appendix D. section 4.5.1). The SMTP protocol allows a server to formally reject a transaction while still allowing the initial connection as follows: a 554 response MAY be given in the initial connection opening message instead of the 220. A server taking this approach MUST still wait for the client to send a QUIT (see section 22.214.171.124) before closing the connection and SHOULD respond to any intervening commands with
"503 bad sequence of commands". Since an attempt to make an SMTP connection to such a system is probably in error, a server returning a 554 response on connection opening SHOULD provide enough information in the reply text to facilitate debugging of the sending system. section 4.1.4.) A series of one or more RCPT commands follows giving the receiver information. Then a DATA command initiates transfer of the mail data and is terminated by the "end of mail" data indicator, which also confirms the transaction. The first step in the procedure is the MAIL command. MAIL FROM:<reverse-path> [SP <mail-parameters> ] <CRLF> This command tells the SMTP-receiver that a new mail transaction is starting and to reset all its state tables and buffers, including any recipients or mail data. The <reverse-path> portion of the first or only argument contains the source mailbox (between "<" and ">" brackets), which can be used to report errors (see section 4.2 for a discussion of error reporting). If accepted, the SMTP server returns a 250 OK reply. If the mailbox specification is not acceptable for some reason, the server MUST return a reply indicating whether the
failure is permanent (i.e., will occur again if the client tries to send the same address again) or temporary (i.e., the address might be accepted if the client tries again later). Despite the apparent scope of this requirement, there are circumstances in which the acceptability of the reverse-path may not be determined until one or more forward-paths (in RCPT commands) can be examined. In those cases, the server MAY reasonably accept the reverse-path (with a 250 reply) and then report problems after the forward-paths are received and examined. Normally, failures produce 550 or 553 replies. Historically, the <reverse-path> can contain more than just a mailbox, however, contemporary systems SHOULD NOT use source routing (see appendix C). The optional <mail-parameters> are associated with negotiated SMTP service extensions (see section 2.2). The second step in the procedure is the RCPT command. RCPT TO:<forward-path> [ SP <rcpt-parameters> ] <CRLF> The first or only argument to this command includes a forward-path (normally a mailbox and domain, always surrounded by "<" and ">" brackets) identifying one recipient. If accepted, the SMTP server returns a 250 OK reply and stores the forward-path. If the recipient is known not to be a deliverable address, the SMTP server returns a 550 reply, typically with a string such as "no such user - " and the mailbox name (other circumstances and reply codes are possible). This step of the procedure can be repeated any number of times. The <forward-path> can contain more than just a mailbox. Historically, the <forward-path> can be a source routing list of hosts and the destination mailbox, however, contemporary SMTP clients SHOULD NOT utilize source routes (see appendix C). Servers MUST be prepared to encounter a list of source routes in the forward path, but SHOULD ignore the routes or MAY decline to support the relaying they imply. Similarly, servers MAY decline to accept mail that is destined for other hosts or systems. These restrictions make a server useless as a relay for clients that do not support full SMTP functionality. Consequently, restricted-capability clients MUST NOT assume that any SMTP server on the Internet can be used as their mail processing (relaying) site. If a RCPT command appears without a previous MAIL command, the server MUST return a 503 "Bad sequence of commands" response. The optional <rcpt-parameters> are associated with negotiated SMTP service extensions (see section 2.2). The third step in the procedure is the DATA command (or some alternative specified in a service extension).
DATA <CRLF> If accepted, the SMTP server returns a 354 Intermediate reply and considers all succeeding lines up to but not including the end of mail data indicator to be the message text. When the end of text is successfully received and stored the SMTP-receiver sends a 250 OK reply. Since the mail data is sent on the transmission channel, the end of mail data must be indicated so that the command and reply dialog can be resumed. SMTP indicates the end of the mail data by sending a line containing only a "." (period or full stop). A transparency procedure is used to prevent this from interfering with the user's text (see section 4.5.2). The end of mail data indicator also confirms the mail transaction and tells the SMTP server to now process the stored recipients and mail data. If accepted, the SMTP server returns a 250 OK reply. The DATA command can fail at only two points in the protocol exchange: - If there was no MAIL, or no RCPT, command, or all such commands were rejected, the server MAY return a "command out of sequence" (503) or "no valid recipients" (554) reply in response to the DATA command. If one of those replies (or any other 5yz reply) is received, the client MUST NOT send the message data; more generally, message data MUST NOT be sent unless a 354 reply is received. - If the verb is initially accepted and the 354 reply issued, the DATA command should fail only if the mail transaction was incomplete (for example, no recipients), or if resources were unavailable (including, of course, the server unexpectedly becoming unavailable), or if the server determines that the message should be rejected for policy or other reasons. However, in practice, some servers do not perform recipient verification until after the message text is received. These servers SHOULD treat a failure for one or more recipients as a "subsequent failure" and return a mail message as discussed in section 6. Using a "550 mailbox not found" (or equivalent) reply code after the data are accepted makes it difficult or impossible for the client to determine which recipients failed. When RFC 822 format [7, 32] is being used, the mail data include the memo header items such as Date, Subject, To, Cc, From. Server SMTP systems SHOULD NOT reject messages based on perceived defects in the RFC 822 or MIME  message header or message body. In particular,
they MUST NOT reject messages in which the numbers of Resent-fields do not match or Resent-to appears without Resent-from and/or Resent- date. Mail transaction commands MUST be used in the order discussed above. section 3.2 of RFC 821, and especially the 251 (corrected destination) and 551 reply codes from RCPT must be evaluated carefully by implementers and, when they are available, by those configuring systems. In particular: * Servers MAY forward messages when they are aware of an address change. When they do so, they MAY either provide address-updating information with a 251 code, or may forward "silently" and return a 250 code. But, if a 251 code is used, they MUST NOT assume that the client will actually update address information or even return that information to the user. Alternately, * Servers MAY reject or bounce messages when they are not deliverable when addressed. When they do so, they MAY either provide address-updating information with a 551 code, or may reject the message as undeliverable with a 550 code and no address-specific information. But, if a 551 code is used, they MUST NOT assume that the client will actually update address information or even return that information to the user. SMTP server implementations that support the 251 and/or 551 reply codes are strongly encouraged to provide configuration mechanisms so that sites which conclude that they would undesirably disclose information can disable or restrict their use.
section 3.5.2 and 7.3). For the VRFY command, the string is a user name or a user name and domain (see below). If a normal (i.e., 250) response is returned, the response MAY include the full name of the user and MUST include the mailbox of the user. It MUST be in either of the following forms: User Name <local-part@domain> local-part@domain When a name that is the argument to VRFY could identify more than one mailbox, the server MAY either note the ambiguity or identify the alternatives. In other words, any of the following are legitimate response to VRFY: 553 User ambiguous or 553- Ambiguous; Possibilities are 553-Joe Smith <email@example.com> 553-Harry Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> 553 Melvin Smith <email@example.com> or 553-Ambiguous; Possibilities 553- <firstname.lastname@example.org> 553- <email@example.com> 553 <firstname.lastname@example.org> Under normal circumstances, a client receiving a 553 reply would be expected to expose the result to the user. Use of exactly the forms given, and the "user ambiguous" or "ambiguous" keywords, possibly supplemented by extended reply codes such as those described in , will facilitate automated translation into other languages as needed. Of course, a client that was highly automated or that was operating in another language than English, might choose to try to translate the response, to return some other indication to the user than the
literal text of the reply, or to take some automated action such as consulting a directory service for additional information before reporting to the user. For the EXPN command, the string identifies a mailing list, and the successful (i.e., 250) multiline response MAY include the full name of the users and MUST give the mailboxes on the mailing list. In some hosts the distinction between a mailing list and an alias for a single mailbox is a bit fuzzy, since a common data structure may hold both types of entries, and it is possible to have mailing lists containing only one mailbox. If a request is made to apply VRFY to a mailing list, a positive response MAY be given if a message so addressed would be delivered to everyone on the list, otherwise an error SHOULD be reported (e.g., "550 That is a mailing list, not a user" or "252 Unable to verify members of mailing list"). If a request is made to expand a user name, the server MAY return a positive response consisting of a list containing one name, or an error MAY be reported (e.g., "550 That is a user name, not a mailing list"). In the case of a successful multiline reply (normal for EXPN) exactly one mailbox is to be specified on each line of the reply. The case of an ambiguous request is discussed above. "User name" is a fuzzy term and has been used deliberately. An implementation of the VRFY or EXPN commands MUST include at least recognition of local mailboxes as "user names". However, since current Internet practice often results in a single host handling mail for multiple domains, hosts, especially hosts that provide this functionality, SHOULD accept the "local-part@domain" form as a "user name"; hosts MAY also choose to recognize other strings as "user names". The case of expanding a mailbox list requires a multiline reply, such as: C: EXPN Example-People S: 250-Jon Postel <Postel@isi.edu> S: 250-Fred Fonebone <Fonebone@physics.foo-u.edu> S: 250 Sam Q. Smith <SQSmith@specific.generic.com> or C: EXPN Executive-Washroom-List S: 550 Access Denied to You.
The character string arguments of the VRFY and EXPN commands cannot be further restricted due to the variety of implementations of the user name and mailbox list concepts. On some systems it may be appropriate for the argument of the EXPN command to be a file name for a file containing a mailing list, but again there are a variety of file naming conventions in the Internet. Similarly, historical variations in what is returned by these commands are such that the response SHOULD be interpreted very carefully, if at all, and SHOULD generally only be used for diagnostic purposes. RFC 821, they MUST be listed as service extensions in an EHLO response, if they are supported.
There may be circumstances where an address appears to be valid but cannot reasonably be verified in real time, particularly when a server is acting as a mail exchanger for another server or domain. "Apparent validity" in this case would normally involve at least syntax checking and might involve verification that any domains specified were ones to which the host expected to be able to relay mail. In these situations, reply code 252 SHOULD be returned. These cases parallel the discussion of RCPT verification discussed in section 2.1. Similarly, the discussion in section 3.4 applies to the use of reply codes 251 and 551 with VRFY (and EXPN) to indicate addresses that are recognized but that would be forwarded or bounced were mail received for them. Implementations generally SHOULD be more aggressive about address verification in the case of VRFY than in the case of RCPT, even if it takes a little longer to do so. section 5) are permitted, as are CNAME RRs whose targets can be resolved, in turn, to MX or A RRs. Local nicknames or unqualified names MUST NOT be used. There are two exceptions to the rule requiring FQDNs: - The domain name given in the EHLO command MUST BE either a primary host name (a domain name that resolves to an A RR) or, if the host has no name, an address literal as described in section 126.96.36.199. - The reserved mailbox name "postmaster" may be used in a RCPT command without domain qualification (see section 188.8.131.52) and MUST be accepted if so used.
22, 27] makes the use of explicit source routes in the Internet mail system unnecessary. Many historical problems with their interpretation have made their use undesirable. SMTP clients SHOULD NOT generate explicit source routes except under unusual circumstances. SMTP servers MAY decline to act as mail relays or to accept addresses that specify source routes. When route information is encountered, SMTP servers are also permitted to ignore the route information and simply send to the final destination specified as the last element in the route and SHOULD do so. There has been an invalid practice of using names that do not appear in the DNS as destination names, with the senders counting on the intermediate hosts specified in source routing to resolve any problems. If source routes are stripped, this practice will cause failures. This is one of several reasons why SMTP clients MUST NOT generate invalid source routes or depend on serial resolution of names. When source routes are not used, the process described in RFC 821 for constructing a reverse-path from the forward-path is not applicable and the reverse-path at the time of delivery will simply be the address that appeared in the MAIL command. A relay SMTP server is usually the target of a DNS MX record that designates it, rather than the final delivery system. The relay server may accept or reject the task of relaying the mail in the same way it accepts or rejects mail for a local user. If it accepts the task, it then becomes an SMTP client, establishes a transmission channel to the next SMTP server specified in the DNS (according to the rules in section 5), and sends it the mail. If it declines to relay mail to a particular address for policy reasons, a 550 response SHOULD be returned. Many mail-sending clients exist, especially in conjunction with facilities that receive mail via POP3 or IMAP, that have limited capability to support some of the requirements of this specification, such as the ability to queue messages for subsequent delivery attempts. For these clients, it is common practice to make private arrangements to send all messages to a single server for processing and subsequent distribution. SMTP, as specified here, is not ideally suited for this role, and work is underway on standardized mail submission protocols that might eventually supercede the current practices. In any event, because these arrangements are private and fall outside the scope of this specification, they are not described here.
It is important to note that MX records can point to SMTP servers which act as gateways into other environments, not just SMTP relays and final delivery systems; see sections 3.8 and 5. If an SMTP server has accepted the task of relaying the mail and later finds that the destination is incorrect or that the mail cannot be delivered for some other reason, then it MUST construct an "undeliverable mail" notification message and send it to the originator of the undeliverable mail (as indicated by the reverse- path). Formats specified for non-delivery reports by other standards (see, for example, [24, 25]) SHOULD be used if possible. This notification message must be from the SMTP server at the relay host or the host that first determines that delivery cannot be accomplished. Of course, SMTP servers MUST NOT send notification messages about problems transporting notification messages. One way to prevent loops in error reporting is to specify a null reverse-path in the MAIL command of a notification message. When such a message is transmitted the reverse-path MUST be set to null (see section 4.5.5 for additional discussion). A MAIL command with a null reverse-path appears as follows: MAIL FROM:<> As discussed in section 2.4.1, a relay SMTP has no need to inspect or act upon the headers or body of the message data and MUST NOT do so except to add its own "Received:" header (section 4.4) and, optionally, to attempt to detect looping in the mail system (see section 6.2). section 2.3.8, when such a system is at the boundary between two transport service environments, we refer to it as a "gateway" or "gateway SMTP". Gatewaying mail between different mail environments, such as different mail formats and protocols, is complex and does not easily yield to standardization. However, some general requirements may be given for a gateway between the Internet and another mail environment.
section 2.4.1. Other mail systems gatewayed to the Internet often use a subset of RFC 822 headers or provide similar functionality with a different syntax, but some of these mail systems do not have an equivalent to the SMTP envelope. Therefore, when a message leaves the Internet environment, it may be necessary to fold the SMTP envelope information into the message header. A possible solution would be to create new header fields to carry the envelope information (e.g., "X-SMTP-MAIL:" and "X-SMTP-RCPT:"); however, this would require changes in mail programs in foreign environments and might risk disclosure of private information (see section 7.2). RFC 822 headers, and all valid RFC 822 messages. Addresses and headers generated by gateways MUST conform to applicable Internet standards (including this one and RFC 822). Gateways are, of course, subject to the same rules for handling source routes as those described for other SMTP systems in section 3.3.
RFC 822 syntax, MUST reference only fully-qualified domain names, and MUST be effective and useful for sending replies. The translation algorithm used to convert mail from the Internet protocols to another environment's protocol SHOULD ensure that error messages from the foreign mail environment are delivered to the return path from the SMTP envelope, not to the sender listed in the "From:" field (or other fields) of the RFC 822 message.
An SMTP server which is forcibly shut down via external means SHOULD attempt to send a line containing a 421 response code to the SMTP client before exiting. The SMTP client will normally read the 421 response code after sending its next command. SMTP clients that experience a connection close, reset, or other communications failure due to circumstances not under their control (in violation of the intent of this specification but sometimes unavoidable) SHOULD, to maintain the robustness of the mail system, treat the mail transaction as if a 451 response had been received and act accordingly. 32] MUST be left unchanged; in particular, the "From" field of the message header is unaffected. An important mail facility is a mechanism for multi-destination delivery of a single message, by transforming (or "expanding" or "exploding") a pseudo-mailbox address into a list of destination mailbox addresses. When a message is sent to such a pseudo-mailbox (sometimes called an "exploder"), copies are forwarded or redistributed to each mailbox in the expanded list. Servers SHOULD simply utilize the addresses on the list; application of heuristics or other matching rules to eliminate some addresses, such as that of the originator, is strongly discouraged. We classify such a pseudo- mailbox as an "alias" or a "list", depending upon the expansion rules.
addresses. The return address in the envelope is changed so that all error messages generated by the final deliveries will be returned to a list administrator, not to the message originator, who generally has no control over the contents of the list and will typically find error messages annoying. section 4.1.2. The SMTP commands are discussed below. The SMTP replies are discussed in section 4.2. A mail transaction involves several data objects which are communicated as arguments to different commands. The reverse-path is the argument of the MAIL command, the forward-path is the argument of the RCPT command, and the mail data is the argument of the DATA command. These arguments or data objects must be transmitted and held pending the confirmation communicated by the end of mail data indication which finalizes the transaction. The model for this is that distinct buffers are provided to hold the types of data objects, that is, there is a reverse-path buffer, a forward-path buffer, and a mail data buffer. Specific commands cause information to be appended to a specific buffer, or cause one or more buffers to be cleared. Several commands (RSET, DATA, QUIT) are specified as not permitting parameters. In the absence of specific extensions offered by the server and accepted by the client, clients MUST NOT send such parameters and servers SHOULD reject commands containing them as having invalid syntax.
available), the client SHOULD send an address literal (see section 4.1.3), optionally followed by information that will help to identify the client system. y The SMTP server identifies itself to the SMTP client in the connection greeting reply and in the response to this command. A client SMTP SHOULD start an SMTP session by issuing the EHLO command. If the SMTP server supports the SMTP service extensions it will give a successful response, a failure response, or an error response. If the SMTP server, in violation of this specification, does not support any SMTP service extensions it will generate an error response. Older client SMTP systems MAY, as discussed above, use HELO (as specified in RFC 821) instead of EHLO, and servers MUST support the HELO command and reply properly to it. In any event, a client MUST issue HELO or EHLO before starting a mail transaction. These commands, and a "250 OK" reply to one of them, confirm that both the SMTP client and the SMTP server are in the initial state, that is, there is no transaction in progress and all state tables and buffers are cleared. Syntax: ehlo = "EHLO" SP Domain CRLF helo = "HELO" SP Domain CRLF Normally, the response to EHLO will be a multiline reply. Each line of the response contains a keyword and, optionally, one or more parameters. Following the normal syntax for multiline replies, these keyworks follow the code (250) and a hyphen for all but the last line, and the code and a space for the last line. The syntax for a positive response, using the ABNF notation and terminal symbols of , is: ehlo-ok-rsp = ( "250" domain [ SP ehlo-greet ] CRLF ) / ( "250-" domain [ SP ehlo-greet ] CRLF *( "250-" ehlo-line CRLF ) "250" SP ehlo-line CRLF ) ehlo-greet = 1*(%d0-9 / %d11-12 / %d14-127) ; string of any characters other than CR or LF ehlo-line = ehlo-keyword *( SP ehlo-param ) ehlo-keyword = (ALPHA / DIGIT) *(ALPHA / DIGIT / "-") ; additional syntax of ehlo-params depends on ; ehlo-keyword
ehlo-param = 1*(%d33-127) ; any CHAR excluding <SP> and all ; control characters (US-ASCII 0-31 inclusive) Although EHLO keywords may be specified in upper, lower, or mixed case, they MUST always be recognized and processed in a case- insensitive manner. This is simply an extension of practices specified in RFC 821 and section 2.4.1. section 4.1.4. The reverse-path consists of the sender mailbox. Historically, that mailbox might optionally have been preceded by a list of hosts, but that behavior is now deprecated (see appendix C). In some types of reporting messages for which a reply is likely to cause a mail loop (for example, mail delivery and nondelivery notifications), the reverse-path may be null (see section 3.7). This command clears the reverse-path buffer, the forward-path buffer, and the mail data buffer; and inserts the reverse-path information from this command into the reverse-path buffer. If service extensions were negotiated, the MAIL command may also carry parameters associated with a particular service extension. Syntax: "MAIL FROM:" ("<>" / Reverse-Path) [SP Mail-parameters] CRLF
source route syntax but SHOULD strip off the source route specification and utilize the domain name associated with the mailbox as if the source route had not been provided. Similarly, relay hosts SHOULD strip or ignore source routes, and names MUST NOT be copied into the reverse-path. When mail reaches its ultimate destination (the forward-path contains only a destination mailbox), the SMTP server inserts it into the destination mailbox in accordance with its host mail conventions. For example, mail received at relay host xyz.com with envelope commands MAIL FROM:<email@example.com> RCPT TO:<@hosta.int,@jkl.org:firstname.lastname@example.org> will normally be sent directly on to host d.bar.org with envelope commands MAIL FROM:<email@example.com> RCPT TO:<firstname.lastname@example.org> As provided in appendix C, xyz.com MAY also choose to relay the message to hosta.int, using the envelope commands MAIL FROM:<email@example.com> RCPT TO:<@hosta.int,@jkl.org:firstname.lastname@example.org> or to jkl.org, using the envelope commands MAIL FROM:<email@example.com> RCPT TO:<@jkl.org:firstname.lastname@example.org> Of course, since hosts are not required to relay mail at all, xyz.com may also reject the message entirely when the RCPT command is received, using a 550 code (since this is a "policy reason"). If service extensions were negotiated, the RCPT command may also carry parameters associated with a particular service extension offered by the server. The client MUST NOT transmit parameters other than those associated with a service extension offered by the server in its EHLO response. Syntax: "RCPT TO:" ("<Postmaster@" domain ">" / "<Postmaster>" / Forward-Path) [SP Rcpt-parameters] CRLF
section 2.3.7) following the command as mail data from the sender. This command causes the mail data to be appended to the mail data buffer. The mail data may contain any of the 128 ASCII character codes, although experience has indicated that use of control characters other than SP, HT, CR, and LF may cause problems and SHOULD be avoided when possible. The mail data is terminated by a line containing only a period, that is, the character sequence "<CRLF>.<CRLF>" (see section 4.5.2). This is the end of mail data indication. Note that the first <CRLF> of this terminating sequence is also the <CRLF> that ends the final line of the data (message text) or, if there was no data, ends the DATA command itself. An extra <CRLF> MUST NOT be added, as that would cause an empty line to be added to the message. The only exception to this rule would arise if the message body were passed to the originating SMTP-sender with a final "line" that did not end in <CRLF>; in that case, the originating SMTP system MUST either reject the message as invalid or add <CRLF> in order to have the receiving SMTP server recognize the "end of data" condition. The custom of accepting lines ending only in <LF>, as a concession to non-conforming behavior on the part of some UNIX systems, has proven to cause more interoperability problems than it solves, and SMTP server systems MUST NOT do this, even in the name of improved robustness. In particular, the sequence "<LF>.<LF>" (bare line feeds, without carriage returns) MUST NOT be treated as equivalent to <CRLF>.<CRLF> as the end of mail data indication. Receipt of the end of mail data indication requires the server to process the stored mail transaction information. This processing consumes the information in the reverse-path buffer, the forward-path buffer, and the mail data buffer, and on the completion of this command these buffers are cleared. If the processing is successful, the receiver MUST send an OK reply. If the processing fails the receiver MUST send a failure reply. The SMTP model does not allow for partial failures at this point: either the message is accepted by the server for delivery and a positive response is returned or it is not accepted and a failure reply is returned. In sending a positive completion reply to the end of data indication, the receiver takes full responsibility for the message (see section 6.1). Errors that are diagnosed subsequently MUST be reported in a mail message, as discussed in section 4.4.
When the SMTP server accepts a message either for relaying or for final delivery, it inserts a trace record (also referred to interchangeably as a "time stamp line" or "Received" line) at the top of the mail data. This trace record indicates the identity of the host that sent the message, the identity of the host that received the message (and is inserting this time stamp), and the date and time the message was received. Relayed messages will have multiple time stamp lines. Details for formation of these lines, including their syntax, is specified in section 4.4. Additional discussion about the operation of the DATA command appears in section 3.3. Syntax: "DATA" CRLF section 184.108.40.206). Since EHLO implies some additional processing and response by the server, RSET will normally be more efficient than reissuing that command, even though the formal semantics are the same. There are circumstances, contrary to the intent of this specification, in which an SMTP server may receive an indication that the underlying TCP connection has been closed or reset. To preserve the robustness of the mail system, SMTP servers SHOULD be prepared for this condition and SHOULD treat it as if a QUIT had been received before the connection disappeared. Syntax: "RSET" CRLF
section 3.5. This command has no effect on the reverse-path buffer, the forward- path buffer, or the mail data buffer. Syntax: "VRFY" SP String CRLF section 3.5. This reply will have multiple lines except in the trivial case of a one-member list. This command has no effect on the reverse-path buffer, the forward- path buffer, or the mail data buffer and may be issued at any time. Syntax: "EXPN" SP String CRLF
This command has no effect on the reverse-path buffer, the forward- path buffer, or the mail data buffer and may be issued at any time. If a parameter string is specified, servers SHOULD ignore it. Syntax: "NOOP" [ SP String ] CRLF 8] where applicable) is given below. Some of the productions given below are used only in conjunction with source routes as described in appendix C. Terminals not defined in this document, such as ALPHA, DIGIT, SP, CR, LF, CRLF, are as defined in the "core" syntax [8 (section 6)] or in the message format syntax . Reverse-path = Path Forward-path = Path Path = "<" [ A-d-l ":" ] Mailbox ">" A-d-l = At-domain *( "," A-d-l ) ; Note that this form, the so-called "source route", ; MUST BE accepted, SHOULD NOT be generated, and SHOULD be ; ignored. At-domain = "@" domain Mail-parameters = esmtp-param *(SP esmtp-param) Rcpt-parameters = esmtp-param *(SP esmtp-param)
esmtp-param = esmtp-keyword ["=" esmtp-value] esmtp-keyword = (ALPHA / DIGIT) *(ALPHA / DIGIT / "-") esmtp-value = 1*(%d33-60 / %d62-127) ; any CHAR excluding "=", SP, and control characters Keyword = Ldh-str Argument = Atom Domain = (sub-domain 1*("." sub-domain)) / address-literal sub-domain = Let-dig [Ldh-str] address-literal = "[" IPv4-address-literal / IPv6-address-literal / General-address-literal "]" ; See section 4.1.3 Mailbox = Local-part "@" Domain Local-part = Dot-string / Quoted-string ; MAY be case-sensitive Dot-string = Atom *("." Atom) Atom = 1*atext Quoted-string = DQUOTE *qcontent DQUOTE String = Atom / Quoted-string While the above definition for Local-part is relatively permissive, for maximum interoperability, a host that expects to receive mail SHOULD avoid defining mailboxes where the Local-part requires (or uses) the Quoted-string form or where the Local-part is case- sensitive. For any purposes that require generating or comparing Local-parts (e.g., to specific mailbox names), all quoted forms MUST be treated as equivalent and the sending system SHOULD transmit the form that uses the minimum quoting possible. Systems MUST NOT define mailboxes in such a way as to require the use in SMTP of non-ASCII characters (octets with the high order bit set to one) or ASCII "control characters" (decimal value 0-31 and 127). These characters MUST NOT be used in MAIL or RCPT commands or other commands that require mailbox names. Note that the backslash, "\", is a quote character, which is used to indicate that the next character is to be used literally (instead of its normal interpretation). For example, "Joe\,Smith" indicates a single nine character user field with the comma being the fourth character of the field.
To promote interoperability and consistent with long-standing guidance about conservative use of the DNS in naming and applications (e.g., see section 2.3.1 of the base DNS document, RFC1035 ), characters outside the set of alphas, digits, and hyphen MUST NOT appear in domain name labels for SMTP clients or servers. In particular, the underscore character is not permitted. SMTP servers that receive a command in which invalid character codes have been employed, and for which there are no other reasons for rejection, MUST reject that command with a 501 response. 17]. Specifically: IPv4-address-literal = Snum 3("." Snum) IPv6-address-literal = "IPv6:" IPv6-addr General-address-literal = Standardized-tag ":" 1*dcontent Standardized-tag = Ldh-str ; MUST be specified in a standards-track RFC ; and registered with IANA Snum = 1*3DIGIT ; representing a decimal integer ; value in the range 0 through 255 Let-dig = ALPHA / DIGIT Ldh-str = *( ALPHA / DIGIT / "-" ) Let-dig IPv6-addr = IPv6-full / IPv6-comp / IPv6v4-full / IPv6v4-comp IPv6-hex = 1*4HEXDIG IPv6-full = IPv6-hex 7(":" IPv6-hex) IPv6-comp = [IPv6-hex *5(":" IPv6-hex)] "::" [IPv6-hex *5(":" IPv6-hex)] ; The "::" represents at least 2 16-bit groups of zeros ; No more than 6 groups in addition to the "::" may be ; present IPv6v4-full = IPv6-hex 5(":" IPv6-hex) ":" IPv4-address-literal IPv6v4-comp = [IPv6-hex *3(":" IPv6-hex)] "::"
[IPv6-hex *3(":" IPv6-hex) ":"] IPv4-address-literal ; The "::" represents at least 2 16-bit groups of zeros ; No more than 4 groups in addition to the "::" and ; IPv4-address-literal may be present
If these rules are followed, the example in RFC 821 that shows "550 access denied to you" in response to an EXPN command is incorrect unless an EHLO command precedes the EXPN or the denial of access is based on the client's IP address or other authentication or authorization-determining mechanisms. The MAIL command (or the obsolete SEND, SOML, or SAML commands) begins a mail transaction. Once started, a mail transaction consists of a transaction beginning command, one or more RCPT commands, and a DATA command, in that order. A mail transaction may be aborted by the RSET (or a new EHLO) command. There may be zero or more transactions in a session. MAIL (or SEND, SOML, or SAML) MUST NOT be sent if a mail transaction is already open, i.e., it should be sent only if no mail transaction had been started in the session, or it the previous one successfully concluded with a successful DATA command, or if the previous one was aborted with a RSET. If the transaction beginning command argument is not acceptable, a 501 failure reply MUST be returned and the SMTP server MUST stay in the same state. If the commands in a transaction are out of order to the degree that they cannot be processed by the server, a 503 failure reply MUST be returned and the SMTP server MUST stay in the same state. The last command in a session MUST be the QUIT command. The QUIT command cannot be used at any other time in a session, but SHOULD be used by the client SMTP to request connection closure, even when no session opening command was sent and accepted. section 2.2.2, commands starting in "X" may be used by bilateral agreement between the client (sending) and server (receiving) SMTP agents. An SMTP server that does not recognize such a command is expected to reply with "500 Command not recognized". An extended SMTP server MAY list the feature names associated with these private commands in the response to the EHLO command. Commands sent or accepted by SMTP systems that do not start with "X" MUST conform to the requirements of section 2.2.2.