MIME email message parser

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2.1.0 2021-11-09 18:24 UTC


Testable and PSR-compliant mail mime parser alternative to PHP's imap* functions and Pear libraries for reading messages in Internet Message Format RFC 822 (and later revisions RFC 2822, RFC 5322).

Build Status Code Coverage Scrutinizer Code Quality Total Downloads Latest Stable Version

The goals of this project are to be:

  • Well written
  • Standards-compliant but forgiving
  • Tested where possible

To include it for use in your project, install it via composer:

composer require zbateson/mail-mime-parser



A huge thank you to all my sponsors. <3

If this project's helped you, please consider sponsoring me.

Removal Notice (since 2.0.0)

getContentResourceHandle, getTextResourceHandle, and getHtmlResourceHandle have all been deprecated in 1.2.1 and removed in 2.0.0. fread() will only return a single byte of a multibyte char, and so will cause potentially unexpected results/warnings in some cases, and psr7 streams should be used instead. Note that getBinaryContentResourceHandle and getResourceHandle are still available.

Change in 2.0

Upgrade to 2.0 to take advantage of the new on-demand parser which parses parts of a message as they're requested. This means reading only the headers from a larger message is as fast as a smaller message because the whole message is no longer parsed (similarly reading just the content and not a message's large attachments is also much faster.)

Because of the on-demand parsing, starting in 2.0, the passed resource handle or stream must remain open while the returned message object is still in use.

Old code:

$handle = fopen('file.mime', 'r');
$message = $mailParser->parse($handle);         // returned `Message`

New code:

// attaches the resource handle to the returned `IMessage` if the second parameter
// is true.  The resource handle is closed when the IMessage is destroyed.
$message = $mailParser->parse(fopen('file.mime', 'r'), true);

For a more complete list of changes, please visit the 2.0 Upgrade Guide.


MailMimeParser requires PHP 5.4 or newer. Tested on PHP 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 7, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 8.0 and 8.1.


use ZBateson\MailMimeParser\MailMimeParser;
use ZBateson\MailMimeParser\Message;
use ZBateson\MailMimeParser\Header\HeaderConsts;

// use an instance of MailMimeParser as a class dependency
$mailParser = new MailMimeParser();

// parse() accepts a string, resource or Psr7 StreamInterface
// pass `true` as the second argument to attach the passed $handle and close
// it when the returned IMessage is destroyed.
$handle = fopen('file.mime', 'r');
$message = $mailParser->parse($handle, false);         // returns `IMessage`

// OR: use this procedurally (Message::from also accepts a string,
// resource or Psr7 StreamInterface
// true or false as second parameter doesn't matter if passing a string.
$string = "Content-Type: text/plain\r\nSubject: Test\r\n\r\nMessage";
$message = Message::from($string, false);

echo $message->getHeaderValue(HeaderConsts::FROM);     // user@example.com
echo $message
    ->getHeader(HeaderConsts::FROM)                    // AddressHeader
    ->getPersonName();                                 // Person Name
echo $message->getHeaderValue(HeaderConsts::SUBJECT);  // The email's subject
echo $message
    ->getHeader(HeaderConsts::TO)                      // also AddressHeader
    ->getAddresses()[0]                                // AddressPart
    ->getName();                                       // Person Name
echo $message
    ->getHeader(HeaderConsts::CC)                      // also AddressHeader
    ->getAddresses()[0]                                // AddressPart
    ->getEmail();                                      // user@example.com

echo $message->getTextContent();                       // or getHtmlContent()

echo $message->getHeader('X-Foo');                     // for custom or undocumented headers

$att = $message->getAttachmentPart(0);                 // first attachment
echo $att->getHeaderValue(HeaderConsts::CONTENT_TYPE); // e.g. "text/plain"
echo $att->getHeaderParameter(                         // value of "charset" part
echo $att->getContent();                               // get the attached file's contents
$stream = $att->getContentStream();                    // the file is decoded automatically
$dest = \GuzzleHttp\Psr7\stream_for(
    $stream, $dest
// OR: more simply if saving or copying to another stream
$att->saveContent('my-file.ext');               // writes to my-file.ext
$att->saveContent($stream);                     // copies to the stream

// close only when $message is no longer being used.


Upgrading to 1.x or 2.x


BSD licensed - please see license agreement.