procmail


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

DESCRIPTION
       For a quick start, see NOTES at the end.

       Procmail  should be invoked automatically over the .forward file mecha-
       nism as soon as mail arrives.  Alternatively, when installed by a  sys-
       tem  administrator,  it  can  be invoked from within the mailer immedi-
       ately.  When invoked, it  first  sets  some  environment  variables  to
       default  values,  reads the mail message from stdin until an EOF, sepa-
       rates 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,  proc-
       mail will store the mail in the default system mailbox.

       If  no rcfiles and no -p have been specified on the command line, proc-
       mail 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  privileges  (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.,  pro-
       visions  have  been  made to enable procmail to be invoked in a special
       sendmail rule.

       The rcfile format is described in detail in the procmailrc(5) man page.

       The weighted scoring technique is described  in  detail  in  the  proc-
       mailsc(5) man page.

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

   Signals
       TERMINATE   Terminate prematurely and requeue the mail.

       HANGUP      Terminate prematurely and bounce the mail.

       INTERRUPT   Terminate prematurely and bounce the mail.

       -p   Preserve  any old environment.  Normally procmail clears the envi-
            ronment 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 prede-
            fined  environment  variables, it will happily overwrite them with
            its own defaults.  For the  list  of  environment  variables  that
            procmail  will  preset see the procmailrc(5) man page.  If both -p
            and -m are specified, the list  of  preset  environment  variables
            shrinks to just: LOGNAME, HOME, SHELL, ORGMAIL and MAILDIR.

       -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 consists 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).

       -o   Instead of allowing anyone to generate `From ' lines, simply over-
            ride 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  succeeding  -a
            argument  will set the next number variable ($2, $3, etc).  It can
            be used to pass meta information along to procmail.  This is typi-
            cally  done by passing along the $@x information from the sendmail
            mailer rule.

       -d recipient ...
            This turns on explicit delivery mode,  delivery  will  be  to  the
            local  user recipient.  This, of course, only is possible if proc-
            mail has root privileges (or if procmail 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 unlimited number of arguments.  If
            the rcfile is an absolute  path  starting  with  /etc/procmailrcs/
            without  backward  references (i.e. the parent directory cannot be
            mentioned) procmail will,  only  if  no  security  violations  are
            found,  take  on  the identity of the owner of the rcfile (or sym-
            bolic link).  For some advanced usage of this  option  you  should

       mand 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 variables and the ones specified on
       the command line.

EXAMPLES
       Examples  for  rcfile recipes can be looked up in the procmailex(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 system adminis-
       trator who is vaguely familiar with sendmail.cf syntax.

       The  -m  option is typically used when procmail is called from within a
       rule in the sendmail.cf file.  In order to be able to  do  this  it  is
       convenient  to  create  an  extra `procmail' mailer in your sendmail.cf
       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  rule-
       set  0)  to  filter  mail  through the procmail mailer (please note the
       leading tab to continue the rule, and the  tab  to  separate  the  com-
       ments):

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

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

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

              :0                              # sink all junk mail
              * ^Subject:.*junk
              /dev/null

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

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

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

       /var/mail/$LOGNAME.lock
                              lockfile  for  the system mailbox (not automati-
                              cally 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

SEE ALSO
       procmailrc(5), procmailsc(5), procmailex(5), sh(1), csh(1), mail(1),
       mailx(1), uucp(1), aliases(5), sendmail(8), egrep(1), grep(1), biff(1),
       comsat(8), lockfile(1), formail(1), cron(1)

DIAGNOSTICS
       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 specified.

       Closing brace unexpected
                              There  was no corresponding opening brace (nest-
                              ing block).

       Conflicting options    Not all option combinations are useful

       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.

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

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

       Couldn't read "x"      Procmail was unable to open an rcfile or it  was
                              not a regular file, or procmail couldn't open an
                              comes with the rcfile because a security  viola-
                              tion was found (e.g.  -p or variable assignments
                              on the command line) or  procmail  had  insuffi-
                              cient privileges to do so.

       Descriptor "x" was not open
                              As procmail was started, stdin, stdout or stderr
                              was not connected (possibly an attempt  to  sub-
                              vert 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.

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

       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 current 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 executable.

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

       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-supported locking
                              calls,  one of them failed (usually indicates an
                              OS error), procmail ignores this error and  pro-
                              ceeds.

       Kernel-unlock failed   See above.

       Lock failure on "x"    Can  only  occur  if you specify some real weird
                              (and illegal) lockfilenames or if  the  lockfile
                              could  not  be  created  because of insufficient
                              permissions or nonexistent subdirectories.

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

       Missing action         The current recipe was found to be incomplete.

       Missing closing brace  A nesting block was started, but never finished.

       Missing name           The -f option needs an extra argument.

       Missing argument       You specified the -a option but forgot the argu-
                              ment.

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

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

       No space left to finish writing "x"
                              The  filesystem  containing  "x"  does  not have
                              enough free space to permit delivery of the mes-
                              sage 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 command line are
                              ignored, proceeding as usual.

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

       Quota exceeded while writing "x"
       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 direc-
                              tory  that  contained  it was world writable, or
                              this was the default rcfile  ($HOME/.procmailrc)
                              and either it was group writable or the directo-
                              ry that contained it was group writable (the rc-
                              file was not used).

       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, filter 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 truncated to its former size.

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

       Unable to treat as directory "x"
                              Either the suffix on "x" would indicate 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 directory.

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

       Unknown user "x"       The  specified  recipient does not have a corre-
                              sponding uid.

EXTENDED DIAGNOSTICS
       Extended diagnostics can be turned on and off through setting the  VER-
       BOSE variable.

       [pid] time & date      Procmail's pid and a timestamp.  Generated when-
                              ever procmail logs a diagnostic and at  least  a
                              second has elapsed since the last timestamp.

       Acquiring kernel-lock  Procmail  now  tries to kernel-lock the most re-
                              cently opened file (descriptor).

       Assigning "x"          Environment variable assignment.

       HOST mismatched "x"    This  host  was called "x", HOST contained some-
                              thing else.

       Locking "x"            Creating lockfile "x".

       Linking to "x"         Creating a hardlink between directory folders.

       Match on "x"           Condition matched.

       Matched "x"            Assigned "x" to MATCH.

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

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

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

       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.   Procmail  will  reiterate  until
                              they all succeed in rapid succession.

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

       Unlocking "x"          Removing lockfile "x" again.

WARNINGS
       You should create a shell script that uses lockfile(1) before  invoking
       your  mail shell on any mailbox file other than the system mailbox (un-
       less of course, your mail shell uses the same lockfiles (local or glob-
       al) you specified in your rcfile).

       In  the unlikely event that you absolutely need to kill procmail 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 removed.

       Beware when using the -t option, if procmail repeatedly  is  unable  to
       deliver  the  mail  (e.g.,  due  to  an  incorrect  rcfile), the system
       mailqueue could fill up.  This could aggravate both the local  postmas-
       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  do-
       main.  It  can  be done if you manage to configure your MTA to add some
       headers with the envelope recipient data in order to tell Procmail  who
       a  message is for, but this is usually not the right thing to do.  Per-
       haps you want to investigate if your MTA offers `virtual user  tables',
       or check out the `multidrop' facility of Fetchmail.

BUGS
       After removing a lockfile by force, procmail waits $SUSPEND seconds be-
       fore 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 chil-
       dren.

       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.

MISCELLANEOUS
       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 re-
       port the correct size.  Procmail does not change the fieldwidth.

       If there is no Content-Length: field or the -Y option has  been  speci-
       fied and procmail appends to regular mailfolders, any lines in the body
       of the message that look like postmarks 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 delivery mode was not
       in effect.  If not in explicit delivery mode and should the  uid  proc-
       mail  is  running  under, have no corresponding /etc/passwd entry, then
       HOME will default to /, LOGNAME will default to #uid,  SHELL  will  de-
       fault 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-rela-
       tive rcfile if it  is  owned  by  the  recipient  or  root,  not  world
       writable,  and  the directory it is contained in is not world writable.
       from doing this make sure the u+x bit is set.

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

       Delivering to MH folders is slightly more time consuming than  deliver-
       ing  to normal directories or mailboxes, because procmail has to search
       for the next available number (instead of having the  filename  immedi-
       ately available).

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

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

       If procmail is called under a name not starting with `procmail'  (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 file):
              $LOGNAME@offset_of_message_in_mailbox:absolute_path_to_mailbox

       Whenever procmail itself opens a file to deliver to, it doesn't use any
       additional kernel locking strategies.

       Procmail is NFS-resistant and eight-bit clean.

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

       There exists an excellent newbie FAQ about mailfilters (and procmail in
       particular);  it is maintained by Nancy McGough <nancym@ii.com> and can
       be obtained by sending a mail to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with the fol-
       lowing 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  in-
       voked  when  your  mail arrives.  In this case your $HOME/.forward (be-
       ware, it has to be world readable) file should contain the line  below.
       Be  sure  to  include 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"


              ORGMAIL=/var/mail/$LOGNAME

              if cd $HOME &&
               test -s $ORGMAIL &&
               lockfile -r0 -l1024 .newmail.lock 2>/dev/null
              then
                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
              fi
              exit 0

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

       :0:
       * ^From.*berg
       from_me

       :0
       * ^Subject:.*Flame
       /dev/null

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

SOURCE
       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-
       mail/.

MAILINGLIST
       There exists a mailinglist for questions relating to any program in the
       procmail package:
              <procmail-users@procmail.org>
                     for submitting questions/answers.
              <procmail-users-request@procmail.org>
                     for subscription requests.

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