django-mailbox / readme.rst

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How many times have you had to consume some sort of POP3, IMAP, or local mailbox for incoming content? One too many times for me.

This small Django application will allow you to specify mailboxes that you would like consumed for incoming content; the e-mail will be stored, and you can process it at will (or, if you're in a hurry, by subscribing to a signal).

WARNING! This will delete any messages it can find in the inbox you specify-- please make sure you don't have anything important in there.


You can either install from pip:

pip install django-mailbox

or checkout and install the source from the bitbucket repository:

hg clone
cd django-mailbox
python install

or checkout and install the source from the github repository:

git clone
cd django-mailbox
python install

Setting up your mailbox

Django Mailbox supports both common internet mailboxes like POP3 and IMAP as well as local file-based mailboxes.

'Protocol' Options
Mailbox Type 'Protocol':// Notes
POP3 pop3:// Can also specify SSL with pop3+ssl://
IMAP imap:// Can also specify SSL with imap+ssl://
Maildir maildir://  
Mbox mbox://  
Babyl babyl://  
MH mh://  
MMDF mmdf://  

POP3 and IMAP Mailboxes

Mailbox URIs are in the normal URI format:


Basic IMAP Example: imap://username:password@server

Basic POP3 Example: pop3://username:password@server

Most mailboxes these days are SSL-enabled; if yours is, add +ssl to your URI. Also, if your username or password include any non-ascii characters, they should be URL-encoded (for example, if your username includes an @, it should be changed to %40 in your URI).

If you have an account named with a password of 1234 on GMail (which I happen to know uses the POP3 server of '' and requires SSL), you would enter the following as your URI:


Local File-based Mailboxes

If you happen to want to consume a file-based mailbox like an Maildir, Mbox, Babyl, MH, or MMDF mailbox, you can use this too by entering the appropriate 'protocol' in the URI. If you had a maildir, for example, at /var/mail/, you would enter a URI like:


Note that there is an additional / in the above URI after the protocol; this is important.

Subscribing to the incoming mail signal

To subscribe to the incoming mail signal, following this lead:

from django_mailbox.signals import message_received
from django.dispatch import receiver

def dance_jig(sender, message, **args):
    print "I just recieved a message titled %s from a mailbox named %s" % (message.subject,, )

Getting incoming mail

In your code

Mailbox instances have a method named get_new_mail; this method will gather new messages from the server.

Using the Django Admin

Check the box next to each of the mailboxes you'd like to fetch e-mail from, and select the 'Get new mail' option.

Using a cron job

You can easily consume incoming mail by running the management command named getmail (optionally with an argument of the name of the mailbox you'd like to get the mail for).:

python getmail


You can disable mailbox information from being listed in the Django admin by adding a setting named DJANGO_MAILBOX_ADMIN_ENABLED indicating your preference toward whether or not the models appear in the admin (defaulting to True).