Provided by: archivemail_0.9.0-1.1_all bug


       archivemail - archive and compress your old email


       archivemail [options] {MAILBOX...}


       archivemail is a tool for archiving and compressing old email in mailboxes. By default it
       will read the mailbox MAILBOX, moving messages that are older than the specified number of
       days (180 by default) to a mbox(5)-format mailbox in the same directory that is compressed
       with gzip(1). It can also just delete old email rather than archive it.

       By default, archivemail derives the archive filename from the mailbox name by appending an
       _archive suffix to the mailbox name. For example, if you run archivemail on a mailbox
       called exsouthrock, the archive will be created with the filename exsouthrock_archive.gz.
       This default behavior can be overridden with command line options, choosing a custom
       suffix, a prefix, or a completely custom name for the archive.

       archivemail supports reading IMAP, Maildir, MH and mbox-format mailboxes, but always
       writes mbox-format archives.

       Messages that are flagged important are not archived or deleted unless explicitly
       requested with the --include-flagged option. Also, archivemail can be configured not to
       archive unread mail, or to only archive messages larger than a specified size.

       To archive an IMAP-format mailbox, use the format imap://username:password@server/mailbox
       to specify the mailbox.  archivemail will expand wildcards in IMAP mailbox names according
       to [RFC 3501], which says: “The character "*" is a wildcard, and matches zero or more
       characters at this position. The character "%" is similar to "*", but it does not match a
       hierarchy delimiter.”  You can omit the password from the URL; use the --pwfile option to
       make archivemail read the password from a file, or alternatively just enter it upon
       request. If the --pwfile option is set, archivemail does not look for a password in the
       URL, and the colon is not considered a delimiter. Substitute imap with imaps, and
       archivemail will establish a secure SSL connection. See below for more IMAP peculiarities.


       -d NUM, --days=NUM
           Archive messages older than NUM days. The default is 180. This option is incompatible
           with the --date option below.

       -D DATE, --date=DATE
           Archive messages older than DATE.  DATE can be a date string in ISO format (eg
           “2002-04-23”), Internet format (eg“23 Apr 2002”) or Internet format with full month
           names (eg“23 April 2002”). Two-digit years are not supported. This option is
           incompatible with the --days option above.

       -o PATH, --output-dir=PATH
           Use the directory name PATH to store the mailbox archives. The default is the same
           directory as the mailbox to be read.

       -P FILE, --pwfile=FILE
           Read IMAP password from file FILE instead of from the command line. Note that this
           will probably not work if you are archiving folders from more than one IMAP account.

       -F STRING, --filter-append=STRING
           Append STRING to the IMAP filter string. For IMAP wizards.

       -p NAME, --prefix=NAME
           Prefix NAME to the archive name.  NAME is expanded by the python(1) function
           time.strftime(), which means that you can specify special directives in NAME to make
           an archive named after the archive cut-off date. See the discussion of the --suffix
           option for a list of valid strftime() directives. The default is not to add a prefix.

       -s NAME, --suffix=NAME
           Use the suffix NAME to create the filename used for archives. The default is _archive,
           unless a prefix is specified.

           Like a prefix, the suffix NAME is expanded by the python(1) function time.strftime()
           with the archive cut-off date.  time.strftime() understands the following directives:

           %a     Locale's abbreviated weekday name.

           %A     Locale's full weekday name.

           %b     Locale's abbreviated month name.

           %B     Locale's full month name.

           %c     Locale's appropriate date and time representation.

           %d     Day of the month as a decimal number [01,31].

           %H     Hour (24-hour clock) as a decimal number [00,23].

           %I     Hour (12-hour clock) as a decimal number [01,12].

           %j     Day of the year as a decimal number [001,366].

           %m     Month as a decimal number [01,12].

           %M     Minute as a decimal number [00,59].

           %p     Locale's equivalent of either AM or PM.

           %S     Second as a decimal number [00,61]. (1)

           %U     Week number of the year (Sunday as the first day of the week) as a decimal
                  number [00,53]. All days in a new year preceding the first Sunday are
                  considered to be in week 0.

           %w     Weekday as a decimal number [0(Sunday),6].

           %W     Week number of the year (Monday as the first day of the week) as a decimal
                  number [00,53]. All days in a new year preceding the first Sunday are
                  considered to be in week 0.

           %x     Locale's appropriate date representation.

           %X     Locale's appropriate time representation.

           %y     Year without century as a decimal number [00,99].

           %Y     Year with century as a decimal number.

           %Z     Time zone name (or by no characters if no time zone exists).

           %%     A literal “%” character.

       -a NAME, --archive-name=NAME
           Use NAME as the archive name, ignoring the name of the mailbox that is archived. Like
           prefixes and suffixes, NAME is expanded by time.strftime() with the archive cut-off
           date. Because it hard-codes the archive name, this option cannot be used when
           archiving multiple mailboxes.

       -S NUM, --size=NUM
           Only archive messages that are NUM bytes or greater.

       -n, --dry-run
           Don't write to any files -- just show what would have been done. This is useful for
           testing to see how many messages would have been archived.

       -u, --preserve-unread
           Do not archive any messages that have not yet been read.  archivemail determines if a
           message in a mbox-format or MH-format mailbox has been read by looking at the Status
           header (if it exists). If the status header is equal to “RO” or “OR” then archivemail
           assumes the message has been read.  archivemail determines if a maildir message has
           been read by looking at the filename. If the filename contains an “S” after :2, then
           it assumes the message has been read.

           Do not mangle lines in message bodies beginning with “From ”. When archiving a message
           from a mailbox not in mbox format, by default archivemail mangles such lines by
           prepending a “>” to them, since mail user agents might otherwise interpret these lines
           as message separators. Messages from mbox folders are never mangled. See mbox(5) for
           more information.

           Delete rather than archive old mail. Use this option with caution!

           Copy rather than archive old mail. Creates an archive, but the archived messages are
           not deleted from the originating mailbox, which is left unchanged. This is a
           complement to the --delete option, and mainly useful for testing purposes. Note that
           multiple passes will create duplicates, since messages are blindly appended to an
           existing archive.

           Archive all messages, without distinction.

           Normally messages that are flagged important are not archived or deleted. If you
           specify this option, these messages can be archived or deleted just like any other

           Do not compress any archives.

           Warn about duplicate Message-IDs that appear in the input mailbox.

       -v, --verbose
           Reports lots of extra debugging information about what is going on.

           Set IMAP debugging level. This makes archivemail dump its conversation with the IMAP
           server and some internal IMAP processing to stdout. Higher values for NUM give more
           elaborate output. Set NUM to 4 to see all exchanged IMAP commands. (Actually, NUM is
           just passed literally to imaplib.Debug.)

       -q, --quiet
           Turns on quiet mode. Do not print any statistics about how many messages were
           archived. This should be used if you are running archivemail from cron.

       -V, --version
           Display the version of archivemail and exit.

       -h, --help
           Display brief summary information about how to run archivemail.


       archivemail requires python(1) version 2.3 or later. When reading an mbox-format mailbox,
       archivemail will create a lockfile with the extension .lock so that procmail(1) will not
       deliver to the mailbox while it is being processed. It will also create an advisory lock
       on the mailbox using lockf(2). The archive is locked in the same way when it is updated.
       archivemail will also complain and abort if a 3rd-party modifies the mailbox while it is
       being read.

       archivemail will always attempt to preserve the last-access and last-modify times of the
       input mailbox. Archive mailboxes are always created with a mode of 0600. If archivemail
       finds a pre-existing archive mailbox it will append rather than overwrite that archive.
       archivemail will refuse to operate on mailboxes that are symbolic links.

       archivemail attempts to find the delivery date of a message by looking for valid dates in
       the following headers, in order of precedence: Delivery-date, Received, Resent-Date and
       Date. If it cannot find any valid date in these headers, it will use the last-modified
       file timestamp on MH and Maildir format mailboxes, or the date on the From_ line on
       mbox-format mailboxes.

       When archiving mailboxes with leading dots in the name, archivemail will strip the dots
       off the archive name, so that the resulting archive file is not hidden. This is not done
       if the --prefix or --archive-name option is used. Should there really be mailboxes
       distinguished only by leading dots in the name, they will thus be archived to the same
       archive file by default.

       A conversion from other formats to mbox(5) will silently overwrite existing Status and
       X-Status message headers.

       When archivemail processes an IMAP folder, all messages in that folder will have their
       \Recent flag unset, and they will probably not show up as “new” in your user agent later
       on. There is no way around this, it's just how IMAP works. This does not apply, however,
       if you run archivemail with the options --dry-run or --copy.

       archivemail relies on server-side searches to determine the messages that should be
       archived. When matching message dates, IMAP servers refer to server internal message
       dates, and these may differ from both delivery time of a message and its Date header.
       Also, there exist broken servers which do not implement server side searches.

       IMAP URLs
           archivemail's IMAPURL parser was written with the RFC 2882 (Internet Message Format)
           rules for the local-part of email addresses in mind. So, rather than enforcing an
           URL-style encoding of non-ascii and reserved characters, it allows you to double-quote
           the username and password. If your username or password contains the delimiter
           characters “@” or “:”, just quote it like this:
           imap://"":"password" You can use a backslash
           to escape double-quotes that are part of a quoted username or password. Note that
           quoting only a substring will not work, and be aware that your shell will probably
           remove unprotected quotes or backslashes.

           Similarly, there is no need to percent-encode non-ascii characters in IMAP mailbox
           names. As long as your locale is configured properly, archivemail should handle these
           without problems. Note, however, that due to limitations of the IMAP protocol,
           non-ascii characters do not mix well with wildcards in mailbox names.

           archivemail tries to be smart when handling mailbox paths. In particular, it will
           automatically add an IMAPNAMESPACE prefix to the mailbox path if necessary; and if you
           are archiving a subfolder, you can use the slash as a path separator instead of the
           IMAP server's internal representation.


       To archive all messages in the mailbox debian-user that are older than 180 days to a
       compressed mailbox called debian-user_archive.gz in the current directory:

           bash$ archivemail debian-user

       To archive all messages in the mailbox debian-user that are older than 180 days to a
       compressed mailbox called debian-user_October_2001.gz (where the current month and year is
       April, 2002) in the current directory:

           bash$ archivemail --suffix '_%B_%Y' debian-user

       To archive all messages in the mailbox cm-melb that are older than the first of January
       2002 to a compressed mailbox called cm-melb_archive.gz in the current directory:

           bash$ archivemail --date='1 Jan 2002' cm-melb

       Exactly the same as the above example, using an ISO date format instead:

           bash$ archivemail --date=2002-01-01 cm-melb

       To delete all messages in the mailbox spam that are older than 30 days:

           bash$ archivemail --delete --days=30 spam

       To archive all read messages in the mailbox incoming that are older than 180 days to a
       compressed mailbox called incoming_archive.gz in the current directory:

           bash$ archivemail --preserve-unread incoming

       To archive all messages in the mailbox received that are older than 180 days to an
       uncompressed mailbox called received_archive in the current directory:

           bash$ archivemail --no-compress received

       To archive all mailboxes in the directory $HOME/Mail that are older than 90 days to
       compressed mailboxes in the $HOME/Mail/Archive directory:

           bash$ archivemail -d90 -o $HOME/Mail/Archive $HOME/Mail/*

       To archive all mails older than 180 days from the given IMAPINBOX to a compressed mailbox
       INBOX_archive.gz in the $HOME/Mail/Archive directory, quoting the password and reading it
       from the environment variable PASSWORD:

           bash$ archivemail -o $HOME/Mail/Archive imaps://user:'"'$PASSWORD'"'

       Note the protected quotes.

       To archive all mails older than 180 days in subfolders of foo on the given IMAP server to
       corresponding archives in the current working directory, reading the password from the
       file ~/imap-pass.txt:

           bash$ archivemail --pwfile=~/imap-pass.txt imaps://*


       Probably the best way to run archivemail is from your crontab(5) file, using the --quiet
       option. Don't forget to try the --dry-run and perhaps the --copy option for
       non-destructive testing.


       Normally the exit status is 0. Nonzero indicates an unexpected error.


       If an IMAP mailbox path contains slashes, the archive filename will be derived from the
       basename of the mailbox. If the server's folder separator differs from the Unix slash and
       is used in the IMAP URL, however, the whole path will be considered the basename of the
       mailbox. E.g. the two URLs imap:// and
       imap:// will be archived in subfolder_archive.gz and
       folder.subfolder_archive.gz, respectively, although they might refer to the same IMAP

       archivemail does not support reading MMDF or Babyl-format mailboxes. In fact, it will
       probably think it is reading an mbox-format mailbox and cause all sorts of problems.

       archivemail is still too slow, but if you are running from crontab(5) you won't care.
       Archiving maildir-format mailboxes should be a lot quicker than mbox-format mailboxes
       since it is less painful for the original mailbox to be reconstructed after selective
       message removal.


       mbox(5), crontab(5), python(1), procmail(1)


       The archivemail home page is currently hosted at sourceforge[1]


       This manual page was written by Paul Rodger <paul at paulrodger dot com>. Updated and
       supplemented by Nikolaus Schulz <>


        1. sourceforge