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Tweaking The Engine - Administration

Tired of the sixteen terabytes of spam that confront you everymorning? Looking for a way to automatically manage and filter youremail? Say hello to procmail, automated message processing that's socool, it makes you want to believe in magic again.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Mail Management With Procmail
  2. Speaking Geek
  3. Putting The Pieces Together
  4. No Forwarding Address
  5. Lies, Sweet Lies
  6. I, Robot
  7. Tweaking The Engine
  8. Closing Time
By: Vikram Vaswani, (c) Melonfire
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 7
January 16, 2003

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TOOLS YOU CAN USE

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In the initial stages of setting up your procmail recipes, you'll need to keep an eye on what's happening so that you don't accidentally lose mail in case one of your recipes is a little off. To assist in the process, procmail comes with powerful logging capabilities, which allow you to see exactly what's happening with your mail messages.

This log is activated via the special "LOGFILE" and "VERBOSE" variables in your ".procmailrc" file, which specify the name of the log and the extent of detail in it, respectively. Consider the following example:
LOGFILE=$HOME/procmail.log
VERBOSE = yes
You can summarize the contents of this log file using the "mailstat" command, which also ships with the procmail distribution - take a look at the mailstat manual page for information on how to use the procmail logs to build different types of reports.

Procmail typically looks for mailboxes in your home directory. This doesn't usually work for me, since all my mailboxes are in a folder named "mail" under my home directory. If your situation is similar, consider telling procmail to adjust its default mailbox search path via the "MAILDIR" variable.
MAILDIR=$HOME/mail
Finally, if you find it somewhat unsystematic to keep all your recipes in a single file, you can even split them up into separate files and merge them into your ".procmailrc" file via the "INCLUDERC" variable, as below:
INCLUDERC = spam.procmailrc
INCLUDERC = lists.procmailrc
If you have a lot of recipes, modularizing them in this manner makes them more manageable, and it also becomes easier to selectively include or exclude them from your ".procmailrc" file.

 
 
>>> More Site Administration Articles          >>> More By Vikram Vaswani, (c) Melonfire
 

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