GNU Mailutils Manual (split by node):   Section:   Chapter:FastBack: Programs   Up: Diffs   FastForward: Libraries   Contents: Table of ContentsIndex: Function Index Differences in MH Program Behavior


The prompt in interactive mode is ‘Component name:’, instead of ‘Enter component name:’ displayed by the RAND anno.

If a -component field is not specified and standard input is not connected to a terminal, anno does not display the prompt before reading the component from the standard input. RAND anno displays the prompt anyway.


The utility is able to burst both RFC 934 digest messages and MIME multipart messages. It provides two additional command line options: -recurse and -length.

The -recurse option instructs the utility to recursively expand the digest.

The -length option can be used to set the minimal encapsulation boundary length for RFC 934 digests. Default length is 1, i.e. encountering one dash immediately following a newline triggers digest decoding. It is OK for messages that follow RFC 934 specification. However, many user agents do not precisely follow it, in particular, they often do not escape lines starting with a dash by ‘- ’ sequence. Mailman is one of such agents. To cope with such digests you can set encapsulation boundary length to a higher value. For example, bounce -length 8 has been found to be sufficient for most Mailman-generated digests.


Understands -build option.


This command is not provided. Use fmtcheck instead.


The ‘ignores’ keyword can be used in variable list. In that case, if its value contains more than one component name it must be enclosed in double-quotes, e.g.:


The above is equivalent to the following traditional notation:


The ‘MessageName’ component is not yet implemented.

Interactive prompting is not yet implemented.

The following format variables are silently ignored: ‘center’, ‘split’, ‘datefield’.


The -all mode does not display commented out entries.


New command line option -cflags allows to control the type of regular expressions used. The option must occur right before --component pattern or equivalent construct (like -cc, -from, etc.)

The argument to this option is a string of type specifications:

BUse basic regular expressions
EUse extended regular expressions
IIgnore case
CCase sensitive

Default is ‘EI’.

The flags remain in effect until the next occurrence of -cflags option.

Sample usage:

pick -cflag BC -subject '*a string' 

The date comparison options (-before and -after accept date specifications in a wide variety of formats, e.g.:

pick -after 20030301
pick -after 2003-03-01
pick -after 01-mar-2003
pick -after 2003-mar-01
pick -before '1 year ago'
  1. Prompter attempts to use GNU Readline library, if it is installed. Consequently, arguments to -erase and -kill option must follow GNU style key sequence notation (see keyseq in GNU Readline Library).

    If prompter is built without readline, it accepts the following character notations:


    Here, n stands for a single octal digit.


    This notation is translated to the ASCII code ‘chr + 0100’.

  2. Component continuation lines are not required to begin with a whitespace. If leading whitespace is not present, prompter will add it automatically.
  1. Linking messages between folders goes against the logic of Mailutils, so refile never makes links even if called with -link option. The latter is actually a synonym for -copy, which preserves the original message.
  2. The -preserve option is not implemented. It is retained for backward compatibility only.
  3. Message specs and folder names may be interspersed.

Understands -use option. Disposition shell provides use command.

  1. Different behaviour if one of the messages in the list does not exist:

    Mailutils rmm does not delete any messages. Standard rmm in this case deletes all messages preceding the non-existent one.

  2. The rmm utility will unlink messages, if the rmmproc profile component has empty value, e.g.:

New option -numfield specifies numeric comparison for the given field.

Any number of -datefield, -textfield and -numfield options may be given, thus allowing to build sort criteria of arbitrary complexity.

The order of -.*field options sets the ordering priority. This differs from the behaviour of the standard sortm, which always orders datefield-major, textfield-minor.

Apart from sorting the mailfolder the following actions may be specified:


List the ordered messages using a format string given by -form or -format option.


Do not actually sort messages, rather print what would have been done. This is useful for debugging purposes.

GNU Mailutils Manual (split by node):   Section:   Chapter:FastBack: Programs   Up: Diffs   FastForward: Libraries   Contents: Table of ContentsIndex: Function Index