.

   IMAP4rev1 includes operations for creating, deleting, and renaming
   mailboxes, checking for new messages, permanently removing messages,
   setting and clearing flags, RFC 2822 and RFC 2045 parsing, searching,
   and selective fetching of message attributes, texts, and portions
   thereof.  Messages in IMAP4rev1 are accessed by the use of numbers.
   These numbers are either message sequence numbers or unique
   identifiers.

   IMAP4rev1 supports a single server.  A mechanism for accessing
   configuration information to support multiple IMAP4rev1 servers is
   discussed in RFC 2244.

   IMAP4rev1 does not specify a means of posting mail; this function is
   handled by a mail transfer protocol such as RFC 2821.

Crispin                     Standards Track                     [Page 1]
RFC 3501                         IMAPv4                       March 2003

Table of Contents

   IMAP4rev1 Protocol Specification ................................  4
   1.      How to Read This Document ...............................  4
   1.1.    Organization of This Document ...........................  4
   1.2.    Conventions Used in This Document .......................  4
   1.3.    Special Notes to Implementors ...........................  5
   2.      Protocol Overview .......................................  6
   2.1.    Link Level ..............................................  6
   2.2.    Commands and Responses ..................................  6
   2.2.1.  Client Protocol Sender and Server Protocol Receiver .....  6
   2.2.2.  Server Protocol Sender and Client Protocol Receiver .....  7
   2.3.    Message Attributes ......................................  8
   2.3.1.  Message Numbers .........................................  8
   2.3.1.1.        Unique Identifier (UID) Message Attribute .......  8
   2.3.1.2.        Message Sequence Number Message Attribute ....... 10
   2.3.2.  Flags Message Attribute ................................. 11
   2.3.3.  Internal Date Message Attribute ......................... 12
   2.3.4.  [RFC-2822] Size Message Attribute ....................... 12
   2.3.5.  Envelope Structure Message Attribute .................... 12
   2.3.6.  Body Structure Message Attribute ........................ 12
   2.4.    Message Texts ........................................... 13
   3.      State and Flow Diagram .................................. 13
   3.1.    Not Authenticated State ................................. 13
   3.2.    Authenticated State ..................................... 13
   3.3.    Selected State .......................................... 13
   3.4.    Logout State ............................................ 14
   4.      Data Formats ............................................ 16
   4.1.    Atom .................................................... 16
   4.2.    Number .................................................. 16
   4.3.    String .................................................. 16
   4.3.1.  8-bit and Binary Strings ................................ 17
   4.4.    Parenthesized List ...................................... 17
   4.5.    NIL ..................................................... 17
   5.      Operational Considerations .............................. 18
   5.1.    Mailbox Naming .......................................... 18
   5.1.1.  Mailbox Hierarchy Naming ................................ 19
   5.1.2.  Mailbox Namespace Naming Convention ..................... 19
   5.1.3.  Mailbox International Naming Convention ................. 19
   5.2.    Mailbox Size and Message Status Updates ................. 21
   5.3.    Response when no Command in Progress .................... 21

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