How SMTP work
To illustrate the basic operation of SMTP, let’s walk through a common sce- nario. Suppose Alice wants to send Bob a simple ASCII message.
- Alice invokes her user agent for e-mail, provides Bob’s e-mail address (for example, [email protected]), composes a message, and instructs the user agent to send the message.
- Alice’s user agent sends the message to her mail server, where it is placed in a message queue.
- The client side of SMTP, running on Alice’s mail server, sees the message in the message queue. It opens a TCP connection to an SMTP server, running on Bob’s mail server.
- After some initial SMTP handshaking, the SMTP client sends Alice’s message into the TCP connection.
- At Bob’s mail server, the server side of SMTP receives the message. Bob’s mail server then places the message in Bob’s mailbox.
- Bob invokes his user agent to read the message at his convenience.
S: 220 hamburger.edu C: HELO crepes.fr S: 250 Hello crepes.fr, pleased to meet you C: MAIL FROM: <[email protected]> S: 250 [email protected] ... Sender ok C: RCPT TO: <[email protected]> S: 250 [email protected] ... Recipient ok C: DATA S: 354 Enter mail, end with “.” on a line by itself C: Do you like ketchup? C: How about pickles? C: . S: 250 Message accepted for delivery C: QUIT S: 221 hamburger.edu closing connection