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FORMAIL(1)							    FORMAIL(1)

       formail - mail (re)formatter

       formail [+skip] [-total] [-bczfrktedqBY] [-p prefix]
	    [-D maxlen idcache]
	    [-l folder]
	    [-x headerfield] [-X headerfield]
	    [-a headerfield] [-A headerfield]
	    [-i headerfield] [-I headerfield]
	    [-u headerfield] [-U headerfield]
	    [-R oldfield newfield]
	    [-n [maxprocs ]] [-m minfields] [-s [command [arg ...]]]
       formail -v

       formail is a filter that can be used to force mail into mailbox format,
       perform From  escaping, generate  auto-replying	headers,  do  simple
       header  munging/extracting  or split up a mailbox/digest/articles file.
       The mail/mailbox/article contents will be expected on stdin.

       If formail is supposed to determine the sender  of  the	mail,  but  is
       unable to find any, it will substitute foo@bar.

       If  formail  is started without any command line options, it will force
       any mail coming from stdin into mailbox	format	and  will  escape  all
       bogus From  lines with a >.

       -v   Formail will print its version number and exit.

       -b   Dont  escape any bogus mailbox headers (i.e., lines starting with
	    From ).

       -p prefix
	    Define a different quotation prefix.  If unspecified  it  defaults
	    to >.

       -Y   Assume  traditional Berkeley mailbox format, ignoring any Content-
	    Length: fields.

       -c   Concatenate continued fields in the header.  Might	be  convenient
	    when postprocessing mail with standard (line oriented) text utili

       -z   Ensure a whitespace exists between field name  and	content.   Zap
	    fields  which  contain  only  a  single whitespace character.  Zap
	    leading and trailing whitespace on fields extracted with -x.

       -f   Force formail to simply pass along any non-mailbox	format	(i.e.,
	    dont generate a From  line as the first line).

       -r   Generate  an auto-reply header.  This will normally throw away all
	    the existing fields (except  X-Loop:)  in  the  original  message,
	    fields  you wish to preserve need to be named using the -i option.
	    If you use this option in conjunction with -k, you can prevent the
	    body from being escaped by also specifying -b.

       -k   When  generating  the auto-reply header or when extracting fields,
	    keep the body as well.

       -t   Trust the sender to have  used  a  valid  return  address  in  his
	    header.   This  causes formail to select the header sender instead
	    of the envelope sender for the reply.  This option should be  used
	    when  generating auto-reply headers from news articles or when the
	    sender of the message is expecting a reply.

       -s   The input will be split up into separate mail messages, and  piped
	    into  a  program  one  by  one (a new program is started for every
	    part).  -s has to be the last option specified, the first argument
	    following  it  is  expected to be the name of a program, any other
	    arguments will be passed along to it.  If you  omit  the  program,
	    then  formail  will  simply  concatenate the split mails on stdout
	    again.  See FILENO.

       -n [maxprocs]
	    Tell formail not to wait for every program to finish before start
	    ing  the  next  (causes splits to be processed in parallel).  Max
	    procs optionally specifies an upper limit on the number of concur
	    rently running processes.

       -e   Do	not  require  empty  lines to be preceding the header of a new
	    message (i.e.,  the messages could start on every line).

       -d   Tell formail that the messages it is supposed to split need not be
	    in	strict mailbox format (i.e., allows you to split digests/arti
	    cles or non-standard mailbox formats).  This disables  recognition
	    of the Content-Length: field.

       -l folder
	    Generate  a  log  summary  in  the	same  style as procmail.  This
	    includes the entire "From " line, the Subject: header  field,  the
	    folder,  and  the size of the message in bytes.  The mailstat com
	    mand can be used to summarize logs in this format.

       -B   Makes formail assume that it is splitting up a BABYL rmail file.

       -m minfields
	    Allows you to specify the number of consecutive headerfields  for
	    mail  needs  to find before it decides it found the start of a new
	    message, it defaults to 2.

       -q   Tells formail to (still detect but) be quiet about	write  errors,
	    duplicate  messages  and  mismatched Content-Length: fields.  This
	    option is on by default, to make it display the messages use  -q-.

       -D maxlen idcache
	    Formail  will  detect if the Message-ID of the current message has
	    already been seen using an idcache file  of  approximately	maxlen
	    size.  If not splitting, it will return success if a duplicate has
	    been found.  If splitting, it will not output duplicate  messages.
	    If	used  in  conjunction  with  -r, formail will look at the mail
	    address of the envelope sender instead at the Message-ID.

       -x headerfield
	    Extract the contents of this headerfield from  the	header.   Line
	    continuations will be left intact; if you want the value on a sin
	    gle line then youll also need the -c option.

       -X headerfield
	    Same as -x, but also preserves/includes the field name.

       -a headerfield
	    Append a custom headerfield onto the header; but only if a similar
	    field  does not exist yet.	If you specify either one of the field
	    names Message-ID: or Resent-Message-ID: with  no  field  contents,
	    then formail will generate a unique message-ID for you.

       -A headerfield
	    Append a custom headerfield onto the header in any case.

       -i headerfield
	    Same as -A, except that any existing similar fields are renamed by
	    prepending an Old- prefix.	If headerfield consists only of  a
	    field-name, it will not be appended.

       -I headerfield
	    Same  as  -i,  except  that any existing similar fields are simply
	    removed.  If headerfield consists only of a field-name, it	effec
	    tively deletes the field.

       -u headerfield
	    Make  the  first  occurrence of this field unique, and thus delete
	    all subsequent occurrences of it.

       -U headerfield
	    Make the last occurrence of this field unique, and thus delete all
	    preceding occurrences of it.

       -R oldfield newfield
	    Renames all occurrences of the fieldname oldfield into newfield.

	    Skip the first skip messages while splitting.

	    Output at most total messages while splitting.

       When  renaming,	removing, or extracting fields, partial fieldnames may
       be used to specify all fields that start with the specified value.

       By default, when generating an auto-reply header procmail  selects  the
       envelope  sender  from the input message.  This is correct for vacation
       messages and other automatic replies regarding the routing or  delivery
       of  the	original  message.   If the sender is expecting a reply or the
       reply is being generated in response to the contents  of  the  original
       message then the -t option should be used.

       RFC822,	the  original  standard  governing the format of Internet mail
       messages, did not specify whether  Resent  header  fields  (those  that
       begin with Resent-, such as Resent-From:) should be considered when
       generating a reply.  Since then, the recommended usage  of  the	Resent
       headers	has  evolved  to consider them as purely informational and not
       for use when generating a reply.  This has been	codified  in  RFC2822,
       the new Internet Message Format standard, which states in part:

	      Resent  fields  are  used  to  identify a message as having been
	      reintroduced into the transport system by a user.   The  purpose
	      of  using  resent  fields  is  to have the message appear to the
	      final recipient as if it were  sent  directly  by  the  original
	      sender,	with   all   of  the  original	fields	remaining  the
	      same....They MUST NOT  be  used  in  the	normal	processing  of
	      replies or other such automatic actions on messages.

       While  formail  now  ignores  Resent  headers  when  generating	header
       replies, versions of formail prior to 3.14 gave	such  headers  a  high
       precedence.  If the old behavior is needed for established applications
       it can be specified by calling formail with the option -a Resent-  in
       addition to the -r and -t options.  This usage is deprecated and should
       not be used in new applications.

	    While splitting, formail  assigns  the  message  number  currently
	    being  output  to  this  variable.	 By presetting FILENO, you can
	    change the initial message number being used and the width of  the
	    zero-padded  output.   If  FILENO is unset it will default to 000.
	    If FILENO is non-empty and	does  not  contain  a  number,	FILENO
	    generation is disabled.

       To split up a digest one usually uses:
	      formail +1 -ds >>the_mailbox_of_your_choice
	      formail +1 -ds procmail

       To remove all Received: fields from the header:
	      formail -I Received:

       To remove all fields except From: and Subject: from the header:
	      formail -k -X From: -X Subject:

       To supersede the Reply-To: field in a header you could use:
	      formail -i "Reply-To: foo@bar"

       To convert a non-standard mailbox file into a standard mailbox file you
       can use:
	      formail -ds >new_mailbox

       Or, if you have a very tolerant mailer:
	      formail -a Date: -ds >new_mailbox

       To extract the header from a message:
	      formail -X ""
	      sed -e /^$/ q

       To extract the body from a message:
	      formail -I ""
	      sed -e 1,/^$/ d

       mail(1), sendmail(8), procmail(1), sed(1), sh(1), RFC822, RFC2822,

       Cant fork	     Too many processes on this machine.

       Content-Length: field exceeds actual length by nnn bytes
			      The  Content-Length:  field in the header speci
			      fied a length that was longer  than  the	actual
			      body.  This causes this message to absorb a num
			      ber of subsequent messages following it  in  the
			      same mailbox.

       Couldnt write to stdout
			      The program that formail was trying to pipe into
			      didnt accept all the data formail sent  to  it;
			      this  diagnostic can be suppressed by the -q op

       Duplicate key found: x The Message-ID or sender x in this  message  was
			      found  in  the  idcache;	this diagnostic can be
			      suppressed by the -q option.

       Failed to execute "x"  Program not in path, or not executable.

       File table full	      Too many open files on this machine.

       Invalid field-name: "x"
			      The specified field-name	"x"  contains  control
			      characters,  or  cannot  be a partial field-name
			      for this option.

       You can save yourself and others a lot of grief if you try to avoid us
       ing  this  autoreply feature on mails coming through mailinglists.  De
       pending on the format of the incoming mail (which in  turn  depends  on
       both  the  original senders mail agent and the mailinglist setup) for
       mail could decide to generate an autoreply header that replies  to  the

       In  the	tradition  of UN*X utilities, formail will do exactly what you
       ask it to, even if it results in a non-RFC822  compliant  message.   In
       particular, formail will let you generate header fields whose name ends
       in a space instead of a colon.  While this is correct for  the  leading
       From    line,  that line is not a header field so much as the message
       separator for the mbox mailbox format.  Multiple occurrences of such  a
       line  or  any  other  colonless header field will be considered by many
       mail programs, including formail itself, as the beginning of a new mes
       sage.   Others  will  consider  the  message to be corrupt.  Because of
       this, you should not use the -i option with the From  line as the re
       sulting	renamed  line, Old-From , will probably not do what you want
       it to.  If you want to save the original From  line, rename  it	with
       the -R option to a legal header field such as X-From_:.

       When  formail  has  to generate a leading From  line it normally will
       contain the current date.  If formail is given the option  -a  Date:,
       it will use the date from the Date: field in the header (if present).
       However, since formail copies it verbatim, the format will differ  from
       that expected by most mail readers.

       If  formail is instructed to delete or rename the leading From  line,
       it will not automatically regenerate it as usual.  To force formail  to
       regenerate it in this case, include -a From .

       If  formail is not called as the first program in a pipe and it is told
       to split up the input in several messages, then formail will not termi
       nate  until the program it receives the input from closes its output or
       terminates itself.

       If formail is instructed to generate an autoreply mail, it  will  never
       put more than one address in the To: field.

       Formail is eight-bit clean.

       When  formail  has to determine the senders address, every RFC822 con
       forming mail address is allowed.  Formail will always  strip  down  the
       address	to  its  minimal form (deleting excessive comments and whites

       The regular expression that is used to find real postmarks is:
	      "\n\nFrom [\t ]*[^\t\n ]+[\t ]+[^\n\t ]"

       If a Content-Length: field is found in a header, formail will copy  the
       number of specified bytes in the body verbatim before resuming the reg
       ular scanning for message boundaries (except when splitting digests  or
       Berkeley mailbox format is assumed).

       Any  header  lines  immediately following the leading From  line that
       start with >From  are considered to be a continuation of the From
       line.   If  instructed  to rename the From  line, formail will change
       each leading > into a space, thereby transforming  those  lines	into
       normal RFC822 continuations.

       Calling up formail with the -h or -? options will cause it to display a
       command-line help page.

       This program is part of the  procmail  mail-processing-package  (v3.22)
       available  at http://www.procmail.org/ or ftp.procmail.org in pub/proc

       There exists a mailinglist for questions relating to any program in the
       procmail package:
		     for submitting questions/answers.
		     for subscription requests.

       If  you	would  like  to  stay informed about new versions and official
       patches send a subscription request to
       (this is a readonly list).

       Stephen R. van den Berg
       Philip A. Guenther

BuGless 			  2001/08/04			    FORMAIL(1)

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