Published in category Project
on Christian Mayer's Weblog.

IMAPd is an IMAP server written in pure PHP. I recomment to use this project in combination with SMTP server written in PHP to provide a full application for sending and receiving Emails through PHP.

Why this project?

Believe it or not, email is still the killer feature of the Internet. There are tons of projects for accessing and fetching emails from an IMAP/POP3 server. But there are not so many providing a programmatically interface to serve emails to an email client.

With this interface you can do something like this for your app users:

User <-> MUA (like Thunderbird) <-> IMAP <-> Your PHP App

This is useful when you have a messaging application written in PHP but no graphical user interface for it. So your graphical user interface can be any email client. Thunderbird for instance.


The preferred method of installation is via Packagist and Composer. Run the following command to install the package and add it as a requirement to composer.json:

$ composer.phar require "thefox/imapd=~0.1"

Stand-alone server

  1. Clone project from GitHub.

     $ git clone
  2. Install dependencies.

     $ make
  3. To start a stand-alone server you can type the following command in your shell:

     $ ./application.php server -d

    To show the usage options use -h:

     $ ./application.php server -h

    You can change the IP and port. Default port is 20143.

     $ ./application.php server -a -p 143


You’re welcome to contribute to this project. Fork this project at You should read GitHub’s How to Fork a Repo.

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About the Author

Christian is a professional software developer living in Vienna, Austria. He loves coffee and is strongly addicted to music. In his spare time he writes open source software. He is known for developing automatic data processing systems for Debian Linux.