Mail Transfer Protocol (RFC0772)
Original Publication Date: 1980-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
S. Sluizer: AUTHOR [+2]
AbstractThe objective of Mail Transfer Protocol (MTP) is to transfer mail reliably and efficiently.
Network Working Group S. Sluizer
Request for Comments: 772 J. Postel
MAIL TRANSFER PROTOCOL
This is a first draft of this protocol and comments are very
The objective of Mail Transfer Protocol (MTP) is to transfer mail
reliably and efficiently.
This paper assumes knowledge of the following protocols described in
the ARPA Internet Protocol Handbook. The reader will note strong
similarities to portions of the File Transfer Protocol; in part, this
is due to the original ARPA Network implementation of computer mail
as a feature of FTP.
The ARPANET Host-to-Host Protocol [Network Control Protocol] (NCP)
The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
The TELNET Protocol (TELNET)
The File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
In this section, the terminology and the MTP model are discussed.
The terms defined in this section are only those that have special
significance in MTP. Some of the terminology is very specific to the
MTP model; some readers may wish to turn to the section on the MTP
model while reviewing the terminology.
The ASCII character set as defined in the ARPA Internet
Protocol Handbook. In MTP, ASCII characters are defined to be
the lower half of an eight-bit code set (i.e., the most
significant bit is zero) and is called NVT-ASCII.
September 1980 RFC 772
Mail Transfer Protocol
The TCP full-duplex communication path or two NCP simplex
communication paths between a sender-MTP and a receiver-MTP for
the exchange of commands, replies, and mail text. The control
connection operates according to the TELNET Protocol.
The mail is transmitted over the control connection as a stream
of octets. (In FTP terminology this is called stream mode.)
The internal structure of mail is considered to be a continuous
sequence of data octets. (In FTP terminology this is called
The internal representation of all data (i.e., mail) is in
A computer in the internetwork environment on which mailboxes
A set of commands which comprise the control information
flowing from the sender-MTP to the receiver-MTP.
An ordered set of computer data of arbitrary length, which
conforms to the standard set in RFC 733 (Standard for the
Format of ARPA Network Text Messages).