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Mail::Internet - manipulate Internet format (RFC 822) mail messages


    use Mail::Internet;


This package provides a class object which can be used for reading, creating, manipulating and writing a message with RFC822 compliant headers.

If you start writing a new application, you may want to use the Mail::Box set of packages (requires perl 5.6.1), which has more features and handles modern messages much better. See


new ( [ ARG ], [ OPTIONS ] )

ARG is optional and may be either a file descriptor (reference to a GLOB) or a reference to an array. If given the new object will be initialized with headers and body either from the array of read from the file descriptor.

OPTIONS is a list of options given in the form of key-value pairs, just like a hash table. Valid options are

The value of this option should be a Mail::Header object. If given then Mail::Internet will not attempt to read a mail header from ARG, if it was specified.


The value of this option should be a reference to an array which contains the lines for the body of the message. Each line should be terminated with \n (LF). If Body is given then Mail::Internet will not attempt to read the body from ARG (even if it is specified).

The Mail::Header options Modify, MailFrom and FoldLength may also be given.


body ( [ BODY ] )

Returns the body of the message. This is a reference to an array. Each entry in the array represents a single line in the message.

If BODY is given, it can be a reference to an array or an array, then the body will be replaced. If a reference is passed, it is used directly and not copied, so any subsequent changes to the array will change the contents of the body.

Print the header, body or whole message to file descriptor FILEHANDLE. $fd should be a reference to a GLOB. If FILEHANDLE is not given the output will be sent to STDOUT.

    $mail->print( \*STDOUT );  # Print message to STDOUT
as_string ()

Returns the message as a single string.

as_mbox_string ( [ ALREADY_ESCAPED ] )

Returns the message as a string in mbox format. ALREADY_ESCAPED, if given and true, indicates that ->escape_from has already been called on this object.

head ()

Returns the Mail::Header object which holds the headers for the current message


The following methods are more a utility type than a manipulation type of method.

remove_sig ( [ NLINES ] )

Attempts to remove a users signature from the body of a message. It does this by looking for a line equal to '-- ' within the last NLINES of the message. If found then that line and all lines after it will be removed. If NLINES is not given a default value of 10 will be used. This would be of most use in auto-reply scripts.

tidy_body ()

Removes all leading and trailing lines from the body that only contain white spaces.

reply ()

Create a new object with header initialised for a reply to the current object. And the body will be a copy of the current message indented.

add_signature ( [ FILE ] )

Append a signature to the message. FILE is a file which contains the signature, if not given then the file "$ENV{HOME}/.signature" will be checked for.

send ( [ type [ args.. ]] )

Send a Mail::Internet message using Mail::Mailer. Type and args are passed on to Mail::Mailer

smtpsend ( [ OPTIONS ] )

Send a Mail::Internet message via SMTP, requires Net::SMTP

The return value will be a list of email addresses that the message was sent to. If the message was not sent the list will be empty.

Options are passed as key-value pairs. Current options are


Name of the SMTP server to connect to, or a Net::SMTP object to use

If Host is not given then the SMTP host is found by attempting connections first to hosts specified in $ENV{SMTPHOSTS}, a colon separated list, then mailhost and localhost.


The e-mail address which is used as sender. By default, the mailaddress() method provides the address of the sender.


Send the email to the given addresses, each can be either a string or a reference to a list of email addresses. If none of To, <Cc> or Bcc are given then the addresses are extracted from the message being sent.


Send a HELO (or EHLO) command to the server with the given name.


Port number to connect to on remote host


Debug value to pass to Net::SMPT, see <Net::SMTP>

nntppost ( [ OPTIONS ] )

Post an article via NNTP, requires Net::NNTP.

Options are passed as key-value pairs. Current options are


Name of NNTP server to connect to, or a Net::NNTP object to use.


Port number to connect to on remote host


Debug value to pass to Net::NNTP, see <Net::NNTP>

escape_from ()

It can cause problems with some applications if a message contains a line starting with `From ', in particular when attempting to split a folder. This method inserts a leading `'> on anyline that matches the regular expression /^*From/>

unescape_from ()

This method will remove the escaping added by escape_from


Mail::Header Mail::Address


Graham Barr. Maintained by Mark Overmeer <>


Copyright (c) 2002-2003 Mark Overmeer, 1995-2001 Graham Barr. All rights reserved. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.