Last-modified: Thu Apr 1 12:03:00 EET DST 1999
Posting-frequency: Every 11 days
Subscription and unsubscription instructions for the Procmail mailing
list are included below.
The Procmail Mini-FAQ and its companion Procmail Links page are
available at the following locations:
Procmail Mini-FAQ: <http://www.iki.fi/era/procmail/mini-faq.html>
Procmail Links: <http://www.iki.fi/era/procmail/links.html>
Please view the Table of Contents for the FAQ near the end of this
posting. If you have a question about Procmail, you should hopefully
find it there.
The following mirror sites are available:
Please use one of the mirrors if you can.
If you would like to receive the FAQ by electronic mail, send a
message with the words "send mini-faq.txt" (sans quotation marks) in
the Subject: header to the address
The Links page is not very useful if you do not have WWW access. You
can receive the HTML version by e-mail, though; use the Subject line
"send links.html" instead. The HTML version of the FAQ can be
retreived with the Subject: send mini-faq.html
If you can't receive large messages, you can receive the text version
of the mini-FAQ in parts by requesting "mini-faq/parts" instead of
My current plan is to send this out every 11 days and see how people
react. If nobody reacts in any way, I will probably continue to send
it out this way, and/or ultimately seek news.answers approval for this
/* era */
Changes to the FAQ since the previous announcement
The following change log details recent developments since this
announcement was last posted. The WWW version has a full change log
which goes further back.
Procmail writing to /dev/console; the mysterious $ condition modifier;
c flag explanation reworded a bit (many actions per "message", not
"recipe", duh); pointers to comp.unix.shell FAQs (double duh); rewrote
the netiquette stuff slightly; added a few more META keywords (spam
spam spam spam); fixed some HTMLisms in the text version; fixed some
references to "upcoming" 3.12 (but there's still a lot to fix there)
Some things are just too obvious: Various links to comp.unix.shell
dns.net's SMTP Resources Directory
Messed up and/or clarified the explanation of the f flag a little bit
How to subscribe/unsubscribe
If you would like to subscribe to the Procmail mailing list, send a
message containing the word "subscribe" (without the quotes (and
without this parenthetical remark, too :^)) in the Subject: field to
<procmail-request(_at_)informatik(_dot_)rwth-aachen(_dot_)de>. Please spend an
additional second to check the spelling of that single word before you
send off the message.
To unsubscribe from the list, change "subscribe" to "unsubscribe".
This word seems even harder to spell right than the other one.
Note that these messages should not be sent to the list address
<procmail(_at_)informatik> which is what you might have in your address
book or similar -- mail to that address will be distributed to all the
list subscribers (and make some of them very upset, if it's not about
The FAQ contains some friendly comments on netiquette. Please read
them before posting to the list.
The list robot is not very tolerant of mail errors and will
automatically unsubscribe you if it gets many bounces from your
address. Just subscribe yourself again if this happens. (You should
expect to see several message from the list per day.)
I have no influence over how the list is operated.
Abridged Table of Contents for the FAQ
This is a short (abridged) listing of the contents of the FAQ.
Hopefully, you should find your question here, and its answer in the
* What is Procmail? -- Description, availability, and installation
+ Is there a Procmail for Windows NT?
+ How can I run an arbitrary Perl or shell script on all or
selected incoming mail?
+ How to get answers to questions which this FAQ doesn't cover
+ Why am I getting spam from the Procmail list server?
+ I subscribed to the Procmail-L mailing list earlier but
haven't seen any messages for a while. Did the listserv
* How do I use wildcards in Procmail? Explain file locking, please.
... and other syntax issues, including:
+ How can I forward to many addresses?
+ Generally speaking, how do I do more than one action on a
+ I know how to forward a message, but how do I forward a
+ How can I change the contents of a message but otherwise
proceed through my .procmailrc as usual?
+ I want to pass some information to a script I run from within
+ What's a "folder"?
+ What does the second colon in :0: mean?
+ What does "Couldn't determine implicit lockfile" mean?
+ What's this From_ header?
+ How can I do a logical OR of two conditions?
+ Can I list several actions under a common condition? How?
+ How can I test the value of a variable or argument?
+ Efficiency tips
+ Short example recipes sprinkled throughout the text
* Help, I get this error message ... -- Troubleshooting tips
+ An example debugging .rc file
+ Known bugs, common gotchas, and funny quirks
... including, but not limited to:
o Memory handling with huge messages / on FreeBSD
o The regexp engine is not egrep compatible
o There is no ^FROM macro
o Backslash parsing is sometimes counter-intuitive
o Always include a SHELL= definition
+ Getting the thing to run in the first place
+ What goes in your .forward file
+ Yikes! Where did my mail go??
+ Why is Procmail writing to a file called *?
+ Why is Procmail writing to the console? Can I stop that?
+ What are these fields that get written to the log?
+ Why does formail fail when looking for duplicates?
+ What's this about "rescued data" from a filtering recipe?
+ Why won't biff work right for my own folders?
* How do I ...? -- Running Procmail
+ ... match on the BCC header?
+ ... implement a virtual domain? Or, how can I let several
local users share the same POP mailbox at the upstream? Or,
what is the most frequently made wrong assumption about mail
+ ... figure out who to Cc: when there are several recipients?
+ ... run Procmail on a file of messages?
+ ... trim down the From: field to just user(_at_)host?
+ ... know what EXITCODE to use?
+ ... prevent my .forward from showing in bounces?
+ ... extract (or kill) MIME parts from messages?
+ ... write a "vacation" program? An autoresponder?
* Where can I learn more? -- A small links collection
+ Appendix A -- Folder Formats
+ Appendix B -- Figuring Out the Mail Flow
+ Appendix C -- Procmail Mirrors