is the mu
command to find contacts in the mu
database and export them for use in other programs.
mu cfind [options] [<pattern>]
is the mu
command for finding contacts
e-mail address of people who were either an e-mail's sender or receiver).
There are different output formats available, for importing the contacts into
When you index your messages (see mu index
creates a list of
unique e-mail addresses found and the accompanying name, and caches this list.
In case the same e-mail address is used with different names, the most recent
non-empty name is used.
starts a search for contacts that match a regular
. For example:
$ mu cfind '@gmail.com'
would find all contacts with a gmail-address, while
$ mu cfind Mary
lists all contacts with Mary in either name or e-mail address.
If you do not specify a search expression, mu cfind
returns the full list
of contacts. Note, mu cfind
does not use the database, but uses a cache
file with e-mail addresses, which is populated during the indexing process.
The regular expressions are Perl-compatible (as per the PCRE-library used by
- sets the output format to the given value. The following are available:
| --format= | description |
| plain | default, simple list |
| mutt-alias | mutt alias-format |
| mutt-ab | mutt external address book format |
| wl | wanderlust addressbook format |
| org-contact | org-mode org-contact format |
| bbdb | BBDB format |
| csv | comma-separated values (*) |
(*) CSV is not really standardized, but mu cfind follows some common
practices: any double-quote is replaced by a double-double quote (thus,
"hello" become ""hello"", and fields with
commas are put in double-quotes. Normally, this should only apply to name
- --personal only show addresses seen in messages where one of
- e-mail addresses was seen in one of the address fields; this is to exclude
addresses only seen in mailing-list messages. See the --my-address
parameter in mu index.
- --after=<timestamp> only show addresses last seen
- <timestamp>. <timestamp> is a UNIX time_t
value, the number of seconds since 1970-01-01 (in UTC).
From the command line, you can use the date command to get this
value. For example, only consider addresses last seen after 2009-06-01,
you could specify
--after=`date +%s --date='2009-06-01'`
returns 0 upon successful completion -- that is, at least one
contact was found. Anything else leads to a non-zero return value:
| code | meaning |
| 0 | ok |
| 1 | general error |
| 2 | no matches (for 'mu cfind') |
You can use mu cfind
as an external address book server for mutt
For this to work, add the following to your muttrc
set query_command = "mu cfind --format=mutt-ab '%s'"
Now, in mutt, you can easily search for e-mail addresses using the
-command, which is (by default) accessible by pressing Q
output is encoded according to the current locale except for
. This is hard-coded to UTF-8, and as such specified in
the output-file, so emacs/bbdb can handle things correctly, without guessing.
Please report bugs if you find them at https://github.com/djcb/mu/issues
Dirk-Jan C. Binnema <email@example.com>
mu(1) mu-index(1) mu-find(1) pcrepattern(3)