mboxgrep (1) - Linux Manuals

mboxgrep: displays email messages matching a pattern


mboxgrep - displays email messages matching a pattern




This manual page refers to mboxgrep version 0.7.9.

mboxgrep scans a MAILBOX and displays messages matching PATTERN.

If a mailbox name is ommited, or a single dash (-) is given instead, it reads from standard input. It can read mbox folders or output from another mboxgrep process from standard input.

mboxgrep understands POSIX regular expressions, as well as Perl compatible regular expressions (if enabled at compile time). MAILBOX can be either a:

mbox folder (either plain or compressed)
MH folder
Gnus nnmh or nnml folder
qmail-style maildir folder


-h, --help
Display a help screen and exit.
-V, --version
Display version and copyright information and exit.
-r, --recursive
Descend into directories recursively.
-E, --extended-regexp
PATTERN is an extended regular expression. This is default.
-G, --basic-regexp
PATTERN is a basic regular expression.
-P, --perl-regexp
PATTERN is a Perl regular expression. Works only if enabled at compile time.
-e, --regexp=PATTERN
Use PATTERN as a regular expression.
-i, --ignore-case
Ignore case distinctions.
-v, --invert-match
Select messages which don't match PATTERN.
-H, --headers
Match PATTERN against message headers.
-B, --body
Match PATTERN against message body.
-l, --file-lock=METHOD
Select file locking METHOD. METHOD is `fcntl', `flock', or `none'.
-nl, --no-file-lock
Do not lock files. This option is meaningful only if a mbox folder (see below) is scanned.
-c, --count
Suppress normal output and print a count of matching messages.
-o, --output=FOLDER
Suppress normal output and write messages to destination folder FOLDER instead.
-p, --pipe=COMMAND
Pipe each found message to COMMAND
-d, --delete
Suppress normal output and delete selected messages instead. Use with caution.
-nd, --no-duplicates
Ignore duplicate messages.
-m, --mailbox-format=TYPE
Select input and output mailbox TYPE. TYPE can be either `mbox' (default), `zmbox' (meaning `gzip compressed mbox'), `bz2mbox' (meaning `bzip2 compressed mbox'), `mh', `nnml', `nnmh' or `maildir'.


Search $MAIL for messages from Dirty Harry:

mboxgrep '^From:.*callahan [at] homicide\.SFPD\.gov' $MAIL

Display all messages contained in folder ~/Mail/incoming, except those that appear to originate from AOL:

mboxgrep -v 'Received:.*aol\.com' ~/Mail/incoming


Report them to address below.


Mboxgrep was alomost completely rewritten since version 0.5.3. Additionally, there was no stable 0.6.x branch between 0.5.3 and 0.7.0.


Mboxgrep is dedicated in loving memory of Vicky, my cat who died of tumor on Sep 12, 2002.

You haven't been long with us, but you gave us a lot of joy and all your big heart that stopped ticking too early. I will never forget you. Sleep well, little friend.




Daniel Spiljar <dspiljar [at] world.std.com>


grep(1), regex(7), perlre(1), mbox(5), RFC 2822