Using the flufl.bounce library

The flufl.bounce library provides a set of heuristic detectors for discerning the original bouncing email address from a bounce message. It contains detectors for a wide variety of formats found in the wild over the last 15 years, as well as standard formats such as VERP and RFC 3464 (DSN). It also provides an API for extension with your own detector formats.

Basic usage

In the most basic form of use, you can just pass an email message to the top-level function, and get back a set of email addresses detected as bouncing.

In Python 3, you should parse the message in binary (i.e. bytes) mode using say email.message_from_bytes(). You will get back a set of byte addresses. In Python 2, you should use email.message_from_string() to parse the message, and you will get back 8-bit strings.

Here for example, is a simple DSN-like bounce message. parse() is the appropriate email parsing function described above.

>>> msg = parse(b"""\
... From: Mail Delivery Subsystem <>
... To:
... Subject: Delivery Report
... MIME-Version: 1.0
... Content-Type: multipart/report; report-type=delivery-status;
...     boundary=AAA
... --AAA
... Content-Type: message/delivery-status
... Original-Recipient: rfc822;
... Action: failed
... Original-Recipient: rfc822;
... Action: delayed
... --AAA--
... """)

You can scan the bounce message object to get a set of all the email addresses that have permanent failures.

>>> from flufl.bounce import scan_message
>>> recipients = scan_message(msg)
>>> print_emails(recipients)

You can also get the set of all temporarily and permanent failures.

>>> from flufl.bounce import all_failures
>>> temporary, permanent = all_failures(msg)
>>> print_emails(temporary)
>>> print_emails(permanent)