Internet Message Format
RFC 2822

Document Type RFC - Proposed Standard (April 2001; Errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 5322
Updated by RFC 5336, RFC 5335
Obsoletes RFC 822
Last updated 2013-03-02
Stream IETF
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IESG IESG state RFC 2822 (Proposed Standard)
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Network Working Group                                 P. Resnick, Editor
Request for Comments: 2822                         QUALCOMM Incorporated
Obsoletes: 822                                                April 2001
Category: Standards Track

                        Internet Message Format

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 (2001).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This standard specifies a syntax for text messages that are sent
   between computer users, within the framework of "electronic mail"
   messages.  This standard supersedes the one specified in Request For
   Comments (RFC) 822, "Standard for the Format of ARPA Internet Text
   Messages", updating it to reflect current practice and incorporating
   incremental changes that were specified in other RFCs.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ............................................... 3
   1.1. Scope .................................................... 3
   1.2. Notational conventions ................................... 4
   1.2.1. Requirements notation .................................. 4
   1.2.2. Syntactic notation ..................................... 4
   1.3. Structure of this document ............................... 4
   2. Lexical Analysis of Messages ............................... 5
   2.1. General Description ...................................... 5
   2.1.1. Line Length Limits ..................................... 6
   2.2. Header Fields ............................................ 7
   2.2.1. Unstructured Header Field Bodies ....................... 7
   2.2.2. Structured Header Field Bodies ......................... 7
   2.2.3. Long Header Fields ..................................... 7
   2.3. Body ..................................................... 8
   3. Syntax ..................................................... 9
   3.1. Introduction ............................................. 9
   3.2. Lexical Tokens ........................................... 9

Resnick                     Standards Track                     [Page 1]
RFC 2822                Internet Message Format               April 2001

   3.2.1. Primitive Tokens ....................................... 9
   3.2.2. Quoted characters ......................................10
   3.2.3. Folding white space and comments .......................11
   3.2.4. Atom ...................................................12
   3.2.5. Quoted strings .........................................13
   3.2.6. Miscellaneous tokens ...................................13
   3.3. Date and Time Specification ..............................14
   3.4. Address Specification ....................................15
   3.4.1. Addr-spec specification ................................16
   3.5 Overall message syntax ....................................17
   3.6. Field definitions ........................................18
   3.6.1. The origination date field .............................20
   3.6.2. Originator fields ......................................21
   3.6.3. Destination address fields .............................22
   3.6.4. Identification fields ..................................23
   3.6.5. Informational fields ...................................26
   3.6.6. Resent fields ..........................................26
   3.6.7. Trace fields ...........................................28
   3.6.8. Optional fields ........................................29
   4. Obsolete Syntax ............................................29
   4.1. Miscellaneous obsolete tokens ............................30
   4.2. Obsolete folding white space .............................31
   4.3. Obsolete Date and Time ...................................31
   4.4. Obsolete Addressing ......................................33
   4.5. Obsolete header fields ...................................33
   4.5.1. Obsolete origination date field ........................34
   4.5.2. Obsolete originator fields .............................34
   4.5.3. Obsolete destination address fields ....................34
   4.5.4. Obsolete identification fields .........................35
   4.5.5. Obsolete informational fields ..........................35
   4.5.6. Obsolete resent fields .................................35
   4.5.7. Obsolete trace fields ..................................36
   4.5.8. Obsolete optional fields ...............................36
   5. Security Considerations ....................................36
   6. Bibliography ...............................................37
   7. Editor's Address ...........................................38
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