Terminal, gmail. Possible?


macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 22, 2003
Can you ssh (or use any Terminal commands) to access gmail? ssh [username]@gmail.com doesn't give me an error, it just sits there and does nothing. Any suggestions? Thanks!


Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
You could use a terminal-based email program like Pine, though, I guess, using the same POP or IMAP access points you use in Mail, Outlook, etc. Can you say more about what you want to do? This was such a weird question that it piqued my curiosity.... :D

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
The soggy side of the Pacific NW
If a mail server allows unencrypted POP3 connections, you can telnet to port 25 and access it that way - as long as you know POP3 command syntax. Gmail seems to only accept SSL connections to port 995, so it'd be a bit more complicated. You should be able to still access your gmail account from the command line, but you'd have to use something like stunnel to route port 25 on localhost to port 995 on pop.gmail.com, and then telnet to localhost:25.

Back in the old days (yeah, yeah, I'm old) we would occasionally use the "telnet to port 25" trick to send goofy bogus messages to other people. Back then most mailers would accept whatever ID you presented at face value; so you could send mail from bill@microsoft.com or whatever. You probably still can with many mail servers; but since most of them require authentication now it would likely be traceable back to you without too much effort.
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