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Work with email by IMAP

Project description

Work with email by IMAP:

  • Basic message operations: fetch, uids, numbers
  • Parsed email message attributes
  • Query builder for searching emails
  • Actions with emails: copy, delete, flag, move, append
  • Actions with folders: list, set, get, create, exists, rename, subscribe, delete, status
  • Exceptions on failed operations
  • No external dependencies
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Python version 3.5+
License Apache-2.0
PyPI https://pypi.python.org/pypi/imap_tools/
IMAP RFC VERSION 4rev1 - https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3501
EMAIL RFC Internet Message Format - https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2822

Installation

$ pip install imap-tools

Guide

Basic

Info about lib are at: this page, issues, pull requests, examples, source, stackoverflow.com

from imap_tools import MailBox, AND

# get list of email subjects from INBOX folder
with MailBox('imap.mail.com').login('test@mail.com', 'pwd') as mailbox:
    subjects = [msg.subject for msg in mailbox.fetch()]

# get list of email subjects from INBOX folder - equivalent verbose version
mailbox = MailBox('imap.mail.com')
mailbox.login('test@mail.com', 'pwd', initial_folder='INBOX')  # or mailbox.folder.set instead 3d arg
subjects = [msg.subject for msg in mailbox.fetch(AND(all=True))]
mailbox.logout()

MailBox(BaseMailBox), MailBoxUnencrypted(BaseMailBox) - for create mailbox instance.

BaseMailBox.login, MailBox.xoauth2 - authentication functions. TLS connection example.

BaseMailBox.fetch - first searches email nums by criteria in current folder, then fetch and yields MailMessage:

  • criteria = ‘ALL’, message search criteria, query builder
  • charset = ‘US-ASCII’, indicates charset of the strings that appear in the search criteria. See rfc2978
  • limit = None, limit on the number of read emails, useful for actions with a large number of messages, like “move”
  • miss_no_uid = True, miss emails without uid
  • mark_seen = True, mark emails as seen on fetch
  • reverse = False, in order from the larger date to the smaller
  • headers_only = False, get only email headers (without text, html, attachments)
  • bulk = False, False - fetch each message separately per N commands - low memory consumption, slow; True - fetch all messages per 1 command - high memory consumption, fast

BaseMailBox.uids - search mailbox for matching message uids in current folder, returns [str | None]

  • criteria = ‘ALL’, message search criteria, query builder
  • charset = ‘US-ASCII’, indicates charset of the strings that appear in the search criteria. See rfc2978
  • miss_no_uid = True, not add None values to result when uid item not matched to pattern

BaseMailBox.<action> - copy, move, delete, flag, append

BaseMailBox.folder - folder manager

BaseMailBox.numbers - search mailbox for matching message numbers in current folder, returns [str]

BaseMailBox.box - imaplib.IMAP4/IMAP4_SSL client instance.

Email attributes

MailMessage and MailAttachment public attributes are cached by functools.lru_cache

for msg in mailbox.fetch():  # generator: imap_tools.MailMessage
    msg.uid          # str | None: '123'
    msg.subject      # str: 'some subject 你 привет'
    msg.from_        # str: 'Bartölke@ya.ru'
    msg.to           # tuple: ('iam@goo.ru', 'friend@ya.ru', )
    msg.cc           # tuple: ('cc@mail.ru', )
    msg.bcc          # tuple: ('bcc@mail.ru', )
    msg.reply_to     # tuple: ('reply_to@mail.ru', )
    msg.date         # datetime.datetime: 1900-1-1 for unparsed, may be naive or with tzinfo
    msg.date_str     # str: original date - 'Tue, 03 Jan 2017 22:26:59 +0500'
    msg.text         # str: 'Hello 你 Привет'
    msg.html         # str: '<b>Hello 你 Привет</b>'
    msg.flags        # tuple: ('\\Seen', '\\Flagged', 'ENCRYPTED')
    msg.headers      # dict: {'received': ('from 1.m.ru', 'from 2.m.ru'), 'anti-virus': ('Clean',)}
    msg.size_rfc822  # int: 20664 bytes - size info from server (*useful with headers_only arg)
    msg.size         # int: 20377 bytes - size of received message

    for att in msg.attachments:  # list: imap_tools.MailAttachment
        att.filename             # str: 'cat.jpg'
        att.payload              # bytes: b'\xff\xd8\xff\xe0\'
        att.content_id           # str: 'part45.06020801.00060008@mail.ru'
        att.content_type         # str: 'image/jpeg'
        att.content_disposition  # str: 'inline'
        att.part                 # email.message.Message: original object
        att.size                 # int: 17361 bytes

    msg.obj              # email.message.Message: original object
    msg.from_values      # imap_tools.EmailAddress | None
    msg.to_values        # tuple: (imap_tools.EmailAddress,)
    msg.cc_values        # tuple: (imap_tools.EmailAddress,)
    msg.bcc_values       # tuple: (imap_tools.EmailAddress,)
    msg.reply_to_values  # tuple: (imap_tools.EmailAddress,)
    # EmailAddress(name='Ya', email='im@ya.ru', full='Ya <im@ya.ru>')

Search criteria

This chapter about “criteria” and “charset” arguments of MailBox methods: fetch, uids, numbers

You can use 3 approaches to build search criteria:

from imap_tools import AND, OR, NOT

mailbox.fetch(AND(subject='weather'))  # query, the str-like object
mailbox.fetch('TEXT "hello"')          # str
mailbox.fetch(b'TEXT "\xd1\x8f"')      # bytes, *charset arg is ignored

The “charset” is argument used for encode criteria to this encoding. You can pass the criteria as bytes in the desired encoding - in this case, the encoding will be ignored.

mailbox.uids(A(subject='жёлтый'), charset='utf8')

Query builder implements all search logic described in rfc3501. It uses this classes:

Class Alias Usage Arguments
AND A combines keys by logical “AND” condition Search keys (see table below) | str
OR O combines keys by logical “OR” condition Search keys (see table below) | str
NOT N invert the result of a logical expression AND/OR instances | str
Header H for search by headers name: str, value: str
UidRange U for search by UID range start: str, end: str

See query examples. A few examples:

from imap_tools import A, AND, OR, NOT
# AND
A(text='hello', new=True)  # '(TEXT "hello" NEW)'
# OR
OR(text='hello', date=datetime.date(2000, 3, 15))  # '(OR TEXT "hello" ON 15-Mar-2000)'
# NOT
NOT(text='hello', new=True)  # 'NOT (TEXT "hello" NEW)'
# complex
A(OR(from_='from@ya.ru', text='"the text"'), NOT(OR(A(answered=False), A(new=True))), to='to@ya.ru')
# python note: you can't do: A(text='two', NOT(subject='one'))
A(NOT(subject='one'), text='two')  # use kwargs after logic classes (args)

Search key table. Key types marked with * can accepts a sequence of values like list, tuple, set or generator.

Key Types Results Description
answered bool ANSWERED/UNANSWERED with/without the Answered flag
seen bool SEEN/UNSEEN with/without the Seen flag
flagged bool FLAGGED/UNFLAGGED with/without the Flagged flag
draft bool DRAFT/UNDRAFT with/without the Draft flag
deleted bool DELETED/UNDELETED with/without the Deleted flag
keyword str* KEYWORD KEY with the specified keyword flag
no_keyword str* UNKEYWORD KEY without the specified keyword flag
from_ str* FROM “from@ya.ru” contain specified str in envelope struct’s FROM field
to str* TO “to@ya.ru” contain specified str in envelope struct’s TO field
subject str* SUBJECT “hello” contain specified str in envelope struct’s SUBJECT field
body str* BODY “some_key” contain specified str in body of the message
text str* TEXT “some_key” contain specified str in header or body of the message
bcc str* BCC “bcc@ya.ru” contain specified str in envelope struct’s BCC field
cc str* CC “cc@ya.ru” contain specified str in envelope struct’s CC field
date datetime.date* ON 15-Mar-2000 internal date is within specified date
date_gte datetime.date* SINCE 15-Mar-2000 internal date is within or later than the specified date
date_lt datetime.date* BEFORE 15-Mar-2000 internal date is earlier than the specified date
sent_date datetime.date* SENTON 15-Mar-2000 rfc2822 Date: header is within the specified date
sent_date_gte datetime.date* SENTSINCE 15-Mar-2000 rfc2822 Date: header is within or later than the specified date
sent_date_lt datetime.date* SENTBEFORE 1-Mar-2000 rfc2822 Date: header is earlier than the specified date
size_gt int >= 0 LARGER 1024 rfc2822 size larger than specified number of octets
size_lt int >= 0 SMALLER 512 rfc2822 size smaller than specified number of octets
new True NEW have the Recent flag set but not the Seen flag
old True OLD do not have the Recent flag set
recent True RECENT have the Recent flag set
all True ALL all, criteria by default
uid iter(str)/str/U UID 1,2,17 corresponding to the specified unique identifier set
header H(str, str)* HEADER “A-Spam” “5.8” have a header that contains the specified str in the text
gmail_label str* X-GM-LABELS “label1” have this gmail label.

Server side search notes:

  • For string search keys a message matches if the string is a substring of the field. The matching is case-insensitive.
  • When searching by dates - email’s time and timezone are disregarding.

Actions with emails

First of all read about uid at rfc3501.

Action’s uid_list arg may takes:

  • str, that is comma separated uids
  • Sequence, that contains str uids

Get uids using maibox methods: uids, fetch.

For actions with a large number of messages imap command may be too large and will cause exception at server side, use ‘limit’ argument for fetch in this case.

with MailBox('imap.mail.com').login('test@mail.com', 'pwd', initial_folder='INBOX') as mailbox:

    # COPY messages with uid in 23,27 from current folder to folder1
    mailbox.copy('23,27', 'folder1')

    # MOVE all messages from current folder to INBOX/folder2
    mailbox.move(mailbox.uids(), 'INBOX/folder2')

    # DELETE messages with 'cat' word in its html from current folder
    mailbox.delete([msg.uid for msg in mailbox.fetch() if 'cat' in msg.html])

    # FLAG unseen messages in current folder as \Seen, \Flagged and TAG1
    flags = (imap_tools.MailMessageFlags.SEEN, imap_tools.MailMessageFlags.FLAGGED, 'TAG1')
    mailbox.flag(mailbox.uids(AND(seen=False)), flags, True)

    # APPEND: add message to mailbox directly, to INBOX folder with \Seen flag and now date
    with open('/tmp/message.eml', 'rb') as f:
        msg = imap_tools.MailMessage.from_bytes(f.read())  # *or use bytes instead MailMessage
    mailbox.append(msg, 'INBOX', dt=None, flag_set=[imap_tools.MailMessageFlags.SEEN])

Actions with folders

with MailBox('imap.mail.com').login('test@mail.com', 'pwd') as mailbox:

    # LIST: get all subfolders of the specified folder (root by default)
    for f in mailbox.folder.list('INBOX'):
        print(f)  # FolderInfo(name='INBOX|cats', delim='|', flags=('\\Unmarked', '\\HasChildren'))

    # SET: select folder for work
    mailbox.folder.set('INBOX')

    # GET: get selected folder
    current_folder = mailbox.folder.get()

    # CREATE: create new folder
    mailbox.folder.create('INBOX|folder1')

    # EXISTS: check is folder exists (shortcut for list)
    is_exists = mailbox.folder.exists('INBOX|folder1')

    # RENAME: set new name to folder
    mailbox.folder.rename('folder3', 'folder4')

    # SUBSCRIBE: subscribe/unsubscribe to folder
    mailbox.folder.subscribe('INBOX|папка два', True)

    # DELETE: delete folder
    mailbox.folder.delete('folder4')

    # STATUS: get folder status info
    stat = mailbox.folder.status('some_folder')
    print(stat)  # {'MESSAGES': 41, 'RECENT': 0, 'UIDNEXT': 11996, 'UIDVALIDITY': 1, 'UNSEEN': 5}

Exceptions

Most lib server actions raises exception if result is marked as not success.

Custom lib exceptions here: errors.py.

Release notes

History of important changes: release_notes.rst

Contribute

If you found a bug or have a question, then:

  1. Look for answer at: this page, issues, pull requests, examples, source, RFCs, stackoverflow.com, internet.
  2. And only then - create merge request or issue.

Reasons

  • Excessive low level of imaplib library.
  • Other libraries contain various shortcomings or not convenient.
  • Open source projects make world better.

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