man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: July 2014

procmail (1)


procmail - autonomous mail processor


procmail [-ptoY] [-f fromwhom]
[parameter=value | rcfile] ...
procmail [-toY] [-f fromwhom] [-a argument] ...
-d recipient ...
procmail [-ptY] -m [parameter=value] ...  rcfile
[argument] ...
procmail [-toY] [-a  argument] -z
procmail -v


User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     procmail - autonomous mail processor

     procmail [-ptoY] [-f fromwhom]
          [parameter=value | rcfile] ...
     procmail [-toY] [-f fromwhom] [-a argument] ...
          -d recipient ...
     procmail [-ptY] -m [parameter=value] ...  rcfile
          [argument] ...
     procmail [-toY] [-a  argument] -z
     procmail -v

     For a quick start, see NOTES at the end.

     Procmail  should  be invoked automatically over the .forward
     file mechanism as soon as mail arrives.  Alternatively, when
     installed  by a system administrator, it can be invoked from
     within the mailer immediately.  When invoked, it first  sets
     some environment variables to default values, reads the mail
     message from stdin until an EOF, separates the body from the
     header,  and then, if no command line arguments are present,
     it starts  to  look  for  a  file  named  $HOME/.procmailrc.
     According  to  the processing recipes in this file, the mail
     message that just arrived gets distributed  into  the  right
     folder  (and more).  If no rcfile is found, or processing of
     the rcfile falls off the end, procmail will store  the  mail
     in the default system mailbox.

     If  no  rcfiles and no -p have been specified on the command
     line, procmail will,  prior  to  reading  $HOME/.procmailrc,
     interpret  commands from /etc/procmailrc (if present).  Care
     must be taken when  creating  /etc/procmailrc,  because,  if
     circumstances  permit,  it will be executed with root privi-
     leges (contrary to the $HOME/.procmailrc file of course).

     If running suid root or with root privileges, procmail  will
     be  able  to  perform  as a functionally enhanced, backwards
     compatible mail delivery agent.

     Procmail can also be used as a general purpose mail  filter,
     i.e.,  provisions  have  been  made to enable procmail to be
     invoked in a special sendmail rule.

     The rcfile format  is  described  in  detail  in  the  proc-
     mailrc(5) man page.

     The weighted scoring technique is described in detail in the
     procmailsc(5) man page.

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     Examples for rcfile recipes can be looked up  in  the  proc-
     mailex(5) man page.

     TERMINATE   Terminate prematurely and requeue the mail.

     HANGUP      Terminate prematurely and bounce the mail.

     INTERRUPT   Terminate prematurely and bounce the mail.

     QUIT        Terminate  prematurely  and  silently  lose  the

     ALARM       Force a timeout (see TIMEOUT).

     USR1        Equivalent to a VERBOSE=off.

     USR2        Equivalent to a VERBOSE=on.

     -v   Procmail will print its  version  number,  display  its
          compile time configuration and exit.

     -p   Preserve any old environment.  Normally procmail clears
          the environment upon startup, except for the  value  of
          TZ.   However,  in  any  case:  any default values will
          override any preexisting environment  variables,  i.e.,
          procmail  will  not pay any attention to any predefined
          environment variables, it will happily  overwrite  them
          with  its  own  defaults.   For the list of environment
          variables that  procmail  will  preset  see  the  proc-
          mailrc(5)  man  page.  If both -p and -m are specified,
          the list of preset  environment  variables  shrinks  to

     -t   Make  procmail  fail  softly,  i.e., if procmail cannot
          deliver the mail to any of the destinations  you  gave,
          the  mail  will  not  bounce,  but  will  return to the
          mailqueue.  Another delivery-attempt will  be  made  at
          some time in the future.

     -f fromwhom
          Causes  procmail to regenerate the leading `From ' line
          with fromwhom as the sender (instead of  -f  one  could
          use  the  alternate and obsolete -r).  If fromwhom con-
          sists merely of a single `-', then procmail  will  only
          update  the  timestamp on the `From ' line (if present,
          if not, it will generate a new one).

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     -o   Instead of allowing anyone to generate `From  '  lines,
          simply override the fakes.

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

     -a argument
          This will set $1 to be equal to  argument.   Each  suc-
          ceeding  -a  argument will set the next number variable
          ($2, $3, etc).  It can be used to pass meta information
          along  to  procmail.  This is typically done by passing
          along the $@x  information  from  the  sendmail  mailer

     -d recipient ...
          This  turns on explicit delivery mode, delivery will be
          to the local user recipient.  This, of course, only  is
          possible  if  procmail has root privileges (or if proc-
          mail is already running with the recipient's  euid  and
          egid).  Procmail will setuid to the intended recipients
          and delivers the mail as if  it  were  invoked  by  the
          recipient  with  no  arguments  (i.e.,  if no rcfile is
          found, delivery is like ordinary mail).  This option is
          incompatible with -p.

     -m   Turns  procmail into a general purpose mail filter.  In
          this mode one rcfile must be specified on  the  command
          line.  After the rcfile, procmail will accept an unlim-
          ited number of arguments.  If the rcfile is an absolute
          path  starting  with /etc/procmailrcs/ without backward
          references (i.e. the parent directory  cannot  be  men-
          tioned)  procmail  will, only if no security violations
          are found, take on the identity of  the  owner  of  the
          rcfile  (or symbolic link).  For some advanced usage of
          this option you should look  in  the  EXAMPLES  section

     -z   This  turns  on  LMTP mode, wherein procmail acts as an
          RFC2033 LMTP server.  Delivery takes place in the  same
          manner  and under the same restrictions as the delivery
          mode enabled  with -d.   This  option  is  incompatible
          with -p and -f.

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     Any  arguments  containing an '=' are considered to be envi-
     ronment variable assignments, they  will  all  be  evaluated
     after  the  default values have been assigned and before the
     first rcfile is opened.

     Any other arguments are presumed to be rcfile paths  (either
     absolute, or if they start with `./' relative to the current
     directory; any other relative path  is  relative  to  $HOME,
     unless the -m option has been given, in which case all rela-
     tive paths are relative to the current directory);  procmail
     will  start with the first one it finds on the command line.
     The following ones will only be parsed if the preceding ones
     have  a  not  matching HOST-directive entry, or in case they
     should not exist.

     If no rcfiles are specified, it looks for $HOME/.procmailrc.
     If  not  even  that  can  be found, processing will continue
     according to the default settings of the  environment  vari-
     ables and the ones specified on the command line.

     Examples  for  rcfile  recipes can be looked up in the proc-
     mailex(5) man page.  A small sample rcfile can be  found  in
     the NOTES section below.

     Skip the rest of this EXAMPLES section unless you are a sys-
     tem administrator who is vaguely familiar  with

     The -m option is typically used when procmail is called from
     within a rule in the file.  In order to be  able
     to  do  this  it is convenient to create an extra `procmail'
     mailer in your file (in addition to the  perhaps
     already present `local' mailer that starts up procmail).  To
     create such a `procmail' mailer I'd suggest something like:

          Mprocmail, P=/usr/bin/procmail, F=mSDFMhun, S=11, R=21,
                  A=procmail -m $h $g $u

     This enables you to  use  rules  like  the  following  (most
     likely  in  ruleset  0)  to filter mail through the procmail
     mailer (please note the leading tab to  continue  the  rule,
     and the tab to separate the comments):

                  $#procmail $@/etc/procmailrcs/some.rc $:$1@some.where.procmail$2
                  $1<@$2>$3       Already filtered, map back

     And /etc/procmailrcs/some.rc could be as simple as:

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

          SENDER = "<$1>"                 # fix for empty sender addresses
          SHIFT = 1                       # remove it from $@

          :0                              # sink all junk mail
          * ^Subject:.*junk

          :0 w                            # pass along all other mail
          ! -oi -f "$SENDER" "$@"

     Do  watch  out  when sending mail from within the /etc/proc-
     mailrcs/some.rc file, if you send mail  to  addresses  which
     match the first rule again, you could be creating an endless
     mail loop.

     /etc/passwd            to set the recipient's LOGNAME,  HOME
                            and SHELL variable defaults

     /var/mail/$LOGNAME     system mailbox; both the system mail-
                            box and the immediate directory it is
                            in  will  be created every time proc-
                            mail starts and  either  one  is  not

     /etc/procmailrc        initial global rcfile

     /etc/procmailrcs/      special privileges path for rcfiles

     $HOME/.procmailrc      default rcfile

                            lockfile  for the system mailbox (not
                            automatically   used   by   procmail,
                            unless         $DEFAULT        equals
                            /var/mail/$LOGNAME  and  procmail  is
                            delivering to $DEFAULT)

     /usr/sbin/sendmail     default mail forwarder

     _????`hostname`        temporary  `unique' zero-length files
                            created by procmail

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     See  attributes(5)  for  descriptions   of   the   following

     |Availability   | mail/procmail    |
     |Stability      | Uncommitted      |
     procmailrc(5), procmailsc(5), procmailex(5), sh(1), csh(1),
     mail(1), mailx(1), binmail(1), uucp(1), aliases(5),
     sendmail(8), egrep(1), grep(1), biff(1), comsat(8),
     lockfile(1), formail(1), cron(1)

     Autoforwarding mailbox found
                            The system mailbox had  its  suid  or
                            sgid  bit  set,  procmail  terminates
                            with  EX_NOUSER  assuming  that  this
                            mailbox must not be delivered to.

     Bad substitution of "x"
                            Not a valid environment variable name

     Closing brace unexpected
                            There was  no  corresponding  opening
                            brace (nesting block).

     Conflicting options    Not  all option combinations are use-

     Conflicting x suppressed
                            Flag x is not  compatible  with  some
                            other flag on this recipe.

     Couldn't create "x"    The  system  mailbox  was missing and
                            could not/will not be created.

     Couldn't create maildir part "x"
                            The maildir folder "x" is missing one
                            or  more  required subdirectories and
                            procmail could not create them.

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     Couldn't create or rename temp file "x"
                            An error occurred in the mechanics of
                            delivering  to  the  directory folder

     Couldn't determine implicit lockfile from "x"
                            There were no `>>' redirectors to  be
                            found, using simply `$LOCKEXT' as lo-

     Couldn't read "x"      Procmail was unable to open an rcfile
                            or  it  was  not  a  regular file, or
                            procmail couldn't open an MH directo-
                            ry to find the highest numbered file.

     Couldn't unlock "x"    Lockfile was already gone,  or  write
                            permission to the directory where the
                            lockfile is has been denied.

     Deadlock attempted on "x"
                            The locallockfile specified  on  this
                            recipe  is  equal  to  a still active

     Denying special privileges for "x"
                            Procmail will not take on the identi-
                            ty that comes with the rcfile because
                            a security violation was found  (e.g.
                            -p  or  variable  assignments  on the
                            command line) or procmail had  insuf-
                            ficient privileges to do so.

     Descriptor "x" was not open
                            As  procmail was started, stdin, std-
                            out or stderr was not connected (pos-
                            sibly an attempt to subvert security)

     Enforcing stricter permissions on "x"
                            The system mailbox of  the  recipient
                            was  found  to be unsecured, procmail
                            secured it.

     Error while writing to "x"
                            Nonexistent  subdirectory,  no  write
                            permission, pipe died or disk full.

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     Exceeded LINEBUF       Buffer overflow detected, LINEBUF was
                            too small, PROCMAIL_OVERFLOW has been

     MAILDIR is not an absolute path

     MAILDIR path too long

     ORGMAIL is not an absolute path

     ORGMAIL path too long

     default rcfile is not an absolute path

     default rcfile path too long
                            The  specified item's full path, when
                            expanded, was longer than LINEBUF  or
                            didn't start with a file separator.

     Excessive output quenched from "x"
                            The  program  or  filter "x" tried to
                            produce too much output for the  cur-
                            rent  LINEBUF, the rest was discarded
                            and PROCMAIL_OVERFLOW has been set.

     Extraneous x ignored   The action line  or  other  flags  on
                            this recipe makes flag x meaningless.

     Failed forking "x"     Process table is full (and NORESRETRY
                            has been exhausted).

     Failed to execute "x"  Program  not  in  path,  or  not exe-

     Forced unlock denied on "x"
                            No write permission in the  directory
                            where  lockfile  "x" resides, or more
                            than one procmail trying to  force  a
                            lock at exactly the same time.

     Forcing lock on "x"    Lockfile  "x"  is going to be removed
                            by force because of  a  timeout  (see
                            also: LOCKTIMEOUT).

     Incomplete recipe      The  start of a recipe was found, but
                            it stranded in an EOF.

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     Insufficient privileges
                            Procmail  either  needs  root  privi-
                            leges,  or must have the right (e)uid
                            and (e)gid to run in  delivery  mode.
                            The mail will bounce.

     Invalid regexp "x"     The  regular  expression "x" contains
                            errors (most likely some  missing  or
                            extraneous parens).

     Kernel-lock failed     While  trying  to use the kernel-sup-
                            ported locking  calls,  one  of  them
                            failed  (usually  indicates an OS er-
                            ror), procmail ignores this error and

     Kernel-unlock failed   See above.

     Lock failure on "x"    Can  only  occur  if you specify some
                            real weird  (and  illegal)  lockfile-
                            names or if the lockfile could not be
                            created because of insufficient  per-
                            missions  or  nonexistent subdirecto-

     Lost "x"               Procmail tried to  clone  itself  but
                            could  not  find  back rcfile "x" (it
                            either got removed or it was a  rela-
                            tive  path  and you changed directory
                            since procmail opened it last  time).

     Missing action         The  current  recipe  was found to be

     Missing closing brace  A nesting block was started, but nev-
                            er finished.

     Missing name           The  -f  option  needs an extra argu-

     Missing argument       You specified the -a option but  for-
                            got the argument.

     Missing rcfile         You specified the -m option, procmail
                            expects the name of an rcfile as  ar-

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     Missing recipient      You specified the -d option or called
                            procmail under a different  name,  it
                            expects one or more recipients as ar-

     No space left to finish writing "x"
                            The filesystem  containing  "x"  does
                            not  have enough free space to permit
                            delivery of the message to the  file.

     Out of memory          The  system is out of swap space (and
                            NORESRETRY has been exhausted).

     Processing continued   The unrecognised options on the  com-
                            mand  line are ignored, proceeding as

     Program failure (nnn) of "x"
                            Program that was started by  procmail
                            returned  nnn instead of EXIT_SUCCESS
                            (=0); if nnn is negative,  then  this
                            is the signal the program died on.

     Quota exceeded while writing "x"
                            The  filesize quota for the recipient
                            on the filesystem containing "x" does
                            not  permit delivering the message to
                            the file.

     Renaming bogus "x" into "x"
                            The system mailbox of  the  recipient
                            was  found to be bogus, procmail per-
                            formed evasive actions.

     Rescue of unfiltered data succeeded/failed
                            A  filter  returned   unsuccessfully,
                            procmail tried to get back the origi-
                            nal text.

     Skipped: "x"           Couldn't do anything with "x" in  the
                            rcfile (syntax error), ignoring it.

     Suspicious rcfile "x"  The  owner  of the rcfile was not the
                            recipient or root, the file was world
                            writable,  or the directory that con-
                            tained it was world writable, or this
                            was  the default rcfile ($HOME/.proc-
                            mailrc)  and  either  it  was   group
                            writable  or  the directory that con-
                            tained it was group writable (the rc-
                            file was not used).

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     Terminating prematurely whilst waiting for ...
                            Procmail  received  a signal while it
                            was waiting for ...

     Timeout, terminating "x"
                            Timeout has occurred  on  program  or
                            filter "x".

     Timeout, was waiting for "x"
                            Timeout has occurred on program, fil-
                            ter or file "x".  If it was a program
                            or  filter, then it didn't seem to be
                            running anymore.

     Truncated file to former size
                            The file could not  be  delivered  to
                            successfully,  so  the file was trun-
                            cated to its former size.

     Truncating "x" and retrying lock
                            "x" does not seem to be a valid file-
                            name or the file is not empty.

     Unable to treat as directory "x"
                            Either  the suffix on "x" would indi-
                            cate that  it  should  be  an  MH  or
                            maildir  folder,  or it was listed as
                            an second folder into which to  link,
                            but  it  already  exists and is not a

     Unexpected EOL         Missing closing quote, or  trying  to
                            escape EOF.

     Unknown user "x"       The specified recipient does not have
                            a corresponding uid.

     Extended diagnostics can be turned on and off  through  set-
     ting the VERBOSE variable.

     [pid] time & date      Procmail's pid and a timestamp.  Gen-
                            erated whenever procmail logs a diag-
                            nostic  and  at  least  a  second has
                            elapsed since the last timestamp.

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     Acquiring kernel-lock  Procmail now tries to kernel-lock the
                            most  recently  opened file (descrip-

     Assigning "x"          Environment variable assignment.

     Assuming identity of the recipient, VERBOSE=off
                            Dropping all privileges (if any), im-
                            plicitly  turns off extended diagnos-

     Bypassed locking "x"   The mail spool directory was not  ac-
                            cessible to procmail, it relied sole-
                            ly on kernel locks.

     Executing "x"          Starting  program  "x".   If  it   is
                            started by procmail directly (without
                            an intermediate shell), procmail will
                            show where it separated the arguments
                            by inserting commas.

     HOST mismatched "x"    This host was called "x",  HOST  con-
                            tained something else.

     Locking "x"            Creating lockfile "x".

     Linking to "x"         Creating a hardlink between directory

     Match on "x"           Condition matched.

     Matched "x"            Assigned "x" to MATCH.

     No match on "x"        Condition   didn't   match,    recipe

     Non-zero exitcode (nnn) by "x"
                            Program  that was started by procmail
                            as a condition or as the action of  a
                            recipe with the `W' flag returned nnn
                            instead of EXIT_SUCCESS (=0); the us-
                            age indicates that this is not an en-
                            tirely unexpected condition.

     Notified comsat: "$LOGNAME@offset:file"
                            Sent comsat/biff a notice  that  mail
                            arrived for user $LOGNAME at `offset'
                            in `file'.

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     Opening "x"            Opening file "x" for appending.

     Rcfile: "x"            Rcfile changed to "x".

     Reiterating kernel-lock
                            While  attempting   several   locking
                            methods,  one of these failed.  Proc-
                            mail will reiterate  until  they  all
                            succeed in rapid succession.

     Score: added newtotal "x"
                            This condition scored `added' points,
                            which resulted in a `newtotal' score.

     Unlocking "x"          Removing lockfile "x" again.

     You  should  create a shell script that uses lockfile(1) be-
     fore invoking your mail shell on any mailbox file other than
     the  system  mailbox (unless of course, your mail shell uses
     the same lockfiles (local or global) you specified  in  your

     In the unlikely event that you absolutely need to kill proc-
     mail before it has finished, first try and use  the  regular
     kill  command (i.e., not kill -9, see the subsection Signals
     for suggestions), otherwise some lockfiles might not get re-

     Beware  when  using the -t option, if procmail repeatedly is
     unable to deliver the mail (e.g., due to  an  incorrect  rc-
     file),  the  system mailqueue could fill up.  This could ag-
     gravate both the local postmaster and other users.

     The /etc/procmailrc file might be executed with root  privi-
     leges, so be very careful of what you put in it.  SHELL will
     be equal to that of the current recipient,  so  if  procmail
     has  to  invoke  the shell, you'd better set it to some safe
     value first.  See also: DROPPRIVS.

     Keep in mind that if  chown(1)  is  permitted  on  files  in
     /etc/procmailrcs/, that they can be chowned to root (or any-
     one else) by their current owners.   For  maximum  security,
     make sure this directory is executable to root only.

     Procmail  is  not  the  proper  tool for sharing one mailbox
     among many users, such as when you have one POP account  for
     all  mail  to  your  domain. It can be done if you manage to
     configure your MTA to add some headers with the envelope re-
     cipient data in order to tell Procmail who a message is for,
     but this is usually not the right thing to do.  Perhaps  you
     want  to  investigate  if  your MTA offers `virtual user ta-

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     bles', or check out the `multidrop' facility of Fetchmail.

     After removing a lockfile by force, procmail waits  $SUSPEND
     seconds  before  creating  a  new  lockfile  so that another
     process that decides to remove the stale lockfile  will  not
     remove the newly created lock by mistake.

     Procmail  uses the regular TERMINATE signal to terminate any
     runaway filter, but it does not check if the filter responds
     to  that  signal  and it only sends it to the filter itself,
     not to any of the filter's children.

     A continued Content-Length: field is not handled  correctly.

     The  embedded  newlines  in  a  continued  header  should be
     skipped when matching instead of being treated as  a  single
     space as they are now.

     If  there is an existing Content-Length: field in the header
     of the mail and the -Y option  is  not  specified,  procmail
     will  trim  the  field to report the correct size.  Procmail
     does not change the fieldwidth.

     If there is no Content-Length: field or the  -Y  option  has
     been  specified and procmail appends to regular mailfolders,
     any lines in the body of the message that  look  like  post-
     marks  are  prepended  with `>' (disarms bogus mailheaders).
     The regular expression that is  used  to  search  for  these
     postmarks is:
          `\nFrom '

     If  the  destination  name used in explicit delivery mode is
     not in /etc/passwd, procmail will proceed as if explicit de-
     livery  mode was not in effect.  If not in explicit delivery
     mode and should the uid procmail is running under,  have  no
     corresponding  /etc/passwd  entry, then HOME will default to
     /, LOGNAME will default  to  #uid,  SHELL  will  default  to
     /bin/sh, and ORGMAIL will default to /tmp/dead.letter.

     When  in  explicit  delivery  mode, procmail will generate a
     leading `From ' line if none is present.  If one is  already
     present  procmail  will leave it intact.  If procmail is not
     invoked with one of the following user or group ids :  root,
     daemon,  uucp,  mail,  x400,  network, list, slist, lists or
     news, but still has to generate or  accept  a  new  `From  '
     line,  it  will generate an additional `>From ' line to help
     distinguish fake mails.

     For security reasons procmail will only use an  absolute  or
     $HOME-relative  rcfile  if  it  is owned by the recipient or

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User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     root, not world writable, and the directory it is  contained
     in  is  not  world writable.  The $HOME/.procmailrc file has
     the additional constraint of not being group-writable or  in
     a group-writable directory.

     If /var/mail/$LOGNAME is a bogus mailbox (i.e., does not be-
     long to the recipient, is unwritable, is a symbolic link  or
     is a hard link), procmail will upon startup try to rename it
     into a file starting with `BOGUS.$LOGNAME.' and ending in an
     inode-sequence-code.   If  this  turns out to be impossible,
     ORGMAIL will have no initial value, and hence  will  inhibit
     delivery without a proper rcfile.

     If  /var/mail/$LOGNAME  already  is a valid mailbox, but has
     got too loose permissions on it, procmail will correct this.
     To prevent procmail from doing this make sure the u+x bit is

     When delivering to directories, MH folders, or maildir fold-
     ers, you don't need to use lockfiles to prevent several con-
     currently running procmail programs from messing up.

     Delivering to MH folders is  slightly  more  time  consuming
     than  delivering to normal directories or mailboxes, because
     procmail has to search for the next  available  number  (in-
     stead of having the filename immediately available).

     On general failure procmail will return EX_CANTCREAT, unless
     option -t  is  specified,  in  which  case  it  will  return

     To  make  `egrepping'  of  headers more consistent, procmail
     concatenates all continued header fields; but only internal-
     ly.   When  delivering  the mail, line breaks will appear as

     If procmail is called under a name not starting with  `proc-
     mail'  (e.g., if it is linked to another name and invoked as
     such), it comes up in explicit delivery  mode,  and  expects
     the  recipients'  names  as command line arguments (as if -d
     had been specified).

     Comsat/biff notifications are done using udp.  They are sent
     off  once when procmail generates the regular logfile entry.
     The notification messages have the following extended format
     (or as close as you can get when final delivery was not to a

     Whenever procmail itself opens a file to deliver to, it con-
     sistently  uses the following kernel locking strategies: fc-

BuGless              Last change: 2001/08/27                   15

User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

     Procmail is NFS-resistant and eight-bit clean.

     Calling up procmail with the -h or -? options will cause  it
     to  display a command-line help and recipe flag quick-refer-
     ence page.

     There exists an excellent newbie FAQ about mailfilters  (and
     procmail  in  particular); it is maintained by Nancy McGough
     <> and can be obtained by  sending  a  mail  to with the following in the body:
          send usenet/news.answers/mail/filtering-faq

     If  procmail  is  not installed globally as the default mail
     delivery agent (ask your system administrator), you have  to
     make  sure  it  is  invoked when your mail arrives.  In this
     case your $HOME/.forward (beware, it has to be  world  read-
     able)  file  should  contain the line below.  Be sure to in-
     clude the single and double quotes, and unless you know your
     site to be running smrsh (the SendMail Restricted SHell), it
     must be an absolute path.

     "|exec /usr/bin/procmail"

     Some mailers (notably exim)  do  not  currently  accept  the
     above syntax.  In such case use this instead:


     Procmail  can  also  be  invoked  to  postprocess an already
     filled system mailbox.  This can be useful if you don't want
     to  or  can't  use  a $HOME/.forward file (in which case the
     following script could periodically be  called  from  within
     cron(1), or whenever you start reading mail):



          if cd $HOME &&
           test -s $ORGMAIL &&
           lockfile -r0 -l1024 .newmail.lock 2>/dev/null
            trap "rm -f .newmail.lock" 1 2 3 13 15
            umask 077
            lockfile -l1024 -ml
            cat $ORGMAIL >>.newmail &&
             cat /dev/null >$ORGMAIL
            lockfile -mu
            formail -s procmail <.newmail &&
             rm -f .newmail
            rm -f .newmail.lock

BuGless              Last change: 2001/08/27                   16

User Commands                                         PROCMAIL(1)

          exit 0

  A sample small $HOME/.procmailrc:
     MAILDIR=$HOME/Mail      #you'd better make sure it exists
     DEFAULT=$MAILDIR/mbox   #completely optional
     LOGFILE=$MAILDIR/from   #recommended

     * ^From.*berg

     * ^Subject:.*Flame

     Other  examples  for  rcfile recipes can be looked up in the
     procmailex(5) man page.

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

     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

     This software was built from source available at https://ja-   The  original  community
     source  was  downloaded  from

     Further  information about this software can be found on the
     open source community website at

BuGless              Last change: 2001/08/27                   17