Browse Prior Art Database

Mail Transfer Protocol (RFC0772) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003820D
Original Publication Date: 1980-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 25 page(s) / 61K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

S. Sluizer: AUTHOR [+1]


The objective of Mail Transfer Protocol (MTP) is to transfer mail reliably and efficiently.

This text was extracted from a ASCII document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 5% of the total text.

Network Working Group S. Sluizer

Request for Comments: 772 J. Postel


September 1980



This is a first draft of this protocol and comments are very

definitely requested.


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

control connection

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.

data mode

The mail is transmitted over the control connection as a stream

of octets. (In FTP terminology this is called stream mode.)

data structure

The internal structure of mail is considered to be a continuous

sequence of data octets. (In FTP terminology this is called


data representation

The internal representation of all data (i.e., mail) is in



A computer in t...