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MAIRIX(1)                            General Commands Manual                            MAIRIX(1)

       mairix - index and search mail folders

       mairix  [  -v|--verbose  ]  [  -p|--purge ] [ -f|--rcfile mairixrc ] [ -F|--fast-index ] [
       --force-hash-key-new-database hash ]

       mairix [ -v|--verbose ] [ -f|--rcfile mairixrc ] [ -r|--raw-output ] [ -x|--excerpt-output
       ]  [  -H|--force-hardlinks  ]  [  -o|--mfolder mfolder ] [ -a|--augment ] [ -t|--threads ]

       mairix [ -h|--help ]

       mairix [ -V|--version ]

       mairix [ -d|--dump ]

       mairix indexes and searches a collection of email messages.  The  folders  containing  the
       messages  for indexing are defined in the configuration file.  The indexing stage produces
       a database file.  The database file provides rapid access to details of the  indexed  mes‐
       sages  during  searching  operations.   A  search  normally  produces  a folder (so-called
       mfolder) containing the matched messages.  However, a raw  mode  (-r)  exists  which  just
       lists the matched messages instead.

       It can operate with the following folder types

       *      maildir

       *      MH  (compatible  with the MH folder formats used by xmh, sylpheed, claws-mail, nnml
              (Gnus) and evolution)

       *      mbox (including mboxes that have been compressed with gzip or bzip2)

       If maildir or MH source folders are used, and a search outputs its matches to  an  mfolder
       in maildir or MH format, symbolic links are used to reference the original messages inside
       the mfolder.  However, if mbox folders are involved, copies of messages are made instead.

       mairix decides whether indexing or searching is required by looking for  the  presence  of
       any search-patterns on the command line.

   Special modes
       -h, --help
              Show usage summary and exit

       -V, --version
              Show program version and exit

              Dump the database's contents in human-readable form to stdout.

   General options
       -f mairixrc
       --rcfile mairixrc
              Specify  an  alternative configuration file to use.  The default configuration file
              is ~/.mairixrc.

       -v, --verbose
              Make the output more verbose

       -Q, --no-integrity-checks
              Normally mairix will do some internal integrity tests  on  the  database.   The  -Q
              option  removes  these checks, making mairix run faster, but it will be less likely
              to detect internal problems if any bugs creep in.

              The nochecks directive in the rc file has the same effect.

              mairix locks its database file during any indexing or searching operation  to  pre‐
              vent  multiple indexing runs interfering with each other, or an indexing run inter‐
              fering with search runs.  The --unlock option removes the lockfile before doing the
              requested indexing or searching operation.  This is a convenient way of cleaning up
              a stale lockfile if an earlier run crashed for some reason or was aborted.

   Indexing options
       -p, --purge
              Cause stale (dead) messages to be purged from the database during an indexing  run.
              (Normally,  stale  messages are left in the database because of the additional cost
              of compacting away the storage that they take up.)

       -F, --fast-index
              When processing maildir and MH folders, mairix normally compares the mtime and size
              of  each  message against the values stored in the database.  If they have changed,
              the message will be rescanned.   This  check  requires  each  message  file  to  be
              stat'ed.   For large numbers of messages in these folder types, this can be a size‐
              able overhead.

              This option tells mairix to assume that when a message currently on-disc has a name
              matching one already in the database, it should assume the message is unchanged.

              A  later  indexing  run without using this option will fix up any rescans that were
              missed due to its use.

       --force-hash-key-new-database hash
              This option should only be used for debugging.
              If a new database is created, hash is used as hash key, instead of a random hash.

   Search options
       -a, --augment
              Append newly matches messages to  the  current  mfolder  instead  of  creating  the
              mfolder from scratch.

       -t, --threads
              As  well  as  returning the matched messages, also return every message in the same
              thread as one of the real matches.

       -r, --raw-output
              Instead of creating an mfolder containing the matched  messages,  just  show  their
              paths on stdout.

       -x, --excerpt-output
              Instead  of creating an mfolder containing the matched messages, display an excerpt
              from their headers on stdout.  The excerpt shows To, Cc, From, Subject and Date.

       -H, --force-hardlinks
              Instead of creating symbolic links, force the use of hardlinks.  This helps mailers
              such as alpine to realize that there are new mails in the search folder.

       -o mfolder
       --mfolder mfolder
              Specify a temporary alternative path for the mfolder to use, overriding the mfolder
              directive in the rc file.

              mairix will refuse to output search results into any  folder  that  appears  to  be
              amongst those that are indexed.  This is to prevent accidental deletion of emails.

   Search patterns
              Match word in the To: header.

              Match word in the Cc: header.

              Match word in the From: header.

              Match word in the Subject: header.

              Match word in the Message-ID: header.

              Match word in the message body.

              Message  body  is taken to mean any body part of type text/plain or text/html.  For
              text/html, text within meta tags is ignored.  In particular,  the  URLs  inside  <A
              HREF="...">  tags are not currently indexed.  Non-text attachments are ignored.  If
              there's an attachment of type message/rfc822, this is parsed and the match is  per‐
              formed  on this sub-message too.  If a hit occurs, the enclosing message is treated
              as having a hit.

              Match messages with Date: headers lying in the specific range.

              Match messages whose size lies in the specified range.  If the low-size argument is
              omitted  it  defaults to zero.  If the high-size argument is omitted it defaults to
              infinite size.

              For example, to match messages between 10kilobytes and  20kilobytes  in  size,  the
              following search term can be used:

                   mairix z:10k-20k

              The  suffix  'k' on a number means multiply by 1024, and the suffix 'M' on a number
              means multiply by 1024*1024.

              Match word occurring as the name of an attachment in the message.  Since attachment
              names  are  usually  long, this option would usually be used in the substring form.

                   mairix n:mairix=

              would match all messages which have attachments whose names contain  the  substring

              The  attachment  name is determined from the name=xxx or filename=xxx qualifiers on
              the Content-Type: and Content-Disposition: headers respectively.

              Match messages with particular flag settings.  The available flags are 's'  meaning
              seen,  'r'  meaning  replied, and 'f' meaning flagged.  The flags are case-insensi‐
              tive.  A flag letter may be prefixed by a '-' to negate its sense.  Thus

                   mairix F:-s d:1w-

              would match any unread message less than a week old, and

                   mairix F:f-r d:-1m

              would match any flagged message older than a month which  you  haven't  replied  to

              Note  that the flag characters and their meanings agree with those used as the suf‐
              fix letters on message filenames in maildir folders.

   Searching for a match amongst more than one part of a message
       Multiple body parts may be grouped together, if a match in any of them is sought.   Common
       examples follow.

              Match word in either the To: or Cc: headers (or both).

              Match word in either the Subject: header or the message body (or both).

       The  a: search pattern is an abbreviation for tcf:; i.e. match the word in the To:, Cc: or
       From: headers.  ("a" stands for "address" in this case.)

   Match words
       The word argument to the search strings can take various forms.

              Match messages not containing the word.

              This matches if both the words are matched in the specified message part.

              This matches if either of the words are matched in the specified message part.

              Match any word containing substring as a substring

              Match any word containing substring, allowing up to N errors  in  the  match.   For
              example, if N is 1, a single error is allowed, where an error can be

       *      a missing letter

       *      an extra letter

       *      a different letter.

              Match  any word containing substring as a substring, with the requirement that sub‐
              string occurs at the beginning of the matched word.

   Precedence matters
       The binding order of the constructions is:

       1.     Individual command line arguments  define  separate  conditions  which  are  AND-ed

       2.     Within  a  single argument, the letters before the colon define which message parts
              the expression applies to.  If there is no colon, the expression applies to all the
              headers listed earlier and the body.

       3.     After the colon, commas delineate separate disjuncts, which are OR-ed together.

       4.     Each  disjunct  may  contain separate conjuncts, which are separated by plus signs.
              These conditions are AND-ed together.

       5.     Each conjunct may start with a tilde to negate it, and may be followed by  a  slash
              to indicate a substring match, optionally followed by an integer to define the max‐
              imum number of errors allowed.

   Date specification
       This section describes the syntax used for specifying dates when searching using the  `d:'

       Dates  are  specified  as  a range.  The start and end of the range can both be specified.
       Alternatively, if the start is omitted, it is treated as being the beginning of time.   If
       the end is omitted, it is treated as the current time.

       There are 4 basic formats:

              Specify both start and end explicitly

              Specify start, end is the current time

       d:-end Specify end, start is 'a long time ago' (i.e. early enough to include any message).

              Specify start and end implicitly, as the start and end of the period given.

       The  start  and  end can be specified either absolute or relative.  A relative endpoint is
       given as a number followed by a single letter defining the scaling:

       │letter  │  short for  │  example  │  meaning              │
       │d       │  days       │  3d       │  3 days               │
       │w       │  weeks      │  2w       │  2 weeks (14 days)    │
       │m       │  months     │  5m       │  5 months (150 days)  │
       │y       │  years      │  4y       │  4 years (4*365 days) │

       Months are always treated as 30 days, and years as 365 days, for this purpose.

       Absolute times can be specified in many forms.  Some forms have  different  meanings  when
       they  define  a start date from that when they define an end date.  Where a single expres‐
       sion specifies both the start and end (i.e. where the argument to  d:  doesn't  contain  a
       `-'), it will usually have different interpretations in the two cases.

       In  the  examples below, suppose the current date is Sunday May 18th, 2003 (when I started
       to write this material.)

       │Example              │  Start date          │  End date             │  Notes                          │
       │d:20030301-20030425  │  March 1st, 2003     │  25th April, 2003     │                                 │
       │d:030301-030425      │  March 1st, 2003     │  April 25th, 2003     │  century assumed                │
       │d:mar1-apr25         │  March 1st, 2003     │  April 25th, 2003     │                                 │
       │d:Mar1-Apr25         │  March 1st, 2003     │  April 25th, 2003     │  case insensitive               │
       │d:MAR1-APR25         │  March 1st, 2003     │  April 25th, 2003     │  case insensitive               │
       │d:1mar-25apr         │  March 1st, 2003     │  April 25th, 2003     │  date and month in either order │
       │d:2002               │  January 1st, 2002   │  December 31st, 2002  │  whole year                     │
       │d:mar                │  March 1st, 2003     │  March 31st, 2003     │  most recent March              │
       │d:oct                │  October 1st, 2002   │  October 31st, 2002   │  most recent October            │
       │d:21oct-mar          │  October 21st, 2002  │  March 31st, 2003     │  start before end               │
       │d:21apr-mar          │  April 21st, 2002    │  March 31st, 2003     │  start before end               │
       │d:21apr-             │  April 21st, 2003    │  May 18th, 2003       │  end omitted                    │
       │d:-21apr             │  January 1st, 1900   │  April 21st, 2003     │  start omitted                  │
       │d:6w-2w              │  April 6th, 2003     │  May 4th, 2003        │  both dates relative            │
       │d:21apr-1w           │  April 21st, 2003    │  May 11th, 2003       │  one date relative              │
       │d:21apr-2y           │  April 21st, 2001    │  May 11th, 2001       │  start before end               │
       │d:99-11              │  January 1st, 1999   │  May 11th, 2003       │ 2 digits are a day of the month │
       │                     │                      │                       │ if possible, otherwise a year   │
       │d:99oct-1oct         │  October 1st, 1999   │  October 1st, 2002    │ end before now, single digit is │
       │                     │                      │                       │ a day of the month              │
       │d:99oct-01oct        │  October 1st, 1999   │  October 31st, 2001   │ 2  digits  starting  with  zero │
       │                     │                      │                       │ treated as a year               │
       │d:oct99-oct1         │  October 1st, 1999   │  October 1st, 2002    │ day and month in either order   │
       │d:oct99-oct01        │  October 1st, 1999   │  October 31st, 2001   │ year and month in either order  │

       The principles in the table work as follows.

       ·      When the expression defines a period of more than a day (i.e. if a month or year is
              specified), the earliest day in the period is taken when the start date is defined,
              and the last day in the period if the end of the range is being defined.

       ·      The end date is always taken to be on or before the current date.

       ·      The start date is always taken to be on or before the end date.

       If  the  match folder does not exist when running in search mode, it is automatically cre‐
       ated.  For 'mformat=maildir' (the default), this should be all you need to do.  If you use
       'mformat=mh',  you  may  have  to  run some commands before your mailer will recognize the
       folder.  e.g.  for mutt, you could do

              mkdir -p /home/richard/Mail/mfolder
              touch /home/richard/Mail/mfolder/.mh_sequences

       which seems to work.  Alternatively, within mutt, you could set MBOX_TYPE to in advance.

       If you use Sylpheed, the best way seems to  be  to  create  the  new  folder  from  within
       Sylpheed before letting mairix write into it.

       Suppose my email address is <richard AT doesnt.exist>.

       Either  of the following will match all messages newer than 3 months from me with the word
       'chrony' in the subject line:

              mairix d:3m- f:richard+doesnt+exist s:chrony
              mairix d:3m- f:richard AT doesnt.exist s:chrony

       Suppose I don't mind a few spurious matches on the address, I want a wider date range, and
       I suspect that some messages I replied to might have had the subject keyword spelt wrongly
       (let's allow up to 2 errors):

              mairix d:6m- f:richard s:chrony=2

       mairix works exclusively in terms of words.  The index that's built in indexing mode  con‐
       tains  a  table  of  which words occur in which messages.  Hence, the search capability is
       based on finding messages that contain particular words.  mairix defines  a  word  as  any
       string  of alphanumeric characters + underscore.  Any whitespace, punctuation, hyphens etc
       are treated as word boundaries.

       mairix has special handling for the To:, Cc: and From: headers.  Besides the  normal  word
       scan,  these  headers are scanned a second time, where the characters '@', '-' and '.' are
       also treated as word characters.  This allows most (if not all) email addresses to  appear
       in  the  database  as single words.  So if you have a mail from wibble AT foobar.zzz, it will
       match on both these searches

              mairix f:foobar
              mairix f:wibble AT foobar.zzz

       It should be clear by now that the searching cannot be used to find messages matching gen‐
       eral  regular  expressions.   This has never been much of a limitation.  Most searches are
       for particular keywords that were in the messages, or details of the  recipients,  or  the
       approximate date.

       It's  also worth pointing out that there is no 'locality' information stored, so you can't
       search for messages that have one words 'close' to some other word.  For every message and
       every  word,  there is a simple yes/no condition stored - whether the message contains the
       word in a particular header or in the body.  So  far  this  has  proved  to  be  adequate.
       mairix has a similar feel to using an Internet search engine.


       Copyright (C) 2002-2006 Richard P. Curnow <rc AT rc0.uk>


       We need a plugin scheme to allow more types of attachment to be scanned and indexed.

                                           January 2006                                 MAIRIX(1)

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