Internet Message Format
RFC 5322

Document Type RFC - Draft Standard (October 2008; Errata)
Updated by RFC 6854
Obsoletes RFC 2822
Updates RFC 4021
Was draft-resnick-2822upd (individual in app area)
Last updated 2013-03-02
Stream IETF
Formats plain text pdf html
Stream WG state (None)
Consensus Unknown
Document shepherd No shepherd assigned
IESG IESG state RFC 5322 (Draft Standard)
Telechat date
Responsible AD Lisa Dusseault
Send notices to presnick@qualcomm.com, draft-resnick-2822upd@ietf.org, tony@att.com
Network Working Group                                    P. Resnick, Ed.
Request for Comments: 5322                         Qualcomm Incorporated
Obsoletes: 2822                                             October 2008
Updates: 4021
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.

Abstract

   This document specifies the Internet Message Format (IMF), a syntax
   for text messages that are sent between computer users, within the
   framework of "electronic mail" messages.  This specification is a
   revision of Request For Comments (RFC) 2822, which itself superseded
   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.

Resnick                     Standards Track                     [Page 1]
RFC 5322                Internet Message Format             October 2008

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     1.1.  Scope  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     1.2.  Notational Conventions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       1.2.1.  Requirements Notation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       1.2.2.  Syntactic Notation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       1.2.3.  Structure of This Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   2.  Lexical Analysis of Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     2.1.  General Description  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       2.1.1.  Line Length Limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     2.2.  Header Fields  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
       2.2.1.  Unstructured Header Field Bodies . . . . . . . . . . .  8
       2.2.2.  Structured Header Field Bodies . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
       2.2.3.  Long Header Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     2.3.  Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   3.  Syntax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     3.1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     3.2.  Lexical Tokens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
       3.2.1.  Quoted characters  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
       3.2.2.  Folding White Space and Comments . . . . . . . . . . . 11
       3.2.3.  Atom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
       3.2.4.  Quoted Strings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
       3.2.5.  Miscellaneous Tokens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     3.3.  Date and Time Specification  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     3.4.  Address Specification  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
       3.4.1.  Addr-Spec Specification  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     3.5.  Overall Message Syntax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
     3.6.  Field Definitions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
       3.6.1.  The Origination Date Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
       3.6.2.  Originator Fields  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
       3.6.3.  Destination Address Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
       3.6.4.  Identification Fields  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
       3.6.5.  Informational Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
       3.6.6.  Resent Fields  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
       3.6.7.  Trace Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
       3.6.8.  Optional Fields  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
   4.  Obsolete Syntax  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
     4.1.  Miscellaneous Obsolete Tokens  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
     4.2.  Obsolete Folding White Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
     4.3.  Obsolete Date and Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
     4.4.  Obsolete Addressing  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
     4.5.  Obsolete Header Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
       4.5.1.  Obsolete Origination Date Field  . . . . . . . . . . . 36
       4.5.2.  Obsolete Originator Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
       4.5.3.  Obsolete Destination Address Fields  . . . . . . . . . 37
       4.5.4.  Obsolete Identification Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
       4.5.5.  Obsolete Informational Fields  . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Resnick                     Standards Track                     [Page 2]
RFC 5322                Internet Message Format             October 2008
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