Provided by: maildir-utils_0.9.9.5-3_i386 bug


       mu_find - find e-mail messages in the mu database.


       mu find [options] <search expression>


       mu find is the mu command for searching e-mail message that were stored
       earlier using mu index(1).


       mu find starts a search for messages in the database  that  match  some
       search pattern. For example:

          $ mu find subject:snow from:john

       would  find  all  messages  from John with 'snow' in the subject field,
       something like:

         2009-03-05 17:57:33 EET Lucia  <> running in the snow
         2009-03-05 18:38:24 EET Marius <> Re: running in the snow

       Note, this the default, plain-text output, which is the default, so you
       don't  have  to  use --format=plain. For other types of output (such as
       symlinks, XML or s-expressions), see the  discussion  in  the  OPTIONS-
       section below about --format.

       The  search pattern is taken as a command-line parameter. If the search
       parameter consists of multiple parts  (as  in  the  example)  they  are
       treated as if there were a logical AND between them.

       mu  relies on the Xapian database for its searching capabilities, so it
       offers all the search functionality that Xapian  offers;  for  all  the
       details, see:

       One  special  feature  of  mu  is  that is does not distinguish between
       uppercase and lowercase, nor the accented  or  unaccented  versions  of
       characters.  All match. In general, mu tries to be 'eager' in matching,
       as filtering out unwanted  results  is  usually  preferrable  over  non
       matching messages.

       A wildcard search is a search where a * matches the last n character(s)
       in some  string.  The  string  must  always  start  with  one  or  more
       characters  before the wildcards. Since version 0.9.6, mu also supports
       wildcard searches for all fields except maildirs and paths. So, to  get
       all  mails  with a subject containing a word starting with com, you can

         $ mu find 'subject:com*'

       and get mails about computers, comments, compilation and so  on.  Note,
       when  running  from the command-line it's important to put the query in
       quotes, otherwise the shell would interpret  the  '*'.  It  is  equally
       important  to  remember  that  the '*' invokes the wildcard search only
       when used as the rightmost character of a search term. Furthermore,  it
       is not a regular expression.

       In  older  versions  of  mu,  queries  were logged in <mu-home>/mu.log;
       however, since version 0.9, mu no longer does this.

       The basic way to search a message is to type some words matching it, as
       you would do in an internet search engine. For example,

         $ mu find monkey banana

       will  find  all  messages  that  contain  both 'monkey' and 'banana' in
       either body or subject or one of the address-fields (to/from/cc).

       As mentioned, matching is case-insensitive and accent-insensitive; thus

         $ mu find Mönkey BÄNAÑå

       yields the same results as the example above.

       mu also recognizes prefixes for specific  fields  in  a  messages;  for

         $ mu find subject:penguin

       to  find  messages with have the word penguin in the subject field. You
       can abbreviate subject: to just s:. Here  is  the  full  table  of  the
       search fields and their abbreviations:

            cc,c            Cc (carbon-copy) recipient(s)
            bcc,h           Bcc (blind-carbon-copy) recipient(s)
            from,f          Message sender
            to,t            To: recipient(s)
            subject,s       Message subject
            maildir,m       Maildir
            msgid,i         Message-ID
            prio,p          Message priority ('low', 'normal' or 'high')
            flag,g          Message Flags
            date,d          Date-Range
            size,z          Message size
            embed,e         Search inside embedded text parts (messages, attachments)
            file,j          Attachment filename
            mime,y          MIME-type of one or more message parts
            tag,x           Tags for the message (X-Label and/or X-Keywords)
            list,v          Mailing list (e.g. the List-Id value)

       There  are  also the special fields contact, which matches all contact-
       fields (from, to, cc and bcc), and recip, which matches all  recipient-
       fields (to, cc and bcc).

       The  meaning  of  most  of  the  above fields should be clear, but some
       require some extra discusion. First, the message flags field  describes
       certain properties of the message, as listed in the following table:

            d,draft         Draft Message
            f,flagged       Flagged
            n,new           New message (in new/ Maildir)
            p,passed        Passed ('Handled')
            r,replied       Replied
            s,seen          Seen
            t,thrashed      Marked for deletion
            a,attach        Has attachment
            z,signed        Signed message
            x,encrypted     Encrypted message

       Using  this,  we  can  search e.g. for all signed messages that have an

         $ mu find flag:signed flag:attach

       Encrypted messages may be signed as well,  but  this  is  only  visible
       after decrypting, and thus, is invisible to mu.

       The message-priority has three possible values: low, normal or high. We
       can match them using prio: - for  example,  to  get  all  high-priority
       messages with a subject containing some bird:

         $ mu find prio:high subject:nightingale

       The  Maildir  field  describes  the  directory  path starting after the
       Maildir-base path, and before the /cur/ or /new/ part. So for  example,
       if      there's      a      message      with     the     file     name
       ~/Maildir/lists/running/cur/1234.213:2,, you could find it (and all the
       other messages in the same maildir) with:

         $ mu find maildir:/lists/running

       Note  the  starting  '/'.  If  you  want  to  match mails in the 'root'
       maildir, you can do with a single '/':

         $ mu find maildir:/

       (and of course you can use the m: shortcut instead of maildir:)

       The date: (or d:) search parameter is 'special' in  the  fact  that  it
       takes  a  range  of  dates. For now, these dates are in ISO 8601 format
       (YYYYMMDDHHMM); you can leave out the right part, and mu will  add  the
       rest,  depending  on  whether  this is the beginning or end of the date
       interval. For example, for the beginning of the interval "201012" would
       be interpreted as "20101201010000", or December 1, 2010 at 00:00, while
       for  the  end  of  the  interval,  this   would   be   interpreted   as
       "20101231122359", or December 31, 2010 at 23:59.

       To get all messages between (inclusive) the 5th of May 2009 and the 2nd
       of June 2010, you could use:

         $ mu find date:20090505..20100602

       Non-numeric characters are ignored, so the following is equivalent  but
       more readable:

         $ mu find date:2009-05-05..2010-06-02

       Precision  is  up to the minute and 24-hour notation for times is used,
       so another example would be:

         $ mu find date:2009-05-05/12:23..2010-06-02/17:18

       mu also understand relative dates, in the  form  of  a  posiive  number
       followed  by  h (hour), d (day), w (week), m (30 days) or y (365 days).
       Some examples to explain this:

            5h      five hours in the past
            2w      two weeks in the past
            3m      three times 30 days in the past
            1y      365 days in the past

       Using this notation, you can for example match messages between two and
       three weeks old:

         $ mu find date:3w..2w

       There  are  some  special keywords for dates, namely 'now', meaning the
       prsent moment and 'today' for the beginning of today.  So  to  get  all
       messages sent or received today, you could use:

         $ mu find

       The  size  or  z  allows  you  to  match  size ranges -- that is, match
       messages that have a byte-size within a certain range.  Units  (B  (for
       bytes),  K  (for  1000  bytes)  and  M  (for  1000  *  1000  bytes) are
       supported). For example, to get  all  messages  between  10Kb  and  2Mb
       (assuming SI units), you could use:

         $ mu find size:10K..2M

       It's  important  to remember that if a search term includes spaces, you
       should quote those parts. Thus, when we look at the following examples:

         $ mu find maildir:/Sent Items yoghurt
         $ mu find maildir:'/Sent Items' yoghurt

       The first query searches for messages in  the  /Sent  maildir  matching
       Items  and  yoghurt,  while  the  second query searches the /Sent Items
       maildir searching for messages matching yoghurt.

       You can match all messages using "" (or ''):

         $ mu find ""


       Note, some of the important options are described in the mu(1) man-page
       and not here, as they apply to multiple mu-commands.

       The find-command has various options that influence the way mu displays
       the  results.  If  you  don't  specify  anything,  the   defaults   are
       --fields="d f s", --sortfield=date and --reverse.

       -f, --fields=<fields>
              specifies a string that determines which fields are shown in the
              output. This string consists of a number of characters (such  as
              's'  for  subject  or 'f' for from), which will replace with the
              actual field in the output. Fields that are not  known  will  be
              output as-is, allowing for some simple formatting.

              For example:

                $ mu find subject:snow --fields "d f s"

              would  list  the  date,  subject and sender of all messages with
              'snow' in the their subject.

              The table of replacement characters  is  superset  of  the  list
              mentions for search parameters; the complete list:

                   t    to: recipient
                   c    cc: (carbon-copy) recipient
                   h    Bcc: (blind carbon-copy, hidden) recipient
                   d    Sent date of the message
                   f    Message sender (from:)
                   g    Message flags (flags)
                   l    Full path to the message (location)
                   p    Message priority (high, normal, low)
                   s    Message subject
                   i    Message-id
                   m    maildir

              The  message  flags  are  the  same  ones  we already saw in the
              message flags above. Thus, a message which  is  'seen',  has  an
              attachment  and  is signed would have 'asz' as its corresponding
              output string, while an encrypted new message would have 'nx'.

       -s, --sortfield =<field> and -z,
              --reverse specifies the field to sort the search results by, and
              the  direction  (i.e.,  'reverse'  means that the sort should be
              reverted - Z-A). The following fields are supported:

                   cc,c            Cc (carbon-copy) recipient(s)
                   bcc,h           Bcc (blind-carbon-copy) recipient(s)
                   date,d          message sent date
                   from,f          message sender
                   maildir,m       maildir
                   msgid,i         message id
                   prio,p          message priority
                   subject,s       message subject
                   to,t            To:-recipient(s)

              Thus, for example, to sort messages by date, you could specify:

                $ mu find fahrrad --fields "d f s" --sortfield=date --reverse

              Note, if you specify  a  sortfield,  by  default,  messages  are
              sorted  in  reverse  (descending)  order  (e.g.,  from lowest to
              highest). This is usually a good choice, but for dates it may be
              more useful to sort in the opposite direction.

              If  >  0,  use  that number of lines of the message to provide a

              normally, mu find does not include messages that are unreadable,
              typically  do  not  have corresponding disk file, i.e., messages
              that live only in the databases.  With  this  option  even  such
              messages  are  included.  Note,  for  --format=links, unreadable
              message are ignore even when this option is set.

              output results in the specified format.

              The default is plain,  i.e  normal  output  with  one  line  per

              links  outputs  the  results as a maildir with symbolic links to
              the found messages. This enables  easy  integration  with  mail-
              clients  (see  below  for  more information). See --linksdir and
              --clearlinks below.

              xml formats the search results as XML.

              sexp formats the search results as an s-expression  as  used  in
              Lisp programming environments.

              xquery  shows  the  Xapian  query  corresponding  to your search
              terms. This is meant for for debugging purposes.

       --linksdir =<dir> and -c, --clearlinks
              output the results as a maildir with symbolic links to the found
              messages.  This  enables easy integration with mail-clients (see
              below for more information). mu will create the  maildir  if  it
              does not exist yet.

              If  you  specify  --clearlinks,  all  existing  symlinks will be
              cleared from the target maildir; this allows for re-use  of  the
              same  directory.  An  alternative  would be to delete the target
              directory before, but this  has  a  big  chance  of  accidentaly
              removing something that should not be removed.

                $ mu find grolsch --linksdir=~/Maildir/search --clearlinks

              will  store  links to found messages in ~/Maildir/search. If the
              directory does not exist yet, it will be created.

              Note:  when  mu  creates  a  Maildir   for   these   links,   it
              automatically  inserts a .noindex file, to exclude the directory
              from mu index.

       --after=<timestamp> only show messages whose message files were
              last modified (mtime) after <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 messages modified (or created)
              in the last 5 minutes, you could specify
                --after=`date +%s --date='5 min ago'`
              This is assuming the GNU date command.

              the  --exec  command  causes  the command to be executed on each
              matched message; for  example,  to  see  the  raw  text  of  all
              messages matching 'milkshake', you could use:
                $ mu find milkshake --exec='less'
              which is roughly equivalent to:
                $ mu find milkshake --fields="l" | xargs less

       -b, --bookmark=<bookmark>
              use  a  bookmarked search query. Using this option, a query from
              your bookmark file will be prepended to  other  search  queries.
              See mu-bookmarks(1) for the details of the bookmarks file.

       --skip-dups,-u whenever there are multiple messages with the
              same  name,  only show the first one. This is useful if you have
              copies of the same message, which is  a  common  occurence  when
              using e.g. Gmail together with offlineimap.

       --include-related,-r also include messages being refered to by
              the  matched messages -- i.e.. include messages that are part of
              the same message thread as some matched messages. This is useful
              if  you  want  Gmail-style  'conversations'. Note, finding these
              related messages make searches slower.

       -t, --threads show messages in a 'threaded' format -- that is,
              with indentation and arrows showing the conversation threads  in
              the list of matching messages.

              Messages in the threaded list are indented based on the depth in
              the discussion, and are prefix with a kind of arrow with thread-
              related  information  about  the  message,  as  in the following

              |             | normal | orphan | duplicate |
              | first child | `->    | `*>    | `=>       |
              | other       | |->    | |*>    | |=>       |

              Here, an 'orphan' is a message without a parent message (in  the
              list  of matches), and a duplicate is a message whose message-id
              was already seen before; not this may not  really  be  the  same
              message, if the message-id was copied.

              The algorithm used for determining the threads is based on Jamie
              Zawinksy's description:

   Example queries
       Here are some simple examples of mu search queries; you can  make  many
       more  complicated  queries using various logical operators, parentheses
       and so on, but in the author's experience, it's usually faster to  find
       a message with a simple query just searching for some words.

       Find all messages with both 'bee' and 'bird' (in any field)

         $ mu find bee AND bird

       or shorter, because AND is implied:

         $ mu find bee bird

       Find all messages with either Frodo or Sam:

         $ mu find 'Frodo OR Sam'

       Find  all  messages  with  the  'wombat'  as  subject,  and  'capibara'

         $ mu find subject:wombat capibara

       Find all messages in the 'Archive' folder from Fred:

         $ mu find from:fred maildir:/Archive

       Find all unread messages with attachments:

         $ mu find flag:attach flag:unread

       Find all messages with PDF-attachments:

         $ mu find mime:application/pdf

       Find all messages with attached images:

         $ mu find 'mime:image/*'

       Note[1]: the argument needs to be quoted, or the shell  will  interpret
       the  '*'  Note[2]:  the  '*'  wild  card  can  only be used as the last
       (rightmost) part of a search term.  Note[3]: non-word characters  (such
       as € or ☺) are ignore in queries; you cannot search for them.

   Integrating mu find with mail clients

              For  mutt you can use the following in your muttrc; pressing the
              F8 key will start a search, and F9 will take you to the results.

              # mutt macros for mu
              macro index <F8> "<shell-escape>mu find --clearlinks --format=links --linksdir=~/Maildir/search " \
                                       "mu find"
              macro index <F9> "<change-folder-readonly>~/Maildir/search" \
                                       "mu find results"


              Sam B suggested the following on the mu-mailing list. First  add
              the following to your Wanderlust configuraiton file:

              (require 'elmo-search)
                  'mu 'local-file
                  :prog "/usr/local/bin/mu" ;; or wherever you've installed it
                  :args '("find" pattern "--fields" "l") :charset 'utf-8)

              (setq elmo-search-default-engine 'mu)
              ;; for when you type "g" in folder or summary.
              (setq wl-default-spec "[")

              Now, you can search using the g key binding; you can also create
              permanent  virtual  folders  when  the  messages  matching  some
              expression  by  adding  something  like  the  following  to your
              folders file.

              VFolders {
                []!mu  "Today"

                [size:1m..100m]!mu    "Big"

                [flag:unread]!mu      "Unread"

              After restarting Wanderlust, the virtual folders should appear.

              Wanderlust (old)

              Another way to intergrate mu and wanderlust is shown below;  the
              aforementioned  method is recommended, but if that does not work
              for some reason, the below can be an alternative.

              (defvar mu-wl-mu-program     "/usr/local/bin/mu")
              (defvar mu-wl-search-folder  "search")

              (defun mu-wl-search ()
                "search for messages with `mu', and jump to the results"
                 (let* ((muexpr (read-string "Find messages matching: "))
                     (sfldr  (concat elmo-maildir-folder-path "/"
                     (cmdline (concat mu-wl-mu-program " find "
                              "--clearlinks --format=links --linksdir='" sfldr "' "
                     (rv (shell-command cmdline)))
                    ((= rv 0)  (message "Query succeeded"))
                    ((= rv 2)  (message "No matches found"))
                    (t (message "Error running query")))
                (= rv 0)))

              (defun mu-wl-search-and-goto ()
                "search and jump to the folder with the results"
                (when (mu-wl-search)
                    (concat "." mu-wl-search-folder)
                    'force-update nil nil t)

              ;; querying both in summary and folder
              (define-key wl-summary-mode-map (kbd "Q") ;; => query
              (define-key wl-folder-mode-map (kbd "Q") ;; => query


       mu find returns  0  upon  successful  completion;  if  the  search  was
       performed,  there needs to be a least one match. Anything else leads to
       a non-zero return value, for example:

       | code | meaning                        |
       |    0 | ok                             |
       |    1 | general error                  |
       |    2 | no matches (for 'mu find')     |
       |    4 | database is corrupted          |


       mu find output is encoded according the locale for --format=plain  (the
       default), and UTF-8 for all other formats (sexp, xml).


       Please       report       bugs       if       you       find      them: If you have specific  messages
       which  are  not  matched  correctly,  please attach them (appropriately
       censored of course).


       Dirk-Jan C. Binnema <>


       mu(1) mu-index(1)