Introduction to Fetchmail

The Fetchmail package contains a mail retrieval program. It retrieves mail from remote mail servers and forwards it to the local (client) machine's delivery system, so it can then be read by normal mail user agents.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-8.3 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

Fetchmail Dependencies



Python-2.7.15 and Tk-8.6.8

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/fetchmail

Installation of Fetchmail

Install Fetchmail by running the following commands:

patch -Np1 -i ../fetchmail-6.3.26-disable_sslv3-1.patch &&
./configure --prefix=/usr --with-ssl --enable-fallback=procmail &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

--with-ssl: This enables SSL support, so that you can handle connections to secure POP3 and IMAP servers.

--enable-fallback=procmail: This tells Fetchmail to hand incoming mail to Procmail for delivery, if the port 25 mail server is not present or not responding.

Configuring Fetchmail

Config Files


Configuration Information

cat > ~/.fetchmailrc << "EOF"
set logfile /var/log/fetchmail.log
set no bouncemail
set postmaster root

    user <username> pass <password>;
    mda "/usr/bin/procmail -f %F -d %T";

chmod -v 0600 ~/.fetchmailrc

This is an example configuration that should suffice for most people. You can add as many users and servers as you need using the same syntax.

man fetchmail: Look for the section near the bottom named CONFIGURATION EXAMPLES. It gives some quick examples. There are countless other configuration options once you get used to it.


Installed Programs: fetchmail and fetchmailconf
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: None

Short Descriptions


when executed as a user, this will source ~/.fetchmailrc and download the appropriate mail.


it will assist you in setting up and editing a ~/.fetchmailrc configuration file, by using a Tk GUI interface. It requires Python and it must have the Tkinker module available.

Last updated on 2018-08-27 15:41:22 -0700