The pattern to search for in the mail message. May be any Perl regular
expression, but should be quoted on the command line to protect against
globbing (shell expansion). To search for more than one pattern, use the form
Note that complex pattern features such as (?>...) require that you use a version of perl which supports them. You can use the pattern () to indicate that you do not want to match anything. This is useful if you want to initialize the cache without printing any output.
Mailboxes must be traditional, UNIX /bin/mail mailbox format. The
mailboxes may be compressed by gzip, or bzip2, in which case gunzip, or bzip2
must be installed on the system.
If no mailbox is specified, takes input from stdin, which can be compressed or not. grepmails behavior is undefined when ASCII and binary data is piped together as input.
|<B>-aB>||Use arrival date instead of sent date.|
|<B>-bB>||Asserts that the pattern must match in the body of the email.|
|<B>-BB>||Print the body but with only minimal (From , From:, Subject:, Date:) headers. This flag can be used with -H, in which case it will print only short headers and no email bodies.|
|<B>-CB>||Specifies the location of the cache file. The default is $HOME/.grepmail-cache.|
|<B>-DB>||Enable debug mode, which prints diagnostic messages.|
Date specifications must be of the form of:
- a date like today, yesterday, 5/18/93, 5 days ago, 5 weeks ago,
- OR before, after, or since, followed by a date as defined above,
- OR between <date> and <date>, where <date> is defined as above.
Simple date expressions will first be parsed by Date::Parse. If this fails, grepmail will attempt to parse the date with Date::Manip, if the module is installed on the system. Use an empty pattern (i.e. <B>-d ""B>) to find emails without a Date: ... line in the header.
Date specifications without times are interpreted as having a time of midnight of that day (which is the morning), except for after and since specifications, which are interpreted as midnight of the following day. For example, between today and tomorrow is the same as simply today, and returns emails whose date has the current day. (now is interpreted as today.) The date specification after July 5th will return emails whose date is midnight July 6th or later.
Specify a complex search expression using logical operators. The current
syntax allows the user to specify search expressions using Perl syntax. Three
values can be used: $email (the entire email message), $email_header (just the
header), or $email_body (just the body). A search is specified in the form
$email =~ /pattern/, and multiple searches can be combined using && and
|| for and and or.
For example, the expression
will find all emails which originate from coppit.org (you must escape the @ sign with a backslash), and which contain the keyword grepmail anywhere in the message, in any capitalization.
NOTE: The syntax of search expressions may change in the future. In particular, support for size, date, and other constraints may be added. The syntax may also be simplified in order to make expression formation easier to use (and perhaps at the expense of reduced functionality).
|<B>-eB>||Explicitly specify the search pattern. This is useful for specifying patterns that begin with -, which would otherwise be interpreted as a flag.|
|<B>-fB>||Obtain patterns from FILE, one per line. The empty file contains zero patterns, and therefore matches nothing.|
|<B>-FB>||Force grepmail to process all files and streams as though they were mailboxes. (i.e. Skip checks for non-mailbox ASCII files or binary files that dont look like they are compressed using known schemes.)|
|<B>-hB>||Asserts that the pattern must match in the header of the email.|
|<B>-HB>||Print the header but not body of matching emails.|
|<B>-iB>||Make the search case-insensitive (by analogy to grep -i).|
|<B>-jB>||Asserts that the email Status: header must contain the given flags. Order and case are not important, so use -j AR or -j ra to search for emails which have been read and answered.|
|<B>-lB>||Output the names of files having an email matching the expression, (by analogy to grep -l).|
|<B>-LB>||Follow symbolic links. (Implies -R)|
|<B>-MB>||Causes grepmail to ignore non-text MIME attachments. This removes false positives resulting from binaries encoded as ASCII attachments.|
|<B>-mB>||Append X-Mailfolder: <folder> to all email headers, indicating which folder contained the matched email.|
|<B>-nB>||Prefix each line with line number information. If multiple files are specified, the filename will precede the line number. NOTE: When used in conjunction with <B>-mB>, the X-Mailfolder header has the same line number as the next (blank) line.|
|<B>-qB>||Quiet mode. Suppress the output of warning messages about non-mailbox files, directories, etc.|
|<B>-rB>||Generate a report of the names of the files containing emails matching the expression, along with a count of the number of matching emails.|
|<B>-RB>||Causes grepmail to recurse any directories encountered.|
Return emails which match the size (in bytes) specified with this flag. Note
that this size includes the length of the header.
Size constraints must be of the form of:
|<B>-SB>||Ignore signatures. The signature consists of everything after a line consisting of -- .|
|<B>-uB>||Output only unique emails, by analogy to sort -u. Grepmail determines email uniqueness by the Message-ID header.|
|<B>-vB>||Invert the sense of the search, by analogy to grep -v. This results in the set of emails printed being the complement of those that would be printed without the <B>-vB> switch.|
|<B>-VB>||Print the version and exit.|
Search for only those lines which contain the pattern as part of a word group.
That is, the start of the pattern must match the start of a word, and the end
of the pattern must match the end of a word. (Note that the start and end need
not be for the same word.)
If you are familiar with Perl regular expressions, this flag simply puts a \b before and after the search pattern.
|<B>-XB>||Specify a regular expression for the signature separator. By default this pattern is ^-- $.|
Specify a pattern which indicates specific headers to be searched. The search
will automatically treat headers which span multiple lines as one long line.
This flag implies <B>-hB>.
In the style of procmail, special strings in the pattern will be expanded as follows:
|<B>--helpB>||Print a help message summarizing the usage.|
|<B>--B>||All arguments following -- are treated as mail folders.|
Count the number of emails. (. matches every email.)
grepmail -r . sent-mail
Get all email between 2000 and 3000 bytes about books
grepmail books -s 2000-3000 sent-mail
Get all email that you mailed yesterday
grepmail -d yesterday sent-mail
Get all email that you mailed before the first thursday in June 1998 that pertains to research (requires Date::Manip):
grepmail research -d "before 1st thursday in June 1992" sent-mail
Get all email that you mailed before the first of June 1998 that pertains to research:
grepmail research -d "before 6/1/92" sent-mail
Get all email you received since 8/20/98 that wasnt about research or your job, ignoring case:
grepmail -iv "(research|job)" -d "since 8/20/98" saved-mail
Get all email about mime but not about Netscape. Constrain the search to match the body, since most headers contain the text mime:
grepmail -b mime saved-mail | grepmail Netscape -v
Print a list of all mailboxes containing a message from Rodney. Constrain the search to the headers, since quoted emails may match the pattern:
grepmail -hl "^From.*Rodney" saved-mail*
Find all emails with the text Pilot in both the header and the body:
grepmail -hb "Pilot" saved-mail*
Print a count of the number of messages about grepmail in all saved-mail mailboxes:
grepmail -br grepmail saved-mail*
Remove any duplicates from a mailbox:
grepmail -u saved-mail
Convert a Gnus mailbox to mbox format:
grepmail . gnus-mailbox-dir/* > mbox
Search for all emails to or from an address (taking into account wrapped headers and different header names):
grepmail -Y (^TO:|^From:) firstname.lastname@example.org saved-mail
Find all emails from postmasters:
grepmail -Y ^FROM_MAILER: . saved-mail
grepmail will not create temporary files while decompressing compressed archives. The last version to do this was 3.5. While the new design uses more memory, the code is much simpler, and there is less chance that email can be read by malicious third parties. Memory usage is determined by the size of the largest email message in the mailbox.
The MAILDIR environment variable can be used to specify the default mail directory. This directory will be searched if the specified mailbox can not be found directly.
The HOME environment variable is also used to find mailboxes if they can not be found directly. It is also used to store grepmail state information such as its cache file.
Patterns containing $ may cause problems Currently I look for $ followed by a non-word character and replace it with the line ending for the current file (either \n or \r\n). This may cause problems with complex patterns specified with -E, but Im not aware of any. Mails without bodies cause problems According to RFC 822, mail messages need not have message bodies. Ive found and removed one bug related to this. Im not sure if there are others. Complex single-point dates not parsed correctly If you specify a point date like September 1, 2004, grepmail creates a date range that includes the entire day of September 1, 2004. If you specify a complex point date such as today, 1st Monday in July, or 9/1/2004 at 0:00 grepmail may parse the time incorrectly.
The reason for this problem is that Date::Manip, as of version 5.42, forces default values for parsed dates and times. This means that grepmail has a hard time determining whether the user supplied certain time/date fields. (e.g. Did Date::Manip provide a default time of 0:00, or did the user specify it?) grepmail tries to work around this problem, but the workaround is inherently incomplete in some rare cases.
File names that look like flags cause problems. In some special circumstances, grepmail will be confused by files whose names look like flags. In such cases, use the <B>-eB> flag to specify the search pattern.
David Coppit, <email@example.com>, http://coppit.org/
elm(1), mail(1), grep(1), perl(1), printmail(1), Mail::Internet(3), procmailrc(5). Crocker, D. H., Standard for the Format of Arpa Internet Text Messages, RFC 822.
|perl v5.20.3||GREPMAIL (1)||2007-03-01|