mailutils  3.15
About: The GNU Mailutils is a protocol-independent mail framework containing a POP3 server, an IMAP4 server, a Sieve mail filter, a POSIX "mailx" client, and a collection of other tools.
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mailutils Documentation

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This is the GNU Mailutils package

* Introduction

GNU Mailutils is a rich and powerful protocol-independent mail
framework.  It contains a series of useful mail libraries, clients,
and servers.  These are the primary mail utilities for the GNU system.
The central library is capable of handling electronic mail in various
mailbox formats and protocols, both local and remote.  Specifically,
this project contains a POP3 server, an IMAP4 server, and a Sieve mail
filter. It also provides a POSIX `mailx' client, and a collection of
other handy tools.

The GNU Mailutils libraries supply an ample set of primitives for
handling electronic mail in programs written in C, C++, Python or

At the core of Mailutils is libmailutils, a library which provides
universal access to various mailboxes and protocols: UNIX mailbox,
Maildir, MH, POP3, IMAP4, Sendmail, SMTP.  Mailutils offers functions
for almost any mail-related task, such as parsing of messages, email
addresses and URLs, handling MIME messages, listing mail folders,
mailcap facilities, extensible Sieve filtering, access control lists.
It supports various modern data security and authentication
techniques: TLS encryption, SASL and GSSAPI, to name a few.
The framework is able to work with a wide variety of authorization
databases, ranging from traditional system password database up to

The utilities provided by Mailutils include imap4d and pop3d mail
servers, mail reporting utility comsatd, general-purpose mail delivery
agent maidag, mail filtering program sieve, and an implementation of
MH message handling system.

All utilities share the same subset of command line options and use
a unified configuration mechanism, which allows to easily configure
the package as a whole.

This software is part of the GNU Project and is copyrighted by the
Free Software Foundation.  All libraries are distributed under the
terms of the Lesser GNU Public License.  The documentation is licensed
under the GNU FDL, and everything else is licensed under the GNU GPL.
The complete texts of the corresponding licences are included in the

* Why use this package?

This package started off to try and handle large mailbox files more
gracefully then current POP3 servers did. While it handles this task,
it also allows you to support a variety of different mailbox formats
without any real effort on your part. Also, if a new format is added
at a later date, your program will support that new format
automatically as soon as it is compiled against the new library.

This package is also released as part of Debian, so you should expect
it to compile cleanly on all the platforms supported there.

* How to install

Please see the INSTALL file in this directory for the generic instructions
on how to use configure. The following short summary describes the
mailutils-specific configuration options:


	Compile Mailutils with debugging support. This disables
	compiler optimizations and adds debugging information to the


	Do not build PAM support. By default configure will build PAM
	support if the host system supports it. Use this option to
	suppress this behaviour.


	Do not build thread-safe libraries.


        Do not include fribidi support, even if libfribidi is present.

        Enable support for authentication using given SQL modules.
        MODLIST is a colon-separated list of SQL modules to use.
        Available modules are 'mysql', 'postgres' and 'odbc'. E.g.,
        to enable all modules: 


        Note that depending on how your SQL systems are installed,
        this may require adding appropriate directories to the library
        and include paths, e.g.

	./configure LDFLAGS='-L/usr/local/mysql/lib -L/usr/local/pgsql/lib' \
                    CPPFLAGS='-I/usr/local/mysql/include \


        Equivalent to --with-sql=mysql

        Note that depending on how your MySQL system is installed, this
        may require adding appropriate directories to the library and
        include paths, e.g.:

	./configure LDFLAGS='-L/usr/local/mysql/lib' \
                    CPPFLAGS='-I/usr/local/mysql/include' --with-mysql


        Equivalent to --with-sql=postgres 

	You may have to explicitly specify LIBS and CPPFLAGS (see


        Without arguments or with 'odbc' as its argument it is
        equivalent to --with-sql=odbc.

	--with-odbc=iodbc enables ODBC support via libiodbc.

	You may have to explicitly specify LIBS and CPPFLAGS (see


        By default the MH binaries are installed in
        ${exec_prefix}/bin/mu-mh. To change this, use --with-mh-bindir
        option. If DIR starts with '/' it is taken as an absolute
        path specification, otherwise ${prefix} is prepended to it. 


	Use DIR instead of $sysconfdir/domain as the location of
	virtual mail domain database. This option is ignored if
        --disable-virtual-domains is specified.


	Build 'mail' without readline support.


        Build 'imap4d' without libunistring. Note, that libunistring
        is necessary for SEARCH command to properly work on multibyte
	string. The use of this option is therefore discouraged. It
	is here mainly for development and debugging purposes.


	Disable the TLS/SSL encryption via GnuTLS (a Transport Layer
	Security Library) in IMAP4/POP3 daemons and utilities.


	Disable GNU SASL support.

	GSASL is used by several Mailutils components (notably pop3d
	and imap4d as well as their client counterparts) for
	authentification.  It is enabled by default if configure
	detects the presense of GNU SASL version 0.2.3 or later.


	Enable GSSAPI authentication. For this to work, you will have
	to have Kerberos V installed on your system.


	Do not build Python interface library.


	Do not build Guile interface library.


        Specify the directory to install guile modules to. By default
        they are installed in


	The option --with-guile-site-dir used without argument instructs
	configure script to install modules to the site-wide Guile
	directory, where it is easier to find them. This directory is
	defined as $(guile_pkgdatadir)/site where guile_pkgdatadir is
	the Guile package data directory as returned by `guile-config
	info pkgdatadir'.

	Otherwise, if an argument to the option is given, it specifies
	the absolute file name of the installation directory for Guile

	Set the location of the system-wide configuration file for mail
	utility. FILE must be an absolute filename specification.
	Default is $sysconfdir/mail.rc


	Override the location of the mailspool. The default value
	depends on the system. Usually it is either /var/spool/mail
	or /var/mail. PATH is either an absolute directory name, or a
	valid `mbox' URL in the form:


	This method allows you to use indexed mailspools. For servers
	with a really big number of users this may provide a
	significant speedup in opening the mailbox. 

	TYPE is one of:
		hash       --  The user's mailbox is kept in a subdirectory
			       whose name is determined by hashing first
			       N characters of the user name. There are
			       256 subdirectories named from 00 through FF.
		index	   --  The user's mailbox is located PARAM directories
                               down the `path'. The directories are named
                               after the first N letters of a login name.
			       For example, when N=2 the mailbox for
			       user `smith' is `/var/spool/mail/s/m/smith'.
	        rev-index  --  Same as above, except that the last letters
			       are used, thus the mailbox for `smith' will
	                       be /var/spool/mail/h/t/smith. This may provide
	                       a better average distribution than the `index'

	Enable logging to the given syslog facility. Default is `mail'.


        Do not use Native Language Support

The following options enable DBM support in Mailutils. DBM support is
necessary if you wish to use APOP authentication in POP3 daemon or to
use DBM-based mail box quotas with maildag.




	Use Berkeley DB. If ARG is not specified, configure will
	attempt to autodetect the database version to use. Unless ARG
	begins with a digit, it is taken as a library name, without
	the `lib' prefix and library type suffix, so that specifying


	instructs configure to use library (or
	Otherwise, if ARG begins with a digit, it is understood as a
	library version number to link to. In this case configure
	assumes a Slackware-like installation layout. Thus, using


	tells configure to use library (or libdb-3.1.a)
	and header file /usr/include/db31/db.h    




	Use Tokyo Cabinet DBM


	Use Kyoto Cabinet DBM

Use following options to disable support for particular protocols or

    --disable-imap        Disables IMAP protocol support. 
    --disable-pop         Disables POP protocol support. 
    --disable-smtp        Disables support for SMTP mailer.
    --disable-sendmail    Disables support for `Sendmail' mailer.
    --disable-mh          Disables support for MH mailbox format.  
                          Disables support for authentication using
                          virtual mail domains.

Mailutils is shipped with a set of various utilities, which are built
by default.  These utilities fall into two groups:

a) Server utilities: pop3d, imap4d and comsat.
b) Client utilities: frm, maidag, mail, sieve, messages, readmsg,
   dotlock, movemail mimeview, and MH utilities.

The following options disable each group:
    --disable-build-servers    do not build server utilities
    --disable-build-clients    do not build client utilities
Each particular program can be disabled using its individual
`--disable-build' option:

    --disable-build-frm        do not build frm
    --disable-build-pop3d      do not build pop3d
    --disable-build-imap4d     do not build imap4d
    --disable-build-comsat     do not build comsat
    --disable-build-maidag     do not build maidag
    --disable-build-mail       do not build mail
    --disable-build-sieve      do not build sieve
    --disable-build-guimb      do not build guimb
    --disable-build-messages   do not build messages
    --disable-build-readmsg    do not build readmsg
    --disable-build-dotlock    do not build dotlock
    --disable-build-movemail   do not build movemail
    --disable-build-mimeview   do not build mimeview
    --disable-build-mh         do not build MH utilities

Several environment variables affect the configuration. Currently,
the only mailutils-specific variable is DEFAULT_CUPS_CONFDIR. It
sets the location of CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System) configuration
directory, which is needed for `mimeview' utility. By default, this
location is $sysconfdir/cups. On most sites, however, it may be
reasonable to set it to /etc/cups, e.g.:

	./configure DEFAULT_CUPS_CONFDIR=/etc/cups ...

* Where to report BUGS

Please report any bugs to <>. We encourage
sysadmins who will be using this package to subscribe to this list by
sending an email to <> with the word
`subscribe' in the body of the message. Another way to subscribe is
by visiting

* Copyright information:

Copyright (C) 2002-2022 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

   Permission is granted to anyone to make or distribute verbatim
   copies of this document as received, in any medium, provided that
   the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved,
   thus giving the recipient permission to redistribute in turn.

   Permission is granted to distribute modified versions
   of this document, or of portions of it,
   under the above conditions, provided also that they
   carry prominent notices stating who last changed them.

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