ARCHIVEMAIL(1)              archivemail user manual             ARCHIVEMAIL(1)

       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

       -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 message.

           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

       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 IMAP URL 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 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 IMAP NAMESPACE 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

           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

           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

           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

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

       To archive all mails older than 180 days from the given IMAP INBOX 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 mailbox.

       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

archivemail 0.9.0                 5 July 2011                   ARCHIVEMAIL(1)